Crown brand carving tools

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Has anyone used these? I was looking at carving tools at Rockler yesterday. They had Flexicut, Crown and a brand that I had never heard of. The one that I had never heard of was droped from consideration as soon as I saw the work done on them with a soft buffing wheel. That just screams "cheap". The only edged tool I have owned from Crown was a marking knife and it's edge holding ability was right up there with a Chinese butter knife. I ended up with Flexicut (quality, no doubt) but were the Crown worth consideration? Was my marking knife an anomaly or representative of the brand? There is so much junk on the market in edged tools, it's almost a crap shoot trying to get something that does more than just look like cutting tool.
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Hmmm. You'd really hate my carving tools. The backs of them are irregular even after the forging. Of course, it's meaningless, because the edge is between the milled and polished interior and the bevel.
It's the edge that counts, but you have to put that on. I can't see the utility in flexible tools, but it may be because I'm so used to leveraging my way around to clean after mallet work.

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wrote:

Crown are rubbish. Really low-grade junk, tarted up with a rosewood handle.
Flexcut are odd. They look nasty in some ways, but they seem to do the job. I don't understand their magic geometry and flexiness, yet I can clearly carve much better with a friend's flexcuts than I can with good quality traditional carvers. I am however a rubbish carver - maybe Flexcut are just more approachable ?
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Smert' spamionam

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I believe that the Flexcut tools were an experiment in economy more than anything. It is far cheaper to turn these tools out on a punch pres than it is to forge them. Just turned out that they worked well. Mine are the palm tools so the flexibility is not a factor. Thanks for the info on Crown. The one Crown tool I had was junk and I was afraid that it was representative of the brand.

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This has been interesting - the Crown turning tools are generally regarded as good quality and more reasonably priced than Sorby.
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Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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On Sun, 06 Jun 2004 22:48:52 -0700, Fly-by-Night CC

By who?
Could there be more than one Crown Tool Company?
Any of the Crown tools I've purchased, including a marking gauge, saws, and chisels, have left me less than impressed.
Barry
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I thought it was just me. Marking tool sucks. Ed
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Ed Pawlowski responds:

I've got the short bladed awl, a perfect size, but I have to be careful when marking to not bend the thing.
Waste of money. I don't know anything about the rest of the line, but after this one, I'll never find out.
Charlie Self "The test and the use of man's education is that he finds pleasure in the exercise of his mind." Jacques Barzun
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[...]

I'm perfectly happy with my crwon burnisher, but apart from that I don't own any of their tools. Just recently i bought a set of 18 chinese carving tools for 58EURO plus taxes, which seem to be very nice. They come unsharpened and without handles, just forged, roughly ground to shape and hardened, so it's quite a bit of work to get them operational, but they seem to take thir edge well and probably also to hold it (not yet tested that part), but so did my white paper steel self-forged gouge, too.
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By those in my two local American Assoc. of Woodturners chapters as well as the folks on rec.crafts.woodturning.

In this case, it appears to be the same one.

I would tend to agree on the bench chisels - edge retention has been poor in my opinion.
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Turning tools are easier to make (in a metallurgical sense). Any modern HSS is adequate for the job, as turners can manage at poor levels of sharpness that would be obviously bad for carving. Robustness and edge _holding_ is quite easy to achieve for any maker now, it's the steelworks doing the clever bit. Grinding and heat treatment of HSS is much easier than that of a temperature-sensitive high carbon steel.
OTOH, I wasn't impressed with Crown's turning tools either. The shape of the grind was particularly bad, especially the fingernail (sic) gouges. However this is typical of almost all turning tools below the very first rank.
I use Axminster's "Perform" turning tools, plus a few extra Sorbys of particular shapes. They were nasty grinds out of the box, but an afternoon with the angle grinder sorted that. Now they're OK, and the steel seems to do the job well enough.
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Crown also has a line of powder steel tools which are highly regarded by some.
I have their and Sorby HSS turning tools under their name, and a house name. All seem to work fine for me.

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Andy, pardon me for interupting off-topic, have you ever tried Footprint bevel edged bench chisels? Do you have an opinion on them?
Great price for a starting point is the reason I ask. And I found that Footprint is selling through Amazon.com in the U.S. too.
Alex
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On Tue, 8 Jun 2004 00:56:18 -0700, AArDvarK wrote:

Excuse me for interrupting but I've got a set of Footprint's bench chisels. They're OK but not in the same league as something like Sorbys IMO.
They take and hold an edge reasonably well. I managed to loosen one from it's handle doing mortices though - fair enough since they're not morticing chisels. Mine came with blue plastic handles. I've found the handles to be comfortable enough.

As a first set of chisels, I think they are perfectly adequate. I've got some posher chisels now but I still on occasion use the Footprints.
I've got a Marples chisel and it's crap in comparison - their steel doesn't seem right: brittle but not hard or tough...again IMHO.
BTW, I agree with Andy's estimation of Crown tools: garbage. I've got some of their cabinetmaker's screwdrivers with beech handles that need re-grinding if they are going to be used effectively. I believe Lie Nielsen are going to bring out some screwdrivers, so I might treat myself to some of them.
BTW, Footprint make some really nice grips; a 6" pair come in handy around the shop for unseizing the tops of cans etc.
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Hey man... it is too-cool if you "interrupt". I need the advice so you are more than excused. And thank you exceedingly for interrupting! I think I will get the red acetate handled Footprints from Amazon: (Amazon.com product link shortened)86593192/sr=1-13/ref=sr_1_13/002-4932766-0472056?v=glance&s=hi to see them: (Amazon.com product link shortened)86585462/sr=-4/ref=sr__4_etk-tools_all/002-4932766-0472056 Alex
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If you can carve well you can use any tool as long as you keep the edge keen

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I suppose if you can carve really well you could use a piece of flintrock. But the rest of us want a tool that makes life easier rather than one that we can manage to struggle by with.
While I don't have any of the Crown carving tools, I've got their marking knife and awl and they are not worth a damn. Like another poster said, they're just crap that's "tarted up" with redwood handles.
IMHO, of course.
Chuck Vance
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The Crown marking knife is the tool that made me pass on the carving tools. Wasn't sure if I got a bad one or bad ones are all they make. Wasn't willing to risk it. Looks like I was right and I sure appreciate the input from everyone.

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"CW"

Yeah but they do have that one line of tools made from powdered crucible steel, those really ought to be very good, extremely hard stuff.
Alex
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They can make their tools out of the finest steel available but if the don't heat treat it correctly, it might just as well be 1018. I was thinking about annealing and reheat treating the marking knife blade just to see of it was lousy steel or lousy heat treat but never got around to it. Finally, just threw it away.

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