PDA

View Full Version : Damn skew chisels



Toggy
13th Nov 2004, 09:44 PM
Don't you just hate it; going along nicely with the skew; and chonk. Oh; look at the lovely spiral.:(:mad: And that was the on the 1st job this morning and almost at the end of the leg. Oh well, the stool will look nice with straight legs. I'm sure skew chisels have a devious mind of their own. And I was trying to practice; but not spirals.

Ken

Kev Y.
13th Nov 2004, 11:00 PM
Toggy, you have my sympathies, I too suffer from the dreaded skew catches! however I usually persist and end up with a half way decent outcome.
One day I will figure out exactly what I am doing wrong and how to correct it.

smidsy
13th Nov 2004, 11:46 PM
The thing that's got me stuffed about skew chisels is that I am right handed but I can use a skew chisel better left handed.
Cheers
Paul

gatiep
14th Nov 2004, 01:42 AM
Kev

Rub the bevel and keep the sharp points away..................concentrate and never relax when using a skew chisel!

:)

Chesand
14th Nov 2004, 07:06 AM
Bruce Bell was demonstrating at Melb WW Show and he said to keep 2 things in mind when using skew chisel as well as following Joe's advise
Set tool rest slightly above centre line of work.
Keep the cutting edge of the chisel at 45 degrees to the work.
I tried these and had much better results when turning a small rolling pin for my grand-daughter for her play-doh

rsser
14th Nov 2004, 08:46 AM
I can relate to 'spiral turning'!

Check out Brian Clifford's website - has a useful chapter in his online book on turning on using the skew and a video clip I think. And from memory someone advocates reducing the angle of the skew as a way of avoiding catches.

Rebus
14th Nov 2004, 09:48 AM
I've found that I'm much more likely to suffer a dig-in with my "standard" shaped skews - i.e. those ground at a fairly acute angle with a straight edge.

However, I have a Raffan skew which I find less prone to dig-in. The Raffan skew has a less acute sharpening angle, meaning that the front and back ground surfaces meet at (I'm guessing) around 60 degrees. It also has a curved cutting edge rather than the standard straight edge.

Overall I find it a very usefull skew and the one I reach for more often than any other.

regards,

graemet
14th Nov 2004, 01:13 PM
Keep the bevel rubbing and never, NEVER go back just a bit because it didn't go right. Always start the cut again to correct that tiny wrong bit!
cheers,
Graeme

Christopha
14th Nov 2004, 01:19 PM
In my 'umble hopinion, the skew, once mastered is far and away the easiest tool to use. My advice with all your tools and is to learn to relax. If you have a death grip on the skew and are terrified that the thing is somehow going to turn around and pin you to the back wall of the shed then that is exactly what it will do! The worst injury I have ever suffered from a skew is a cut foot when I dropped it and it went clean through my shoe......... Another tip which seems to work well for many people is to grind the skew back to an angle of 45 degrees when viewed from the side. Granted this will give you a long and wicked looking tool but it also gives you more edge to 'play' with and when turning a bead or planing the tool is held at 90degrees to the axis of the lathe so you aren't waving your self all about trying for the optimum angle no matter whether you are turning to the left or to the right.....

Jeff
7th Dec 2004, 04:53 PM
I agree with Christopha :) stay relaxed, and that the skew is the best overall tool in the box. Also, I suggust you make every effort to learn from your mistakes (catches). Literally. Turn off the lathe, get yourself calmed down and figure out what you did. Rotate the piece of wood around by hand to the point where the catch first occured. Put you skew back into the wood exactly as it was when it caught. Slowly rotate the wood and let the skew follow the spiral so you understand the mechanics of what happened. The few times I had to do this I learned that 1. the "back" or "trailing" edge of the skew caught on the profile I was working; and 2. It was because I was tired and rather than relaxing I was tightening my grip on the tool and trying to push through and finish the job. I've actually had few catches, and I believe it's partly because I have my tool rest higher than most, as well as the lathe itself. Also, I often use my angled skews "backwards" to make a rolling cut from the top down as I form beads, though I've been guilty of using it "correctly" sometimes :rolleyes:. No matter what angle you grind your skew to, there is a "range" at which it will properly cut, and you must learn that range for each skew. And it depends on whether you are scraping (OH MY GOD...SCRAPING WITH A SKEW :eek: ) or shearing. I do both with no problem. A little more about catches. Remember that the farther from the center you are, the higher the realtive speed of the piece of wood. So, if your skew contacts the wood in two distinctly different points at once, the point farther from the center is going to grab your skew and pull it down faster than the inner point. To prevent this, keep an eye not only on the cutting point, but also on the full width of your skew, making sure the trailing edge of it doesn't touch the wood. Make practice cuts with your skew to learn the cutting range and "radius" of a sweeping cut it can make without having a digin. Of course all this may not have anything to do with it... :eek: :D If you are not attaching the wood securely...... Oh, and always have FUN!!! :)

