Everyone knows about “cold rolled” and “stainless” steel. When you want something else you need to order steel by the numbers. 4140, 1215, etc steel. The steel industry uses a standard set of number to tell you all about the properties of a chunk of steel. How hard it is, tensile strength, easy or hard to machine, etc.
When I am looking around on the McMaster-Carr web site (www.mcmaster.com) for a nice piece of steel. The web site sometimes shows me a nice table that does a great job summarizing the different kinds of steel. (See above photo and PDF.) Other times I can get the web site to show me this table to save my life. I forget I need to search on “about steel” or “about tool steel”.
Meta Description: Quick Tip: Carl's rant on "Hard" vs "Soft" Maple. People often say they have hard maple when it is soft. Look up the difference in Wood Database.
It seems like people always put the word “Hard” before the word “Maple”. So when people tell me they have a nice “Hard Maple” log, I think it is really probably “Soft Maple”. Because that is what I find when I cut into the log.
Meta Description: Carl's take on the best Woodburners, Tips, & Books for woodturners. What he recommends for his students.
Here is my response to an e-mail asking about woodburners.
I currently own and use a Detail Master Excalibre (the silver one with 2 ports) with lots of different Fixed Tip Detail Master Vented pens (the silver aluminum ones). I also have a couple of Razertip Tips sets that I mount in a Razertip interchangeable tip pen.
If I was buying a new system today I would purchase a Burnmaster Eagle (the red one with 2 ports) with Burnmaster Replaceable Tip Pen and Tips. The 10 tips available from Burnmaster are good for beginners. In the long run you can add more tips by purchasing sets of tips from Razertip.
Currently the $259 “Burnmaster Eagle” available from “Packard Woodworks and other retailers for roughly the same price looks real good to me. I like having 2 pens and only need one set of 10 interchangeable tips.