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post #1 of 31 Old 12-27-2011, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Skew chisel

I have been turning for a little while and I am trying to hone my skills. For the record, I have never, and I mean never, been able to cut anything with the skew chisel. I've tried and tried with no luck. Nothing but catches, snags, breaks and frustration. I got the skew grinding attachment for my wolverine system for Christmas and I decided to sharpend my skew. It was sharpened beautifully and I decided to give the skew another try. No luck again. It was at that point, that I decided that I was not giving up until I got the chisel to do something. Anything other than catch and snag, supposing that all it did was keep the door to the shop propped open while I carried stuff in and out of the shop. I remembered that John Lucas (a member here) had made some very nice turning videos and I took it upon myself to search him out, subscribe to his you tube channel and watch his videos. Armed with the skew knowledge that John gave me through his videos, I headed to the shop today to try again. I was blown away. All this time, I was having issues because of the way I was holding the skew and the way I was approaching the stock with the skew. By watching John's video repeatedly, I was able to have my first success with the skew EVER!!! I still had a few catches, but nothing serious. I ended up with a ton of shavings. Long, flowing, curly, thin shavings from the piece that I was practicing on. I was concentrating on just being able to use the skew without getting catches and trying to pay attention to the conditions that caused the catches when I got them. The piece finally broke in half when I got a larger catch but what an eye opening experience. I can't wait to hit this shop again next weekend for another practice session with the skew. I'm gonna master this bad boy yet.



A huge thanks to John Lucas for taking the time to film and post these wonderful videos. You made Kenbo a happy camper today for sure.

I know these pictures are nothing special to you more experienced turners, but you have no idea how excited I am to actually have been able to do this much. Laugh if you want but this is the start of something great!!!

Skew chisel-img_0176.jpg

Skew chisel-img_0177.jpg

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
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post #2 of 31 Old 12-27-2011, 07:01 PM
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ken i have had so much trouble with the skew too.i have done some good but alot of bads
but it seems the more i watch videos and practice it does get better
so i agree with you
thanks john
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post #3 of 31 Old 12-27-2011, 07:24 PM
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Ken, you're well on your way. Now you just need to round those beads off a bit and you're there. Keep practicing.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #4 of 31 Old 12-27-2011, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Ken, you're well on your way. Now you just need to round those beads off a bit and you're there. Keep practicing.

I hear ya on that one. I tried to round one off at one point and realized that I was putting the cart before the horse. I then decided to just concentrate on technique and then worry about shape one I get technique down. Don't worry though, I'll be adding shape to something soon enough.

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post #5 of 31 Old 12-27-2011, 07:33 PM
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LOL

I must try that one day. I use the skew a lot, but only for scraping.

I always turn furniture parts and can't afford any expensive mistakes, so I take the low risk route.
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post #6 of 31 Old 12-27-2011, 09:18 PM
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Your quite welcome. The skew does take practice. The secret if there is one is to visualize the bevel. You have to stay on the bevel at all times. When you open up a gap between the cutting edge of the tool and the bevel you get a kickback. It's that simple.
I find that this tool requires subtle movements. When you turn a bead for example. You have to really concentrate on the bevel. When you roll the tool over if you make a course movement instead of a smooth easy movement you often go to far. This lifts the tool off the bevel and yea you get another catch.
The video I plan to do one of these days is to start with a planing cut. Then start making barrel shaped cuts. Then you make a barrrel with narrower top and bottom. When you get comfortable with this shape try to make them into a ball. Once you learn the ball then narrow it up into a fat bead and then a narrow bead.
If you practice this exercise you will be amazed an how fast the catches will go away.
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post #7 of 31 Old 12-27-2011, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john lucas View Post
Your quite welcome. The skew does take practice. The secret if there is one is to visualize the bevel. You have to stay on the bevel at all times. When you open up a gap between the cutting edge of the tool and the bevel you get a kickback. It's that simple.
I find that this tool requires subtle movements. When you turn a bead for example. You have to really concentrate on the bevel. When you roll the tool over if you make a course movement instead of a smooth easy movement you often go to far. This lifts the tool off the bevel and yea you get another catch.
The video I plan to do one of these days is to start with a planing cut. Then start making barrel shaped cuts. Then you make a barrrel with narrower top and bottom. When you get comfortable with this shape try to make them into a ball. Once you learn the ball then narrow it up into a fat bead and then a narrow bead.
If you practice this exercise you will be amazed an how fast the catches will go away.

I'm looking forward to that video John. I really do thank you for the videos. You have no idea how much it helped today. Working alone in the shop all the time is a great thing sometimes, but when you don't know how to do something, nothing beats having someone there to show you how. Your video was like the shop buddy that was never there. Thanks again.

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
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post #8 of 31 Old 12-27-2011, 11:54 PM
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Ken, I found the article. It's in the American Woodturner, October 2010. If you pm me your address, I'll mail you a copy.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #9 of 31 Old 12-28-2011, 07:45 AM
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I'm working on 2 more videos this morning. I blew them yesterday. I had the mike to close to my mouth and the sound was garbled and sounded like Darth Vader. I'm going to do them again this morning, bummer. I may put the skew practice video in as well since it won't take that long to do and I've waste half a day anyway.
I'm doing one on the spindle roughing gouge and the new Hunter Hercules tool that I think will be a huge hit with new turners. It is so easy to use.
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post #10 of 31 Old 12-28-2011, 09:47 AM
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I cannot add much that John has not said. Except for don’t force the cut when turning beads. I learned to cut beads from Ernie Conover and Richard Raffan books.

