I have been asked a number of occasions what I think about Easy Wood brand turning tools. I would like to offer my thoughts on the subject here. Before I begin I want to make it clear that I do not own these tools and I have not tried these tools. My opinion is based on what I know about turning in general and my use of scrapers and bowl gouges.
So this is not a tool review. It is actually more about my philosophy behind mastering a craft versus enjoying a fun hobby. Both of which are equally valid and I in no way view one as superior to the other.
If you are interested in turning as a fun hobby and would love to make some gifts for friends and family, then I think Easy Wood brand tools are a great way to get you going quickly. So I say go for it!
If wood turning is something you feel a passion for and you would like to become flexible, creative, knowledgeable, and gain some mastery at the craft then you must pick up the gouge.
"No sharpening needed" is promoted by Easy Wood tools as a benefit of their product. I see this as a real hindrance to the beginner's mind when it comes to truly learning turning.
The proper sharpening of your tools is just as important as the proper use of them. It isn't a separate part of the craft. It is an integral aspect of a long process of evolution in taking the wood from tree to table.
Much like the proper use of a chainsaw or a bandsaw, and the proper sharpening and tuning of a chain or a bandsaw blade, knowing and mastering these actions bring control to the craftsman.
That said, having all of the tools necessary to be in complete control of processing wood from the source to the finished product is rather overwhelming. There are so many tools involved. It quickly becomes too time consuming and costly to take on the whole enchilada unless you are a professional wood turner which few of us are.
We all have to start with what we have. I can understand buying wood already cut to the round and ready to turn. However, I draw the line at not owning and using the proper turning tools.
So my advice to novice turners is, don't be afraid. Sharpening is not the monster under the bed. Practice and be patient. (And ALWAYS wear eye protection)
You don't need to go out and buy fancy jigs or gimmicky and costly gadgets for sharpening each separate tool.
Get a slow speed 8 inch grinder with a rough and a smooth wheel. Enhance the platten that comes with it or buy a decent platten from Oneway. You want a large flat surface to steady the tool while bringing it to the grinding wheel.
Educate yourself. While it is ideal to have an actual teacher show you and correct you, it isn't necessary. There are so many free resources to teach you. Between YouTube, books and videos you will have plenty of good instruction.
This brief blog about sharpening is likely to spur a great number of questions. If you have questions I ask you to leave a comment below only after you have googled the hell out of it and found no answer. I want to be here for you if you feel lost, but my time is limited. Research empowers the creator. Have multiple sources of information.
Be safe and have fun! 💃