DIY Carbide Lathe Chisels

Recently, the folks at LumberJocks convinced me to make my own carbide lathe chisels rather than buying them premade.  (to save $110 per chisel)

Here’s how that went down:

The idea is this:

  • Take half inch bar stock
  • Tap it for an 8×32 screw
  • Notch the bar stock end to hold the cutter nicely
  • Buy replacement cutters for the name brand tools
  • Turn some handles
  • Use plumbing copper fitting for ferrule
  • Fill the square hole with epoxy and slide the bar in.


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First, I tapped the screw hole and then cleaned up the metal.


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Then, I recessed each of the tips so that the bit would sit lower in the bar stock.

I am not a metalworker.   Obviously.

*the detail cutter is not Tungsten Carbide, but rather Titanium Nitride, per the recommendation of Grizzly since this model comes to more of a point. 


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For the handles, I took 2 pieces of straight-grained hard maple, routed a half inch deep dado partway down, and glued them together.  Then, I had wet glue in the square hole, so I used a smaller piece of bar stock to clean up the excess glue from the inside, which turned the glue black.


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Brass fittings for the ferrules.  These help keep the wood compressed.


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Completed tools



It was a very good process, especially for a newbie (n00b?) wood turner like me.   Cost ended up being about $20/each when basics were considered (cutter, bar stock, screws) not including finish and wood, which was minimal.  It took a lot of time (again, newbie factor) but it was a good way to learn.

Without a doubt, I will be making tool handles again.