# Thread: Skew and me again need some guidance

1. Member
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## Skew and me again need some guidance

Ok so i done some listening and searching and i am back to relying on the people here.

So i am now certain my skews need fixing (no dont laugh they aint bulls getting turned into steers) They have the angles set alla tai chi whatever suited the day.

Now i been reading but want to make certain i got it correct and in one case i cannot find the answer.

So in the image above we have a flat bar skew or thats what its supposed to represent.

Side view is the pointy angle and i see Dough Thompson say 40 degrees between the points. So to this idiot in detail terms it means i grind one side to 70 degrees from the center line.

and the other the same

Right or wrong?

And then how wide the bevel ends up being is a function of the thickness of the bar.

Now how far back is the angle from an assumed flat face off the edge.

I seen all sorts here but even for the angle of the skew so i am totally confussed .

Thanks for any sanity.

I cannot wait to get it right then have another go. Can you believe if i got it going after tai chi angles just what will happen with the correct ones.

2. Originally Posted by Rob Keeble
Ok so i done some listening and searching and i am back to relying on the people here.

So i am now certain my skews need fixing (no dont laugh they aint bulls getting turned into steers) They have the angles set alla tai chi whatever suited the day.

Now i been reading but want to make certain i got it correct and in one case i cannot find the answer.

So in the image above we have a flat bar skew or thats what its supposed to represent.

Side view is the pointy angle and i see Dough Thompson say 40 degrees between the points. So to this idiot in detail terms it means i grind one side to 70 degrees from the center line.

and the other the same

Right or wrong?

And then how wide the bevel ends up being is a function of the thickness of the bar.

Now how far back is the angle from an assumed flat face off the edge.

I seen all sorts here but even for the angle of the skew so i am totally confussed .

Thanks for any sanity.

I cannot wait to get it right then have another go. Can you believe if i got it going after tai chi angles just what will happen with the correct ones.

Hi Rob; I certainly don't profess to be a skew angle expert, certainly Doug Thompson is, but there is no way I would ever let my skew get near a grinding wheel.

I use 15 micron finishing film from LV along with a 600 grit diamond stone and an 8000 grit ceramic stone. My skews are honed only, and can peel threads off all day long. In both directions, let me add!

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I hear ya Mack but i got to get this tai chi stuff set up properly first. Then i agree. I need to get the angles set first.

4. Rob, none of the angles are really set in stone. Different turners prefer different setups. As far as the bevel angle, I follow Alan Lacer's advice to make the angle such that the beveled faces are about 1 1/2 times the thickness of the steel. In other words, for a skew that's 10mm thick (these are hypothetical numbers), the face of the bevel on each side should be about 15mm. I have no idea (nor do I care) what the actual angle ends up being. I also don't get very scientific about measuring that "1 1/2 times the thickness" thing. I just do it by eye.

For the angle of the cutting edge, here again, it ain't rocket surgery. The angle in your drawing looks pretty good. Alan Lacer likes his curved. I've used curved and straight, and have at least one of each in the drawer. Try both ways (and perhaps a few different angles), and you'll find one or more that work best for you.

In my limited skew experience, I've learned one key bit of data: It doesn't really matter what the angles are, but it's critical for the tool to be very sharp. Sounds like you already know about the sharp part...I'm just saying don't sweat the angles too much.

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Thanks Vaughn you just the voice of reason i needed to hear from. I appreciate the quick feedback.

One thing we can all say about the family here is put out a call for help and you got the cavalry at your door before you can even get dressed.

Thanks for the link and telephone call Mack nice talking to you and see ya soon.

Now i can get on with what i think looks right. You guys will either hear the ambulance sirens or the yahoo its mountain dew coming from my end of the world.

6. Rob,

There is a lot of good advice in these posts so far and I agree with Vaughn about the angles. I also agree with Mack about staying away from the grinder once you have your tool ground the way you like. The other important thing in using the skew is bevel contact. You MUST have bevel support when using the skew or things go bad very quickly. I was taught to start by contacting the wood with the back edge of the bevel so you are not cutting and then GENTLY raise the handle and rotate the handle til it starts to cut. My bevels tend to be either flat or slightly convex. With a convex bevel, the supporting bevel is very small but important. Grinding angles are such to accomplish this. In your 1st illustration the 40 degree angle of the cutting edge is also referred to as an included angle. Forty degrees is good. Some of mine are even more acute-on the order of 25 degrees. The skew angle in your lower diagram can be about 30 degrees. These are starting points til you find out what works for you.

The other important requirement for skew use is practice. Just make chips, get a few catches, realize they are not fatal , and keep going. Catches happen when you come off the bevel. The part of the cutting edge doing the cutting also needs to be directly supported by the tool rest-if it is not, catches happen. Keep at it-you'll get it.

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Thank you Don.

8. Rob,
I'd give you all the advice I have on the skew too, but probably this is it ?

I couldn't tell you what I do with a skew... I use the tool a lot, sometimes correctly, some times to just gouge a huge chuck out of what ever I'm turning. I know that a dull tool whether it's a skew or bowl gouge don't work worth a (what ever expletive you want to use)

Somewhere I read one of the master turners said that the only way to master the skew is practice, practice, and then more practice.

9. Hi Rob; Something I don't recall seeing mentioned here is the part of the wood (quadrant), the skew should be cutting on.

It may seem obvious, but the best advice I was ever given and which helped me immensely in mastering the skew was to present the skew to the top 1/2 of the upper quadrant.

Others may have a different approach, but this is what has worked for me.

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Rob,
As you know, I DO NOT USE A LATHE, but I did run across on another forum. You might find it helpful.

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