Quick-Change Turning Tools | Popular Woodworking Magazine

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Tool: Beginner’s Tool Set Buy now

Producer: Jimmy Clewes

MSRP: $ 743

A recent turning weekend with Jimmy Clewes in Las Vegas led me to a new favorite set of turning tools: Jimmy’s signature turning tool set. Made for Jimmy by Doug Thompson, the instruments are some of the best I’ve ever used. I mostly turn bowls and found that the beginner set Jimmy put together had everything I needed. The instruments are made of CPM10V steel. It is a powdered metal hardened to a Rockwell hardness of 62 with a cryogenic treatment between quenching cycles. All of this means that the tools get sharp quickly and stay sharp.

In addition to the standard gouges, scrapers, and parting-off tools, I took a coupling tool. The coupling tool is a shell tool with a small cutting head on it. The cutting action is controlled by the angle and protrusion of the head. It is easy to use and perfect for emptying small jars.

Putting tools aside, I mostly fell in love with the quick release pliers. The machined aluminum gripper comes in three sizes, and you can purchase a handle or turn one (check its website for how-to videos). The gripper works via a cam system. A quarter turn of the pliers releases the tool and another quarter turn locks the new tool in place. Gone are the days when long-handled instruments rested on my lathe bench, waiting to be knocked down.

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