Woodworking tool suppliers have risen to the challenge of the woodturner’s desire for more and better tools. Most woodturners are self taught with the result that beginners are not sure what tools to use and can become convinced that a new tool will greatly increase their woodturning ability. Quickly they realize that a great deal of money can be spent on tools and in fact many turners own tools with a value greater than that of their wood lathe itself. The Oland tool is a change from this position with its value and versatility.
There are 4 things to consider when thinking of adding this tool to your woodturning tool arsenal.
1. Typically the Oland tool is made in the home shop. This a member of the family of tools known an inserted tip tool. Quite simply, these are designed to be easy to make and maintain in the home shop. A shaft is drilled and tapped to hold a high speed steel cutting tip, the shaft is inserted into a handle turned by the woodturner, and the tip is placed in the shaft. Once sharpened it is ready to go for a fraction of the cost of most commercial tools.
2. Tools wear out with use and especially with sharpening. Every time a tool is used, a bit of steel is ground away. Woodturners tend to sharpen much more often than most other woodworkers and use grinders instead of honing stones. Grinders remove more steel than do stones and the tools wear away faster than regular chisels. The Oland tool uses a cutting tip that lasts well and is easily replaced for one or two dollars. Plus it is not necessary to get used to a tool that steadily becomes shorter and then learn to use a newly purchased tool of regular length. It is no great chore, but can be a bit off putting for some.
3. Woodturners use gouges for spindles and bowls. These gouges are of different shape, sharpening style, and generally length. In particular, beginners usually start off with spindles and spindle gouges almost always part of beginner woodturning sets of tools. Soon the beginner wants to try faceplate turning and usually bowls. The spindle gouges are not suited for bowls and bowl gouges often cost more than the whole beginner set. Oland tools may be used for either spindles or faceplate work and are ideally suited for bowl turning and at a cost of less than most single gouges let alone a set.
4. Tips for the Oland tool are easily replaced and may be ground in an infinite variety of shapes and angles. The most familiar is a side view of forty-five degrees and a top view of the tip slightly rounded. However it is simple to have tips with sharper angles for speciality cuts, the edges brought back for cuts similar to an Irish grind on a bowl gouge or less angle for scraping the inside of a hollow form. Individual, inexpensive cutting tips with various grinds are easily kept and quickly exchanged in a few seconds.
The Oland tool is a great addition to the woodturner’s tool arsenal. It is easy to make and simple to maintain as well as being a versatile cutting tool for both spindles and bowls. Woodturners can use it to make a great craft even more enjoyable.
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