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It looks like the steel you are cutting is about one notch away from coat hanger wire. Some steels turn beautifully and leave a shiney finish while others rip and tear when a cutter is put to them. You might consider buying a length of decent tool steel (drill rod) and see if that will give you better results. Also, consider purchasing a lathe tool that uses the throw away carbide inserts. They are available in small sizes for a lathe the size of your Taig. Enco sells them as well as drill rod.