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The Skew (Read 295 times)
 
Ed Weber
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The Skew
Nov 10th, 2017 at 10:18am
 
This topic was somewhat started in another recent thread. I had some thoughts on it and decided to give it it's own.

IMO
Thousands of years ago, the skew was the very first woodturning chisel made. A simple flat chisel plunged into spinning wood and woodturning was born.
Soon after it's invention (the next day) they started to improve upon it and have been trying ever since. This tool has remained pretty much unchanged for thousands of years. and as a result hasn't gotten any better in all that time. So why do people still try to convince me it's great?  I know some people can use it with skill and ease but it's simply not my forte. Stop trying to convince me that I need learn to "learn the skew", no I don't, let it go.

There are no cuts that can be made with a skew that I can't reproduce with other turning tools that I'm more comfortable using. I don't ever find myself saying "I wish I was better at the skew" it doesn't happen. I don't own any skews, just a unusually high number of NRS's  Lips Sealed

Final Thoughts,
The skew isn't some underdog that needs to be championed, it's a relic. Give it it's proper place in history and celebrate it, (preferably at a museum in a glass covered display case)
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: The Skew
Reply #1 - Nov 10th, 2017 at 10:51am
 
In that other thread, the idea of using it as a door jamb has alot of merit!! Smiley Smiley
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Bob Mezzatesta
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Re: The Skew
Reply #2 - Nov 10th, 2017 at 12:46pm
 
I've heard it referred to as the Devils can opener. I'm sure one day I will learn to use it properly.
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Mike Mills
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Re: The Skew
Reply #3 - Nov 10th, 2017 at 1:03pm
 
Smiley

I look forward to your video on turning a pommel with a NRS.

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Ed Weber
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Re: The Skew
Reply #4 - Nov 10th, 2017 at 3:39pm
 
Ralph Fahringer wrote on Nov 10th, 2017 at 10:51am:
In that other thread, the idea of using it as a door jamb has alot of merit!! Smiley Smiley


Agreed
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Ed Weber
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Re: The Skew
Reply #5 - Nov 10th, 2017 at 3:42pm
 
Mike Mills wrote on Nov 10th, 2017 at 1:03pm:
I look forward to your video on turning a pommel with a NRS.


I use spindle gouges & detail gouges, I find them much easier to control and I'm happy with my results.
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Re: The Skew
Reply #6 - Nov 10th, 2017 at 4:05pm
 
I still use it for making V;s or cleaning up beads other things in vases and other work like that.  I used it for a few years to master it and felt at the end even when I was good with it I did not need to use it what the intent was for.

It still cleans up in straight cuts for spindle turning but that is all I use it for.  I teach the vets how it was used but mostly how it can be used to enhance other cuts to clean up beads or other things like that.
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Ed Weber
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Re: The Skew
Reply #7 - Nov 10th, 2017 at 5:08pm
 
Arlin Eastman wrote on Nov 10th, 2017 at 4:05pm:
I teach the vets how it was used but mostly how it can be used to enhance other cuts to clean up beads or other things like that.

Or it can be used as a door stop, or coat hook or...  Grin


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Re: The Skew
Reply #8 - Nov 10th, 2017 at 5:20pm
 
I like it with a convex grind...much easier to use, IMHO.  Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register

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Ed Weber
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Re: The Skew
Reply #9 - Nov 10th, 2017 at 6:20pm
 
Jeff Vanden Boogart wrote on Nov 10th, 2017 at 5:20pm:
I like it with a convex grind...much easier to use, IMHO.


They are much less "grabby" that way, less of a tendency to lift the grain and splinter.
JMO as well
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John Grace
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Re: The Skew
Reply #10 - Nov 10th, 2017 at 10:10pm
 
Like other contemporary beginners, I began turning with carbides and admittedly felt somewhat 'less than' because I didn't use traditional tools...let alone the dreaded skew.  Speaking specifically to the skew, I had precious little reason to learn it as I don't do spindle work and therefore had no purpose.  Eventually I began the slow migration from carbide to traditional tools still eschewing the skew (see what I did there?).

Then someone shared with me a video of the first turner I saw making small Christmas trees and thought to myself, now I finally have a reason to learn the skew.  First I tried all of those other tools I already felt comfortable with and noted the difficulty I had with achieving a clean finish.  Enter the skew.

First the old small skews that came with the cheap Craftsman set I purchased.  Yikes...catches galore as those small blades caught edge after edge.  Enter the Alan Lacer Skew.  I readily admit, I felt a tinge of glee once I figured out the optimal geometry of blade height and the angle with which to present the tool.  Better and better I became until I was able to resurrect the small Craftsman for more precision work.

But what's the point of all this relative to Ed's post?  Not much really.  I think I allowed myself to feel less of a turner initially as I saw others be critical of carbides and gloat that real turners use gouges and skews.  In the end, however, neither the wood or my customers care what tool I used.  Am I glad I learned to use the skew?  Yes...but for different reasons.  At first, I took up the challenge out of stubbornness.  Now, however, I simply enjoy the skew as a different type of turning from my bowl work.

Finally...for what it's worth, I find the semi-rounded edge less prone to catching.
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Ron Sardo
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Re: The Skew
Reply #11 - Nov 11th, 2017 at 7:24am
 
I own 7 different skews and use them all ranging in size from 1/4" to 1-1/2". The only tool I use more is a bowl gouge which I sometimes use like a skew when I cut on its side edge.
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John Grace
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Re: The Skew
Reply #12 - Nov 11th, 2017 at 8:42am
 
Ron Sardo wrote on Nov 11th, 2017 at 7:24am:
I own 7 different skews and use them all ranging in size from 1/4" to 1-1/2". The only tool I use more is a bowl gouge which I sometimes use like a skew when I cut on its side edge.


As once famously said Ron...'this one is strong with the force'.

Seriously though...question for context, what type of work do you do?
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Re: The Skew
Reply #13 - Nov 11th, 2017 at 10:43am
 
Even if you gave up trying to use a skew, they work well as a negative rake scraper and for m the dovetail on a chuck mortise well
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Ed Weber
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Re: The Skew
Reply #14 - Nov 11th, 2017 at 12:11pm
 
Al Wasser wrote on Nov 11th, 2017 at 10:43am:
Even if you gave up trying to use a skew, they work well as a negative rake scraper and for m the dovetail on a chuck mortise well


Isn't that what they were designed for  Roll Eyes

When I was teaching myself to turn, I tried the skew with limited success. I had a BB rectangular shaft skew and a cast iron tool rest. With the constant dig in's into the tool rest I was unable to smoothly operate the tool. Between the learning curve of catches and having to dress my toolrest regularly to repair the dents, I quickly came to the conclusion that there must be a better way for me to go about this. I started using spindle gouges and had an immediate improvement, once I settled on a grind I liked, there was even more.
Every once in a great while I'll pull out a skew, excuse me NRS, and try a few cuts. Even if/when I get the results I'm after, I still don't yet have the comfort level I do using gouges, so back in the drawer it goes. I'm sure someday I' get to that comfort level but it may take a long while, since I only use it for 15 minutes every two years.
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