Whether you just bought your own lathe, or just passed the SBU for the metal lathes at tech shop, you're now going to need some tooling for the lathe. This instructable aims to guide you in choosing and setting up indexable carbide tooling, primarily at the techshop. If you don't know what the techshop is, you check it out here www.techshop.ws, they have lots of great tools including lathes for you to use. The lathe in this instructable can be found at the San Jose branch.
Step 1: Different types of tooling
There are many different types of tooling you can use on the lathe. The simplest and most common is high speed steel (HSS) toolbits. These toolbits typically come as sqaure bars, and are then hand ground on the pedastal grinder. If you took the metal lathe SBU at Techshop, you probably used HSS tooling.
HSS Tooling can be very versatile and economical, especially if you don't plan on using the lathe very much, or you don't know what kind of parts you will be making. HSS square blanks are around 4$-7$ depending on size (From KBC. Tools), and pre-ground tools can be found for around 20$-30$ (From Mcmaster-Carr).
However, while HSS tooling can be very cheap initially, it can have drawbacks. Mainly, if you're not a professional, chances are grinding tools will take you significant time, and your tools will not always the same. HSS tooling also has a significantly shorter lifespan than other types of tooling, especially in hard materials.