If you love the process of woodturning more than sharpening your turning tools, there is an easier way: switch to carbide-insert tools instead. Rather than sharpening the edges when they dull, you simply loosen a screw that fixes the insert to its shaft and rotate it to a fresh edge. When the carbide eventually dulls, the inserts are replaceable.
For some time, Rockler has offered three carbide turning tools in smaller sizes, but now you can buy full-size versions for your larger spindle- and bowl-turning projects. There are four different cutting profiles in all: round, square radius, diamond and square. Each insert style is mounted to a dedicated handle and shaft — the profiles are not interchangeable on the same shaft. Overall handle length is 19-1/2-in. The first 13 inches are made of durable ash encased in an ergonomic rubber grip to provide maximum comfort and control during use. The rest of the chisel consists of a 6-1/2-in. stainless-steel shaft with a flattened back (for stability when using the tool rest) and the cutter.
Each of these full-size turning tools sells for $99.99, and the replacement cutters are priced at $19.99. Model numbers for the tools are: Round (48723), Square Radius (48535), Diamond (49632) and Square (49318). The new turning tools are available now at Rockler Woodworking and Hardware stores, independent resellers, through Rockler’s printed catalog or at rockler.com.