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Bob Hodge

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About Bob Hodge

  • Birthday 02/14/1951


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  • My Location
    Upland, Indiana
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  • Favorite Quote
    "Where does your deep joy meet the deep need of the world?"

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Bob Hodge's Achievements

  1. How nice to be remembered by fellow woodworkers. Thank you.
  2. One can hardly see the turned round maple vase in the back. Walnut with crush chrysocolla and CA.
  3. I have appreciated Easy Wood a lot for their tools, accessible parts, and support of the Patriot Wood Worker site. I have my starter set from Rockler that came with the lathe from twelve years ago including one carbide tool, more HSS tools from some of the big names, then some carbide tools from Easy Wood. Never enough lathe tools. I just don't like high prices for parts. In my reading of Easy Wood's site, I haven't seen carbide bits that are cross-referenced to my initial Rockler tools. Someone suggested that all that is needed is the diameter of the cutter, but that seems to assume that the holes for all cutters and the thicknesses are all the same. Maybe somebody can clarify that. I want to be clear that my comparison was only between Rockler's prices and those of AZ. Perhaps some others might want to do price and maybe product/specification comparisons among other suppliers. I did not compare Rockler to Easy Wood, nor do I have the expertise to technically test the absolute quality of any vendor's carbide tips. Indeed, in my initial reading, hoping to find some simple number or index of quality, I see there are over 1500 types of carbide and that is before we get into the manufacturing process. For my purposes, I have found some much better prices to Rockler for what seems to be bits of similar quality. There is much room for more technical and price comparisons far beyond those two vendors. I hope that others will go the next step to make those comparisons and share their findings.
  4. My big issues came when needing to replace the Rockler tips. Not quite proprietary, but not easy to get from general sources either. What I really don’t like is the $26 price from Rockler for a round carbide tip. I came to this group for alternatives. One person suggested AZ – AZCarbide.com. Their $14 replacement for the $26 round Rockler got my attention. But, how would I know if the bit was as good as the Rockler tip? Research told me about 1500 grades of tungsten carbide and I couldn’t really find the specs for the Rockler tool – screw length and threads, diameter of the tip were important. What I didn’t want was some cheapo knockoff that dulled or chipped. What to do? I just wrote to AZ and asked them how I would know if his bits were as good as those at Rockler. Ron Campbell, the owner, responded in a few hours. Without asking, Ron just sent me a few bits to try as he knew I had got his name from this group. I have now tested the round bit heavily, as well as a square bit and curved bit. I’ve hogged out and initially finished bowls from pecan, mesquite, red and white oak, black walnut, cherry, and poplar. I wasn’t nice to the bits, driving hard to reach some conclusion. Bottom line – these bits are as good as what I have purchased at Rockler. The difference is $25 at Rockler, $14 at AZ or 10 for $110. There is a difference in prices for the square and curved bits as well, though not as much. I haven’t the skill to do a more detailed test of these to figure if there is an absolute better bit technically. Nor have I used the negative rake round bit enough to fully appreciate it, though I sure like what I have seen so far. I just know that AZ has a compatibility chart with full specs to locate the bits that fit different tools, their bits are great and the prices superior. Ron Campbell met my unspoken challenge, and quickly. With no obligation to him, I feel it appropriate to pass on what I have found. Thanks for putting me on to AZ. Are there others who might talk about the use and value of a negative rake carbide bit?
  5. I need to replace several carbide bits for my Rockler R2 cutter. Usually, because the screw comes loose and the bit and screw get swooped up by the vacuum, never to be found. I will work on that. For now, though, I see Rockler replacement cutters for now $25 for a round one. I simply don't want to pay that much. I see some similar things, though with different sizes and screw holes on Amazon for $15 down to less than $3 if I buy ten at a time. For the difference in price, I might either modify my Rockler tool or craft a new one by myself, with friends. But, is less than $3 a piece too good to be true? Going to the web on quality levels of tungsten carbide, I see "C" levels. Some carbide bits have C1 printed on them. Most have nothing printed on them, nor do I see anything in the specs. One local guru says it may not really matter much with wood. Looking deeper, I see there are over 1500 grades of tungsten carbide, And, the source says that two manufactures may use the same designation while the true specs are completely different. It is too bad that several brands of carbide tools for lathes seem to use their unique sizes, but it is probably so they can sell their proprietary bits. For today, how much do I need to think about C ratings on carbide bits for the lathe? Is $3 or less a bit too good to be true? Are there far cheaper sources for bits that fit a Rockler tool and its dimensions? What sources for carbide bits have you used successfully, if I am to build my own tool? Thank you, as always
