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Skew Practice by John Lucas (Read 4,555 times)
 
Ron Sardo
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Skew Practice by John Lucas
Dec 31st, 2011 at 10:58am
 


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Michael Flynn
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Re: Skew Practice by John Lucas
Reply #1 - Dec 31st, 2011 at 2:19pm
 
Thanks Ron All the best for New Year
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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Skew Practice by John Lucas
Reply #2 - Dec 31st, 2011 at 11:50pm
 
Very informative, John. Thanks for posting.
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Mike Turner
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Re: Skew Practice by John Lucas
Reply #3 - Jan 1st, 2012 at 7:53pm
 
That was very helpful John !!!
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Jimmy Cusic
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Re: Skew Practice by John Lucas
Reply #4 - Jan 8th, 2012 at 9:53am
 
Nice video..   I noticed your skew is straight.  I have ground mine with a slight curve.   Another tip to the skew is the shaving you get.  The one shown in the video are what you want.  This is a good indicator to know you cut is going right.

Nice Job !!!!   smiley=thumbsup.gif
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BenC Johnson
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Re: Skew Practice by John Lucas
Reply #5 - Jan 28th, 2012 at 3:55pm
 
That was VERY helpful.  Who knows, someday I may actually be able to use a skew.
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Re: Skew Practice by John Lucas
Reply #6 - Feb 25th, 2012 at 9:40pm
 
I use a skew a lot but my cuts are no where near what your's are. What speed do you suggest when using the skew?
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blacky
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Ron Sardo
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Re: Skew Practice by John Lucas
Reply #7 - Feb 26th, 2012 at 8:34am
 
Higher speeds are better when turning spindles
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Re: Skew Practice by John Lucas
Reply #8 - Mar 25th, 2013 at 5:45pm
 
I'm a beginner in turning and using the skew.  I've had a little difficulty with this tool in particular.  One thing I notice from this video, it looks like your skew blade stock is rounded on both corners of the heel side of the stock; while the toe side of the stock appears to have both corners of the stock still at right angles.  Is this a custom modification or did you buy this tool that way?  And why aren't all four corners of the blade stock rounded as opposed to just the two heel sides?  It seems like the masters of the skew do a lot of  rotating the blade while cutting with the bevel rubbing, in which case rounded corners on the blade stock would be an advantage while rotating the tool during a cut.  Whereas a skew with hard corners on the stock would be encouraged to dig into the tool rest during any rotation of the tool during a cut.

Customizing the blade stock was something I considered doing on my skew but wanted to find more information before grinding away.  It seems like as I try to attain those smooth planing cuts along a gradual taper, sometimes those sharp corners of the blade stock hang up on the tool rest, resulting in less than desirable finish. 

This line of questioning also applies to the tool rest itself.  It seems to me that if the corners on the tool blade stock are rounded, then it would ride even smoother if the corners on the tool rest were at a radii profile as well. The tool rest in this video looks like it has a radius profile all along the top wherever the tool will actually make contact.  Is that right?  And is this preferable over a rest with just a plane inclined surface?  The rest that came with my lathe is of the latter type, but I'm also contemplating modifying it to attain better quality results while turning.  Would this be a good or bad idea? 

I will also be looking to join a local wood turning group in the future, but in the meantime, this forum is a great wealth of knowledge.   I appreciate all input on this topic, thanks!
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Bob Hamilton
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Re: Skew Practice by John Lucas
Reply #9 - Mar 26th, 2013 at 9:42am
 
I think most of the mid to higher end skew chisels are available with the edge radiused on the heel side these days.  My P&N 1 1/4" skew is radiused and so is my Thompson 1/2" skew.  My older 1/2" skew, a Hamlet, is not radiused but I have "beveled" the corners on the edges of the heel side so it will slide smoothly on the tool rest without a sharp corner catching in any small nick or ding in the rest.  That was usually what was recommended before the radiused edges came along.

The edges on the "toe" sides of the skew are normally left square unless you do planing cuts with the long point down like Richard Raffan.   Most other cuts made using the long point are made with the skew chisel up on edge and the square edge helps keep it registered on the rest.

I believe the tool rests available from Robust have a hardened round rod as their top edge.  Most, if not all, others are relatively soft steel so they can easily be filed smooth when they get dinged up.  In general you want the highest point (where the tool makes contact) to be as close to the workpiece as possible.

