Tools for solid surface

Faeries dvd I recently got a request to share my tool designs for turning solid surface.

The Day the Earth Stood Still move

I used this style tool on the “Mortar Project & Video” .

I found that when turning plastics, acrylics and solid surfaces conventional gouges tend to grab. As a result you don’t get the smoothest cut. I reasoned that the flute and fine edge of a conventional gouge is to aggressive for a material that is solid, making it dig and then shatter the material. I ground these solid surface tools to have the best of both worlds with a bevel like a gouge and a cutting edge like a scraper.

I use the first tool for turning solid surface and the second tool for turning acrylic. I included the acrylic cutting tools because I soon plan to do a post on turning acrylic pens to a smooth finish.

Both are shop made. The first from 1/2″ W1 steel and the second from a set of punches I bought at HF. For information on forging your own tools visit “Heat Treating”.

Different size versions can be made by changing the diameter of steel.

1/2" solid surface gouge
Solid Surface Gouge, 1/2

Grind the tool face to a 4″ radius by holding it against the grinder in a vertical position. The bevel should be ground just like you would a bowl gouge and you can even use your grinding fixture. I grind mine to 45 degrees.

Cutting with this tool is mostly a scrape-ing action but as you get used to it you can tilt it at an angle to get a smoother cut. Cut slow and be sure to wear eye protection.

Solid surface gouge, 3/8
Solid surface gouge, 3/8

Grind this tool by holding the tool horizontal to the grinder and cut a horizontal radius. The tool itself can scratch acrylic therefore the face of this tool is ground back at 15 degrees and then polished to a mirror finish.More on using this tool when I post about Acrylic pens.

Want to learn how to:

  • Use free Google software to make 3D models of woodturning
  • Apply a CA finish to a pen
  • Turn a bowl from common boards
  • Turn a functional wine glass
  • Make a metal spinning tool rest
  • Make a pen bushing storage cabinet, from simple parts

Then ….buy a woodturning book from Turnedoutright!!

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