  6. Thanks again for responses on this. I often see what I want, then go up one step. This has kept me in good stead with all of my tools, having overbought only with my drill press. Anyway. there is a Cindy Drozda spindle gouge sitting under the Christmas tree for me, from my wife, though she hasn't seen it yet. That's kind of how we roll when it comes to wood tools and jewelry.
  7. So, it appears that the swept back spindle gouge is a common denominator among several people while the brand differs. I'll go drool over the catalog a bit more and go to Cindy's website. As usual, I really appreciate the real world wisdom from the people in this group.
  8. I have drooled over the Woodturners Catalog just as I used to droll over the Sear's Christmas catalog a long time ago. I want to excel in finials as I move to more lidded vessels, or are they hollow forms? I don't know. Lids with finials, at any rate. I am an experienced, probably middle of the road quality turner with a combination of carbide and traditional tools. I may rough out with carbide yet the last cuts are with a steel tool, as nicely sharpened as I can get it. All of my tools are really too big for the smaller finials, so I am looking at a 3/8 spindle gouge. As I began, the sales guy told me I needed a Sorby Spindle Master so I got one. It works reasonably well, though I have yet to master the Spindle Master. From some videos, it appears that there are the more traditional spindle gouges, then some that are swept back quite a bit. One place calls it an Irish guide. The videos I have watched seem to favor the more swept back gouges. So, I will do OK choosing a brand, but if you have a strong preference, please say so. My real question is whether I should get the more swept back gouge or a more standard gouge for making finials. Thanks Robert
  9. I'm combining several things here. I'm relatively new to spindle turning after fourteen years with bowls and plates. Christmas ornaments for the grandkids - they get a new one each year from G'dad An early attempt at finials. I haven't captured the art or feel for these yet. None are very close to the design in my head or on a nearby piece of paper. We will see how my lighting effect trial works. I drilled through all sides of the blank before turning it, later filling in with somewhat iridescent marbles. Hopefully, they will transmit the Christmas lights through and around. As with most first time projects, I announce that "I could easily do twice as good in half the time if I was to do this again. " Maybe I ought to try to see if there is any truth to it. I like when I can use lacquer and don't have to worry a lot about using something more heavy duty.
  10. OK, I have the straight scoop. Ken Rizza called me! Yes, their concern is only about a roughing gouge using only the "long arm" of the Wolverine. That makes perfect sense and I appreciate that warning. The rest is trying to interpret the warning, and I believe I have done a mighty fine job of overthinking it. Indeed, I can use the cbn wheel with the Wolverine system to improve my sharpening. As always, this group has much wisdom and is ready to share. Thanks all
  11. Quoting from their instructions included with the wheel: "Do not sharpen spindle roughing gouges by placing the handle in the long arm pocket of the Wolverine jig... Warranty is voided if damage to the wheel results because the long arm pocket was used for a spindle roughing gouge or the tool gets caught or jammed in the tool rest because it was not properly supported. Purchaser assumes all risk of use." Playing amateur lawyer, which I'm neither good at or desirous of doing, I see the first part focuses on a spindle roughing gouge. The second part about "the tool gets caught or jammed" may refer to just a spindle roughing gouge, but it suggests something broader in addition to a spindle roughing gouge in the long arm pocket of the Wolverine. What I really want to do is sharpen my bowl gouges using the Wolverine jig using a cbn. So far, every investment I have made in sharpening time, effort or tools has proven to well worth it. So, are there others that use the Wolverine and a cbn or have I created a mismatch of two quality tools?
  12. Lew, that was my surprise. I don't see anything about restrictions on their website, so I thought it would be a natural to use my Wolverine "long arm" sharpening system with my new CBN wheel. Only in the instructions that came with the wheel does this restriction show up. They are very clear not to do it, and say that their warranty will be voided if any damage occurs because of using it. That was my surprise and I wonder if other brands have the same restriction.
  13. Yes, from Wood Turners Wonders. They have a lot of helpful information on their site about choosing their wheels. Just not anything about not using the Wolverine grinding jig with the long arm. That restriction came in the instructions with the wheel.
  14. Thanks for the help on this. A friend of mine gave me a 180 grit abrasive wheel to try the finer grit. It was 6 inches rather than 8 and the grinder wobbled so much that I had to take it off. So, I ordered a Spartan cbn wheel. It is a significant investment but I thought it would be so good with my Wolverine sharpening system, another significant investment. Alas, as I open the box, I read that I should not use the Wolverine with the cbn wheel because it is dangerous, and would void the warranty on the cbn. I am so disappointed even before I mount this thing. I don't think I would have ordered it had I known about this restriction. Do other cbn wheels come with the same concerns, limitations and warranty restrictions?
  15. Lew and Gerald, you are always a gold mine of information. Thanks, guys. I will go do some more homework, but I think I'm close
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