The Anarchist’s Gift Guide, Day 8
As a furniture-maker, turning was always an uphill battle for me. Every turning tool requires a different touch and a different sharpening approach. The problem was that I never practiced enough to keep my skills up. So every time I picked up a skew, I was a baby turner again.
A few years ago I purchased a set of EasyWood turning tools, and they totally and completely transformed my attitude toward the lathe. The learning curve on these tools is so shallow that I’ve taught almost 20 people to turn this year (who had little or no experience) in just a couple hours.
The EasyWood tools are smart because they require only one grip and one toolrest setting for all the tools. And you don’t have to sharpen them. Thanks to the carbide inserts, you can simply rotate the cutter for a fresh edge. And they last a long time. I can turn legs for more than a dozen chairs before I have to rotate the cutter.
Some turners who use these tools have said that the tools are glorified scrapers that leave a poor surface finish. That’s total <expletive deleted>. With a light touch these tools leave a beautiful surface.
Personally, I don’t think you should buy the whole set at first. Buy the full-size EasyRougher with an R4 cutter. It has a slight radius. This slight radius, like the camber on a plane iron, allows you to make finishing cuts without the corners digging in. I use the EasyRougher for about 90 percent of my work. Then I use the EasyDetailer to cut in small coves and beads. The EasyFinisher is great for making larger coves, but I prefer the EasyRougher for finishing cuts. It is the backbone of the system.
The tool is about $130 and made in the United States. I recommend you buy direct from the manufacturer to keep more money in the pockets of the family that runs the business. But many suppliers carry the tools, too, such as Lee Valley Tools and Woodcraft.
— Christopher Schwarz
Read other days of my gift guide:
Day 1 is here. Rockler Mini Drill Bit Set
Day 2 is here. Brownell’s gunsmith drivers
Day 3 is here. Grip mini pry bar
Day 4 is here. Tiger Flakes
Day 5 is here. Grammercy Holdfasts
Day 6 is here. Draft-Matic pencils
Day 7 is here. The Saddle-Tail.
This is the last day of the gift guide. I hope it was helpful.