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Thread: Skew Chisles

  1. #1
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    Skew Chisles

    Well i am back on to turning couch legs.

    But given my first attempt I realised i needed to refresh my turning knowledge before just going at it. This is what happens i find when one does not perform a particular operation frequently enough, in my case between the effect of memory fade as i get older and frequency of getting to do woodworking, I go through this each time i get going. ( gets stale fast but what to do)

    So i watched



    This as one of the videos i am using to get back into my head how to use the various chisels.

    This has resulted in a memory jog of a question that i have long wanted to ask but keep forgetting to.

    So here goes.


    This tool i notice is most often made from rectangular bar stock. Yet when presented to the piece of wood to be turned is expected to be tilted when rested on the toolrest as Brendan says to an angle of 45* .
    That says the tool is running on the toolrest along the corner formed between the short side and the wide side of the rectangle of bar stock.

    Why has that not been ground flat by turners to essentially provide a greater contact area on the tool rest and more stable deliberate presentation angle.

    Surely this would prevent incorrect presentation of this tools cutting edge?

    My next question is are there any modifications you guys do to your skew chisels.

    And my last question (for now ) is what is the correct or most suitable angle that the whole cutting edge should be both in terms of the two intersection sides (angle 1 in my sketch)making the cutting edge and the overall angle of that edge in taken off the sides of the chisel angle 2 in my sketch.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    cheers

  2. #2
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    Don't how to respond to your question. I don't think I understand it. FWWI, may I suggest this guy?


    I know John personally and he is an excellent instructor.
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  3. #3
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    Rob, Im pretty sure if you ask three turners a skew question you'll get at least six different answers, and all of them will be correct.

    As to your first question - why not grind a flat at 45 to make finding the presentation angle easier - when cutting beads and coves with the skew, you will be rotating the tool and changing that angle constantly. A flat would get in the way. A lot of folks round over the edge of the skew (essentially a bullnose profile) to make that rotational movement easier and smoother.

    As to the correct sharpening angle and the the angle for the skewed cutting edge, that's largely a personal preference thing that varies from turner to turner. I'd suggest watching a few videos, then do some experimenting on your own to see what works best for you.

    Lastly, of all the turning tools, it's my opinion that the skew is the one that requires the most practice to become proficient in its use. I still haven't put in sufficient practice time, so for turning spindle projects like a set of couch legs, I'd be using gouges instead of skews, because that's what I handle the best.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
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    There are some chisels that have rounded sides or are oval in profile, in practice I don't think they are significantly easier to use though since primarily you use the skew off of the bevel so the rounded sides don't help as much as you'd think since that isn't the main support point anyway. If the edges are really square I could see easing them for comfort.

    What does help is using the biggest skew you feel comfortable holding since the sweet spot is a lot larger and you have a bigger reference plane to see the angle. Grinding the cutting edge to have a bit of a curve helps when starting as well because it moves that annoying heel out of the way so you get fewer spiral catches. Also raise the tool rest higher than you would for most chisels. Finally sharpen it up good, IMHO the skew is one of the few lathe tools where the grinder isn't sufficient and I prefer loosing a bit of the hollow grind as well since the flatter surface provides better support.

  5. #5
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    I'd also add that, again IMHO, time spent learning the skew is well worth it as it helped me a lot with the other chisels and understanding how the edge approaches the wood. The skew is simultaneously both one of the simplest chisels and the hardest to use and in that intersection is a great learning experience

  6. #6
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    I find these are best for large coves and balls. Henry Taylor Forged Gouge at LV Edit: mine is sharpened much more acutely.

    Feel free to come down and try it out.
    Last edited by Ed Thomas; 01-02-2015 at 06:49 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Thomas View Post
    I find these are best for large coves and balls. Henry Taylor Forged Gouge at LV Edit: mine is sharpened much more acutely.

    Feel free to come down and try it out.
    Those are great gouges, but for a bit less money you can get Thompson spindle gouges made of cryogenically treated powdered metal that'll hold an edge much longer. Either way, Rob, you should take Ed up on his generous offer.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
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    Vaughn, have you used a forged gouge?

  9. #9
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    Harrisburg, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Well i am back on to turning couch legs.

    So here goes.


    This tool i notice is most often made from rectangular bar stock. Yet when presented to the piece of wood to be turned is expected to be tilted when rested on the toolrest as Brendan says to an angle of 45* .
    That says the tool is running on the toolrest along the corner formed between the short side and the wide side of the rectangle of bar stock.
    My understanding... the cutting edge is at a 45* angle to the wood. The angle across the width is about 70* and a normal stance with the tool at your side puts the cutting edge about 45* to the wood.

    Why has that not been ground flat by turners to essentially provide a greater contact area on the tool rest and more stable deliberate presentation angle.

    The 45* is not up from the tool rest, the cutting edge can be 45* to the wood and the entire width of the blade flat on the rest. Most turners round over the "short" or heel" edge of the blade to allow for fluid rotation. If left square it is easy to get a dig in which dings up your tool rest. The "long or toe" side of the blade is usually give only a slight curve on each side rather than fully rounded; this leave a flat between the curves to resister for V cuts or others such.

    Surely this would prevent incorrect presentation of this tools cutting edge?

    My next question is are there any modifications you guys do to your skew chisels.
    I did fully round the short side, and ease the corners on the long side. Makes rotation easier and doesn't mess up the tool rest.

    And my last question (for now ) is what is the correct or most suitable angle that the whole cutting edge should be both in terms of the two intersection sides (angle 1 in my sketch)making the cutting edge and the overall angle of that edge in taken off the sides of the chisel angle 2 in my sketch.
    I don't think this is what you mean but the bevel is typically 40* combined or 20* per side. I'm not sure I understand your pic.

    As the video shows it should contact the wood about 45*. Given the width tool angle of about 70* if would be 70* to the wood if perpendicular (90*) to the rest; so the entire tool must approach the rest at about 65*.



    Click image for larger version. 

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    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. Thomas Jefferson

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Thank you very much guys and gal .

    Carol John Lucas is very good explaining. Thanks

    And Vaughn thanks for the advice, you always tell me stuff i so badly need to hear. Nothing beats getting out and doing it. And i wholeheartedly agree the skew is not the tool i need to use to turn those legs.

    Well i got the strapping/webbing done this afternoon with the help of the lineman. Comes in handy to have muscle around to tug on elastic webbing.

    @ Ed I will definitely take you up on your offer. Been long overdue for a visit and i could seriously do with some one on one instruction at the lathe. Just hope i dont get hooked on that beauty of a machine you got. I know i will be making a trip to LV after being with you. Check your pms Ed. Thanks very much for offering.
    cheers

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