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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have and love (or hate) the Allen Lacer Skew Chisel. I'm thinking about getting one and I'm interested in opinions.
 

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It is an excellent skew. If you don't already own a skew I would highly recommend it. If you do own a skew and are looking at it to solve problems or make it easier, it won't. All skews are basically the same as far as skills to use it. Practice is what makes you a good skew user, not what tool you use. If your already good with the skew the Lacer skew has some advantages.
Here is my video on comparing skews.
There are also some excellent skew videos by Alan Lacer on youtube.
 

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Not his, but I did try the curved edge and really didn't like it (regound my 1" Sorby). Guess I was too used to a straight edge. The straight edge is much easier to sharpen to me and I find it easier to use the point at the heel for rolling beads.

I did buy some heavier tools on close out at Woodworkers Supply and repurposed them. Three Sheffield 1.5" X 3/8" were less than the one Lacer at Packard.
Here is the Lacer at Packard for $125.
http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Mer...&Store_Code=packard&Category_Code=tools-lacer

Here is Packards scraper for $83.50. Hamlet makes Packard and Lacer and the scraper is 1/4" wider for $40+ less. Blade length the same, you will need to round over the edges on the scraper.
http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Mer...e_Code=packard&Category_Code=tools-pkrd-hdsks
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I seem to be one of those beginner weirdos who seems to have an easier time using a skew than a gouge! I ground my existing skew to have a slight curve and liked it. It is harder to sharpen and I suck at sharpening, so I guess that should be a consideration. I've heard that the Lacer skew is similar in some ways to the Sorby Spindlemaster. I can't make the Sorby Spindlemaster work at all. Should that be a consideration?
 

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You will love Alans class. He's a great guy and really good instructor. I prefer straight edge skews myself but it's just my style of turning.
If your having trouble using the spindle master then the skew is going to fight you as well. You may not be riding the bevel properly. The spindle master when used as a bevel rubbing tool is really not any easier to use than a spindle gouge and will have the same catches as a skew if you don't rub the bevel.
Here is my video on skew practice. It is also a very good project for learning to use the spindle gouge or spindle master because the techniques are very similar.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
"If your having trouble using the spindle master then the skew is going to fight you as well. You may not be riding the bevel properly."

Ironically, I don't have problems with the skew, but I just can't make that spindlemaster go; I just get catches. I don't get catches when using a skew and I don't get catches when using a spindle gouge; I just can't get a spindle gouge to roll a fluid curve. I keep ending up with a cut with a flat bevel instead of a radius. I can do it with a skew though. Go figure!
 

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My friend Nick Cook teaches the skew as the first tool. He says it's easier for students to understand the bevel, where it is and how to use the bevel to control the cut. The bowl gouge or spindle bevel being curved is much harder to understand. He has them turn what he calls a Garden Dibble, kind of like a giant golf tee but with a handle instead of a golf ball head. It's used in gardens to poke a hole in the soil. An easy project and perfect for the skew.
 

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" I keep ending up with a cut with a flat bevel instead of a radius. I can do it with a skew though. Go figure!
Typically it is the left side, for right handed folks, that often is more flat. From what I learned it is because your body gets in the way of rolling to the left. This is why you see a lot of turners (me included) lean to the left to complete the bead. Sometime I will practice with my left hand as everyone says it only takes about an hour for it to become "normal".
It may also help to align your pointer finger with the flat of the blade (skew) or with the flute (gouge). A standard grip probably has your finger about 1:30. If you start the cut with it at 12:00 you can roll the full 90* in a smooth motion. If you start the cut at the 1:30 or so, your wrist will have to twist out of alignment to turn the 90*.

Edit: The above is for rolling to the right. For rolling to the left your finger position would be at 3:00. It is probably exactly the opposite for lefties.
 
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