What benefit if any is there in using hook or ring tools on the lathe?—Joe Barry

Donna Banfield replies: These tools are most often used when doing end grain turning. Used properly, they can give your turning a very smooth surface right off the tool. They have a learning curve, like any other turning tool, and you would benefit from having someone experienced with these tools to help you.

One down side to these tools is sharpening. There’s not much steel on the hook, so you either hone with a strop or felt wheel. The ring tool, which is made by Oneway called the Termite, has a hollow center. They recommend using a router to sharpen the Termite. With practice, you can master this tool—sharpening and turning.

Turning