The eccentric cutter head is considered by many to be the most versatile tool in ornamental turning, and this one, which was designed by Fred Armbruster, is a proven design. It is a compact and well balanced tool that can handle recommended speeds up to 6000 RPM’s. Its design keeps the cutter head close to the frame body to reduce vibration and give better results. The clamping bolt is offset from the center allowing for circles to be cut from about 1/8″ diameter to just over 1 1/8″. The cutter head incorporates a 1/8″ round tool bit holder and comes with a 60-degree carbide bit. As tools are often specially ground by the user of the eccentric cutter the tools are made to be changed quickly and easily with a socket head set screw. The tool block is held in by the clamping screw for safety in such a way that it cannot come away from the cutter head. The major diameter of the cutter head is 1 1/8″, and the shanks come in either 3/8″, 8MM (WW) collet style, or a 1/2″ shank meant to be turned to the desired size for special applications.
This is the tool used to make the famous “fish” as well as the more standard barleycorn pattern. Half squares can easily be made with it as well as the pineapple style decorations so often associated with ornamental turning. One can also create convex shaped rings around the edges of projects. The uses are too numerous to mention, but are fully described in Holtzappfel No. 5, Evans, and Walshaw books.
There are two 1/8″ studs in the face of the tool to allow one to measure the diameter being cut by simply placing their calipers across the two studs on one end and the cutter on the other. The offset is easily measured and is repeatable.
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