Gunmaker Press Release
Journal: Gunmaker
Issue: Nov./Dec. 98 - Page: 14

Turbo Carver
Steve Nelson

I have been experimenting with a light, hand-held, air-powered carving tool which may have some profoundly useful applications for gunmakers. It is called the Turbo Carver and it drives 1/16" grinding/carving burs. The tool consists a small plastic hand piece and a 1/8" diameter plastic air tube in conjunction with your air compressor. The tool turns at speeds up to 400,000 rpm controlled by a foot pedal which restricts the flow of air through the tube. The hand piece weighs little more than a fountain pen and, since it relies on ultra high speed rather than torque, is very easily guided as it cuts through wood, glass, metal, bone, or egg shell. Since there is little call, these days, for carving on custom gun stocks, I have been experimenting with a spacing guide to allow me to use the Turbo Carver for checkering. The ultra high speed of the carbide bur seems to glide effortlessly through hard walnut. If anything, it cuts too easily and I have to overcome a tendency to overpower the tool. Since it is cutting only a pencil thin line, there is very little inclination to angle the cutter away from the vertical. So far the cutters are only available in a 90 degree shape so the final passes must still be done with a hand cutter in order to achieve a 75 degree aspect to the diamonds. Also, the small diameter of the cutters preludes using the tool for any checkering coarser than 22 Ipi without, again, turning to the hand tools for the final passes to point up the diamonds. The most exciting part of this tool is the cost. Retail for the hand piece and foot control along with detailed instruction, stencil paper, special lubricant, several feet of air tubing, and an instructional video is $165.00. The Turbo Carver or further information is available from Ultra-Speed Products, Inc., 18500 East Aschoff Road, Zigzag, Oregon 97049-9707. Their phone number is (503) 622-4387 or fax them at (503)622- 3252. They are also on the World Wide Web at "" . You might want to hide this tool. If your family discovers it, it may wind up carving egg shells or some other equally frivolous items!