Here is a dog toy, about 16 or 17 years old made completely with skew. Have no idea what wood is, made several of these for no other reason except learn tool control. This toy has outlived two little dogs that just went crazy over it and others made for them.

This project sitting on lathe, not real sure what am doing, beads turn with both spindle gouge and skew chisel. Along the way have learned to cheat a bit turning beads. Start out with gouge and finish turn with my skew.

There is more to the skew chisel than just turning beads. I like to use skew for parting, peeling, planning, and v cuts too. Big reason why say don't force the cut is have to remind myself everytime or will dig in!
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post #11 of 31 Old 12-28-2011, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenbo View Post
A huge thanks to John Lucas for taking the time to film and post these wonderful videos.
well its been 10 months since i have gotten my lathe and I have only been able to destroy projects with it. at some points I think i get the hang of it then "SNAG" I turn white, say a few foul words and walk away!

anyway, your post has given new life to that need "to know how to use it" so I sought out Johns you tube page to find out that I am already a subscriber to him. I'm gonna go give it another go!

here is Johns youtube page if anyone else is interested.
hope you dont mind me throwing the link out here.

Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsmen can hide his mistakes!
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post #12 of 31 Old 12-28-2011, 11:47 AM
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Hi Ken
I too have been struggling with the world of snags, catches and kickbacks.
I recently purchased the carbide tipped Eazywood tools and have been having a blast.
I still want to learn how to use the skew and the bowl gouge and others but I'll tell ya, for a newbie on the lathe, I'm real pleased with my purchases.















BTW....the last picture was not staged by me piling up a bunch of shavings.
I was enjoying the effort free action of my newlyaquired tools when I looked up from the trance I was in and this is what was on the lathe bed......

Good luck and keep us posted....
Tom

Learning more about tools everyday
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post #13 of 31 Old 12-28-2011, 12:45 PM
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Hey Kenbo,

I too am having trouble with the skew. I have just avoided using it. I know that is not the answer. I would love to see the videos you are referring to. Please post the link. I would love to be able go pick up the tool again. I just need the confidence that i am using it correctly.
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post #14 of 31 Old 12-28-2011, 01:36 PM
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Wannabee, scroll up to Slicksqueegie’s post for link.

Have no problem with carbide tipped tools, from what have been reading not much of a learning curve to them. Everybody from novice to master turner enjoys them. They definitely have a place in your kit if can afford them or make your own. Only drawback see to them is replacing cutters, especially for those of us that pay shipping in addition to sales tax.

Eventually some wood turner will figure out how to sharpen those cutters that is affordable to all.

TCLEVE4911 if you want to impress us show us some coves and beads you made with your carbide tipped tools.
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post #15 of 31 Old 12-28-2011, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wannabewoodworker View Post
Hey Kenbo,

I too am having trouble with the skew. I have just avoided using it. I know that is not the answer. I would love to see the videos you are referring to. Please post the link. I would love to be able go pick up the tool again. I just need the confidence that i am using it correctly.

The link was posted a little earlier in this thread, but I will post it again for you. Here ya go.

John Lucas on you tube

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post #16 of 31 Old 12-31-2011, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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I kicking this skews @$$!!!!!!!

I'm determined and I'm not giving up. This was an awesome day in the shop. One of the best ones that I can remember recently. I finished up quite a few projects (which I will be posting later) and managed to get another great practice session with the skew. Armed with the knowledge gained in John Lucas' latest video, I threw a junker piece of wood on the lathe and roughed it to round. I then practiced plane cutting with the skew both left and right handed. Once I had a pretty good feel of that, I move on to the barrel cuts.
This is how I made out.
Skew chisel-img_0184.jpg


Skew chisel-img_0185.jpg


Skew chisel-img_0186.jpg


I was really enjoying myself, but I had to stop for lunch. So I threw a cast iron pan on the wood stove and cooked some lunch.
Skew chisel-img_0182.jpg

I then decided that I had had enough skew practice for one day and sharpened my skew. I thought........."I'll just test it to make sure that it is sharp"...........and from there I couldn't stop so I finished the rest of the scrap piece. This is freaking awesome. I only had 3 small catches today and I am looking forward to tomorrow's practice.
Skew chisel-img_0187.jpg


Thanks again John Lucas.

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post #17 of 31 Old 12-31-2011, 07:27 PM
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Aw ken doesn't miss kenbo ever feed you

Nice turning & happy new year.

When it's rustic......it's rustic
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post #18 of 31 Old 12-31-2011, 07:42 PM
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Are those grilled cheese?

Oh yeah, congrats on your skew progress.

(Good looking skillet BTW).
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post #19 of 31 Old 12-31-2011, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Are those grilled cheese?

Oh yeah, congrats on your skew progress.

(Good looking skillet BTW).

Grilled cheese they are my good man. And delicious they were as well. As far as the skillet goes, I got Mrs Kenbo another one for Christmas. It's smaller than this one. It looks good because a guy I know taught me how to season and care for it properly. He's a good guy that way.

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Last edited by Kenbo; 12-31-2011 at 07:47 PM.
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post #20 of 31 Old 12-31-2011, 07:44 PM
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Feels good, doesn't it? This is exactly why I recommend all new turners take a class, good instruction saves a lot of frustration. Now tomorrow turn yourself that mallet with nothing but the skew (once you've made it round with the roughing gouge.). ;-)

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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