gatiep
8th Dec 2004, 02:17 AM
When I said 'never relax' I meant don't become over confident with it....it will come back and bite you in the bum. I did not mean tense up so that you have white knuckles and the sweat dripping off the tool handle. I had two ppl in my turning class last night , when I took their turning tool to help them with a technique, it was wet with sweat. If you start high with a skew, the shaft of the blade at about 22.5 deg off right angle to the surface of the work, then let it rub while pulling the handle back. The cutting edge will start showing dust....then move it along for a controlled plane of the blank.If you accidentally let either point ( corner) come into contact with the wood you can be sure you have a disaster. Use of either point must be a planned move and deliberate........accidental = a dig in.

Happy planing.

:)

JackoH
8th Dec 2004, 09:24 AM
I was lucky. I was taught to use a skew by a very good teacher who conveniently forgot to tell me what a terrible tool it is. Consequently I had few problems and the skew is one of my favourite tools! :cool:
Incidently did you know that popular opinion has it that the skew was invented some years ago by master turners who were alarmed at the good work being produced by hobbyists, to put them off.
Also that Raffins skew was invented the day he dropped his chisel and broke off the leading point. Couldn't be bothered to grind it straight again so just sharpened it as it was, hence the curve. This was then slavishly copied by lots of amateur turners. :D

Cliff Rogers
8th Dec 2004, 11:00 AM
The thing that's got me stuffed about skew chisels is that I am right handed but I can use a skew chisel better left handed.
Cheers
Paul

This could be due to the fact that you have your left hand on the handle & all it does hold the tool, the right hand is at the tool rest & is doing the fine control of the tool.

MathewA
8th Dec 2004, 05:32 PM
Well said Chris. I've been turning for about 25 years. I still have to remind myself once in awhile to relax and use the skew with confidence. Be very deliberate with it, don't hesitate or it will catch. In my days of teaching I tried to teach the students to practice on fire wood. Take a piece of wood and just keep turning beads (little ones and big ones...) one after another, don't actually try and make something except shavings. This eliminates the turners thoughts of nervousness and hesitation from worrying about a possible catch ruining thier master piece.

I've found over the years that I have moved away from the skew. I use mostly gouges for just about everything except long flat stretches. I can turn beads much faster with a gouge and never have a catch. I used to do a lot of production turning. I used a bowl gouge for 95% of the turning and a parting tool and roughing gouge for the rest.



[QUOTE=Christopha]In my 'umble hopinion, the skew, once mastered is far and away the easiest tool to use. My advice with all your tools and is to learn to relax. If you have a death grip on the skew and are terrified that the thing is somehow going to turn around and pin you to the back wall of the shed then that is exactly what it will do! The worst injury I have ever suffered from a skew is a cut foot when I dropped it and it went clean through my shoeQUOTE]

rsser
10th Dec 2004, 12:21 PM
Ditto. I use a small spindle gouge with a longish bevel and fingernail grind for beads. This method reaches its limit faced with another bead hard up against the first.

IanA
21st Dec 2004, 01:44 PM
Toggy,

I think one of the biggest problems for weekend turners is simply getting in sufficient practice to become proficient with the tools. If you don't develop a feel for the tool you will find it really difficult to relax.

Usually you plan a project one weekend, buy the timber during the week, then tackle the job on the first available weekend. (Or part weekend, more likely.) No time for practice.

Spending time just making shavings doesn't often happen. I think MathewA is on the money with his suggestion of turning beads just for the hell of it. If you muck up a couple you won't get stressed.

When I first started turning my son asked me what I was making. "Shavings, mate", was my reply. I think he thought I was nuts.

I still find it difficult to relax, but it does get better with time.

John Saxton
21st Dec 2004, 10:00 PM
Absolutely love the skew,I was taught many years back more than I care to remember, but by a great turner who said that if I could complete my candlestick he would grade me as competent.Took a few tries but I eventually learn't that with patience and due care the skew was a tool to behold and practice was all that was required.

It was pure joy to see him run that skew across a piece of timber on the lathe.There were'nt many that could hold a candle(excuse the pun) to him from start to finish off the tool with little or no sanding required.

Experience is only garnered by obviously practising incessantly and by learning by your mistakes dig-ins,toolrest,angle of attack to name just a few.

Master this tool and woodturning becomes your oyster...or rather your pearl in the oyster.

Cheers :)