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Discussion Starter #1
Been a while but im getting back in to turning and wanted to replace several turning tools, What is the difference between a Oval Skew Chisel and the standard flat skew that I always have used, Also can anyone recommend a brand of tools, I really can not afford sorby tools right now, thanks in advance
 

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You didn't say what you are turning. I'm only an occasional turner and mostly do larger spindles, not pens. I'm not an expert but I switched to some Sorby tools several years ago. For the most part, I use a roughing gouge, parting tool and a Spindle Master. Sorby turning tools are high speed steel, much harder than normal tool steels. The Spindle Master is simple to sharpen, if needed. Flat on a stone. It leaves a completely smooth surface on your spindle that needs no sanding. I wouldn't want to go back to more standard tools, three tools isn't a huge expense. Rockler is having a sale on some Sorby tools, the 1" SM is $55, $20 off. The pen turning set of 3 is $88.

I think this sums up skews fairly well. http://woodturninglearn.net/articles/defenseofskew.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #3
sorry I dabble in everything I have made pens but am working now on peppermills and several bowls, I would like to replace several tools I am looking for 2 skews and a parting tool all worn down I will check out rocklers and the sorby what is a oval skew used for? thanks for the reply
 

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what is a oval skew used for?
An oval skew is used for the same operations as a flat skew.

The difference is just the shape of the body. Some folks find the oval shape easier to roll, e.g. to make beads or coves.

Other folk are able to roll the flat skew just as easily.

A bit of personal preference.
 

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I have several Benjamin's Best tools (the PennState Industries house label) and find them completely acceptable -- a couple of bowl gouges and a spindle gouge, 4 or 5 scrapers.

This set of 8 tools from Harbor Freight looks like they were made in the same factory as the Benjamin's Best tools and it has skews and a parting tool.

I prefer my Doug Thompson bowl gouge to the Benjamin's Best, no question -- but it was a lot more expensive. I also prefer my Sorby Fluted Parting Tool but again, there's a price difference to consider.
 

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The only difference I can find in the flat skew vs the oval skew is in sharpening and peeling cuts. I find the oval skew harder to sharpen with some jigs. If you sharpen by hand or sharpen with the Oneway jig there isn't any difference.
What I call a peeling cut is when you lay the skew flat on the tool rest and use is somewhat like a parting tool The oval skew wants to roll when you do this. The flat skew doesn't. I don't find any difference in rolling beads with the two tools.
Here's my video where i discuss that somewhat.
 

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The only difference I can find in the flat skew vs the oval skew is in sharpening and peeling cuts. I find the oval skew harder to sharpen with some jigs. If you sharpen by hand or sharpen with the Oneway jig there isn't any difference.
What I call a peeling cut is when you lay the skew flat on the tool rest and use is somewhat like a parting tool The oval skew wants to roll when you do this. The flat skew doesn't. I don't find any difference in rolling beads with the two tools.
Here's my video where i discuss that somewhat.
Skew varieties - YouTube
Enjoyed your video. Nice job.:smile:
 

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john lucas said:
If you sharpen by hand or sharpen with the Oneway jig]
John, could you link to the jig you are referring to? I recently bought a 1.25" Sorby oval skew and I'm having trouble sharpening it. I have the wolverine with the skew attachment and the oval portion it rocks on the wheel and I can't get a good straight sharp end. It ends up being concave. Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.

Mark
 

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The only suggestion I can make is to simply don't grind where the low spots are and grind where you need to change it. The Oneway jig requires much more attention to the grind than my homemade jig.
I have 2 videos that might help. ONe is on sharpening problems and one is sharpening tips. I think the second one is the one with the jigs I use for sharpening the oval skew.

 

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sorry I dabble in everything I have made pens but am working now on peppermills and several bowls, I would like to replace several tools I am looking for 2 skews and a parting tool all worn down I will check out rocklers and the sorby what is a oval skew used for? thanks for the reply
Visit the link I posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks to everyone who posted comments I went with the WoodRiver brand oval and just received them, they look and feel good but are much longer than my previous tools 16 inches, is this an advantage for better control, again thanks to everyone who posted reply's
 

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16" is roughly normal for most tools. I do have a bunch of short ones that I use for small stuff but you can still turn small work with longer tools. I like the control I get with long tools because I put the handle next to my body and use my body to control the cut not my hands. I read a perfect description of this in a magazine last night. He said it's like Tai Chi where everything flows. You anchor your feet and then everything else flows or sways in a very controlled fashion. Works for me.
 
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