Take care
Bob
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« Last Edit: Mar 26th, 2013 at 9:45am by Bob Hamilton »  
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Josh Carlson
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Re: Skew Practice by John Lucas
Reply #10 - Mar 26th, 2013 at 11:22am
 
Thanks for the informative response Bob!  You da man! 
Follow-up question: Do you prefer the polished hardened round rest type of rest or does the standard rest work fine for all practical purposes?

As for the skew being used with bevel rubbing while spindle turning...gloss smooth burnished finish even on yellow pine requires no sanding.  What beautiful work can be done with this technique.
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Bob Hamilton
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Re: Skew Practice by John Lucas
Reply #11 - Mar 26th, 2013 at 5:58pm
 
Hi, Josh:
I have only ever used the standard type rests.  The Robust rests are fairly new on the market and I have not tried one.  I do have some of the "modular" rests that Robert Sorby makes, which are round bars that have a threaded hole and the tool post has a threaded stud so you can put different rests on the same post.  I can't really see why you would want to do that unless you wanted to use the same rest on both a 1" tool post on a regular lathe and a 5/8" tool post on a mini lathe.  The ones I have are each mounted on its own post so there is no need to find a wrench to take them apart when I want to change rests.  I can't say I really use them very much.  The round rod used for the rests is fairly large diameter, like 5/8" or so, which moves the tool contact point well back from the workpiece.  I have regular rests that cover pretty well all the jobs the modular ones would do so I can't even remember the last time I used them.

Yes, a skew can leave a lovely bevel burnished surface but that is not always appropriate.  I remember reading a book by a well known production turner (whose name escapes me at the moment) where he was describing a job he had done turning railing balusters for a building contractor.  He decided to practice his skew techniques and made them all with a bevel burnished surface.  Apparently the contractor later called him to complain that the balusters would not take stain and he wasn't sure if they would even take paint!  He was not a happy customer.

Take care
Bob
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Josh Carlson
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Re: Skew Practice by John Lucas
Reply #12 - Mar 27th, 2013 at 10:27am
 
Bob: Sounds like the standard rest will get the job done just fine, thanks for the tip.  Ride the high point of the rest, and keep the high point of the rest as close to the work as possible, all great tips.  Thank you! 

Now I just wonder if that yellow pine I turned will take a stain after the burnish finish.  That is a great point to keep in mind before getting carried away with that finish. The pine I speak of is being used to build a stool for my shop.  I've been trying to apply a lot of what I've learned from the windsor chair makers to this stool.  From what I've seen of Curtis Buchannan and the likes, they use the skew quite a bit on their chair legs, with a stained or painted finish applied with good looking results.  However, they are using oak on those parts, that might take the finish a little better than other woods when burnish finished with a skew. Then again, a burnished finish is a burnished finish, no matter what wood, and it probably always affects how a stain will saturate the surface.  You bring up a great point, and just another potential pitfall.

I suppose a light sanding to scuff out the high polish, could probably be done before disengaging the turning from the lathe, which might ensure a finish will hold.  But, it just goes to show, you must be a great chess player when building anything... always thinking 3 or 4 steps ahead of yourself. 

I probably won't apply a finish to the shop stool, not much beyond a wax or oil finish anyway.  If all of my work pays off and the stool holds together well, I'll probably end up making some bar stools for the house.  When that happens I'm sure to apply a stain or paint, and by that time I better know the best way to proceed.  Until then, I'll scavenge WR for information on this topic.  Thanks!
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Don Stephan
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Re: Skew Practice by John Lucas
Reply #13 - Mar 31st, 2013 at 4:02pm
 
Josh:
Why not make a short test spindle, leaving half burnished from the skew and the other half well sanded with 150, and then apply your intended finish schedule to the entire piece.  A professional finisher I know says every wood to be given a true stain (not a penetrating dye stain) needs to be sanded with paper no finer than 150 else the surfaced won't hold the particles of pigment in the stain.  You may also find that your pine stains unevenly between the early- and late-wood growth.
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Re: Skew Practice by John Lucas
Reply #14 - Nov 24th, 2013 at 7:38am
 
Bump
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