In 1986 P&N first made a limited range of M2 high-speed tools suitable
for woodturning. Over the years this range has expanded to the extensive
range of spindle, bowl and detail gouges, skews, scrapers and parting tools.
As a woodturner I have found these tools to be equal to if not better than
those imported from overseas and represent excellent value for money.
The tools tend to hold their edge a little better than other tools I have used
and are easier to sharpen. Putting it mildly they are Aussie tools
made by Aussies for use on Australian timbers.
The P&N brand became part of the Sutton Tools Group in 2001 with continuation of the same quality tools.
The raw material was imported from Austria, as the quality standard of the material
is excellent, & high speed steels are not manufactured in Australia in the required
grade & size. Round sizes up to 12mm in diameter arrive in large coils weighing several
hundred kilos, round and square material over 12mm are in bar form in 6 metre lengths.
The raw material is first taken to the preparation area where it is cut to the
required lengths.This process is called blanking.
From the blanking area the blanks go to the grinding and milling area where
the blanks are machined or ground to produce the tool in its raw state.
Things like bevels, flutes and tangs are machined to precision drawings.
After milling the gouges have the flutes hand polished and the tool details
laser etched on to the tool at this time.
After milling the tools then go to the heat treatment area where they are
hardened in a heated bath of molten salt using three different temperature stages.
Pre heat temperature is approx. 860deg C, then 1100deg C and a final temperature
of 1200 deg C before being allowed to cool prior to three heat tempering processes
in large tempering ovens. The tools are then checked for quality and hardness using
a Rockwell tester. The P&N range are tempered to a hardness of between
60 and 65 Rockwell depending on the tool and what it is likely to be used for.
From the testing area the tools are then sent to the surface preparation area
where they are either sandblasted to a fine finish or given a black heat treatment for
which the P&N range are well known. From the finish area the tools then go to the
packaging area and on to the warehouse ready for dispatch to the many woodturners
around the world who enjoy using these great tools.
From start to finish it takes 10 to14 days to manufacture a tool to the P&N exacting standard.
A few tips to help to get the best from your high speed steel woodturning tools is to
remember they have not been sharpened in the factory just ground to a shape.
It is up to you as a woodturner to sharpen your tools to the angles that best work for you.
Always sharpen your tools using a white aluminum oxide grinding wheel of 60 grit.
I find that a dry high-speed bench grinder works best for me this is what the factory also
recommends. Also remember if you over heat your tools do not dip them in water, as this
will change the temper of the steel, just allow them to air cool before you use or regrind them.
I usually use my tools straight from the grinder as I find the burr left from grinding cuts
our tough Australian timbers easier than spending time honing an edge on ones tools.
You really only have to touch the tool to the grinder to bring up the burr rather than grind the tool away.
As a professional woodturner I find that the P&N range of tools suits my requirements of
working our Australian timbers equal to or better than one would expect of any tool on the
market in this country.
The range was also exported to USA and Canada so the news is out that the
Aussies have a great product and the world wants to use them.
Sutton Tools decide to cease production of the P&N woodturning tool range in early 2018 due to declining sales.
I currently have on hand most of the commonly used tools for sale at October 2017 prices. Once this supply is depleted unfortunately there wont be any more of these quality tools available.