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Pain in the A$$
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I currently have a 3/4" oval skew that I'm getting better with, but I still seem to snag the heel. It was recommended to me by several turners that I might benefit from a wider skew as the heel is farther away from the typical contact point. With that, I was thinking a 1 1/4" or a 1 3/8" skew. I am stuck between a flat sided skew or an oval one. Also, I have several Sorby tools, but any "quality" HSS made from good steel will work for me. So, I'm looking for some input for you'all...

1. Do you prefer oval or flat sided skews? Why?

2. What are some good online sources of reasonably priced skews?

Mark
 

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In theory a rounded edge skew is easier for rolling beads - assuming you can use a skew to roll beads that is. I am not good at beads with my 3/4in screw. I have better luck with my small spindle gouge or my beading/parting tool.

Not all companies make 1 1/4in or 1 3/8in skews.

Packard Toolworks sells a 1 1/4in skew with their name on, not sure who actually makes it.
http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Mer...re_Code=packard&Category_Code=tools-pkrd-resc

If you can afford a Doug Thompson tool, he has some of the best steel around.

http://thompsonlathetools.com/pricelist.asp
 

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If your getting catches it's because your are coming off the bevel. Not catching the heel. I thought that myself for a long time but after 20 years or more of using the skew, and I mean all kinds of skews, I know it's not catching the heel.
there's been a lot of talk about wider skews not getting catches because the toe or heel is further form the wood. It's not true, it's letting the cut get above the center line of the skew and then it twists the skew and pulls the long point into the wood.
I frequently cut with just the toe or heel and they don't kick back. Why, because I'm on the bevel. It does kick back sometimes. Why, because I came off the bevel. It's that simple.
Curved edge skews have some advantages for certain cuts. I experimented with 17 different skews over the last 5 years and they all cut, convex grinds, concave grinds, oval skews, flat skews, curved edge, etc. They all work. The one you practice with the most is the one that will work best for you. I can't find a strong advantage of any one over the other except for certain cuts here and there.
Feel free to watch all my skew videos. go to www.youtube.com and type in John60lucas skews and it will bring up all my skew videos.
 

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Hi I would not spend a cent on another skew until you have identified the problem. I have 3 skews two oval and one flat all 1+'' and would not be with out for spindle work. Try putting the tool rest a little lower and rest the tool on its side with the long point down and the heel up.The middle section of the cutting edge should be a tad above the center line. The bevel must rub at all times. Do a dry run first that is lathe off and turn work piece by hand do this till you get a shaving which should happen if your tool is sharp. Set speed that is appropeate for the diameter of the work piece and that you are comfortable with. switch on lathe and make shavings. Hope this is of help. Regards Tambotie
 

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Hi Mark,
First a short story.
When I first stated I was having a heck of a time with the skew so I ask for help. The point made to me was to cut between the center and the heel. Never let any point get into the wood and get a catch.

Can’t tell you how long I tried to make a V cut without using a point.:icon_redface:

So, for people to help you more data is needed.
What size stock are you turning?.
What type cut?: V, planning, bead, pommel, or other. (I leave a cove to the spindle gouge.)
Are you getting a “catch” where you tear a chunk out of the wood or are you getting a “spiral/skate/screw-thread which runs along the length?
There may be several ways to achieve a particular cut, all with the same results.
Type skew is up to you. I use a flat with the edges rounded slightly to not dig in to the tool rest, once you are 1-2 degrees off flat on the tool rest you are on a curve anyway.
1+ for John’s videos on youtube.
Mike
 

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Pain in the A$$
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all of the comments. I was able to pick up some scraps so I can practice with my skew. I still plan on getting a wider one, & I think I'll look for a flat side one.

The video links are helpful as well. I've seen some of them, just forgot though. For some reason I never seem to look at you tube stuff.
 

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I would also add to not limit yourself to "skews". Scrapers are the same thing with a different grind.
Here are three at Packard as comparisons.
3/8 X 1-1/2 $83.50
http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=packard&Category_Code=tools-pkrd-hdsks
1/4 X 1” $48.95
http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=packard&Category_Code=tools-pkrd-ss
Lacer 3/8 X 1-3/8 $124.95
http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=packard&Category_Code=tools-lacer


I was able to pick up three of the bowl scrapers which cut from right to left at $40 each from a different supplier. These were UK made HSS and 3/8 X 1-1/2. So only losing about 1/4" in length and about an hour fine tuning I had mega skew and two scrapers for about the price of one.
 

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I hate to say it but scrapers are not the same thing unless you only use the skew laying flat on it's side as a scraper. A skew is a bevel rubbing tools that gives a clean cut. A scraper is not a bevel rubbing tool and is used to scrape the wood. Not as clean a cut.
 

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I hate to say it but scrapers are not the same thing unless you only use the skew laying flat on it's side as a scraper. A skew is a bevel rubbing tools that gives a clean cut. A scraper is not a bevel rubbing tool and is used to scrape the wood. Not as clean a cut.
My understanding of NCPaladin's post is that he started with scrapers but re-ground them into skews (hence the "losing about 1/4" in length and about an hour fine tuning")
 

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Yea you can regrind scrapers. I often regrind old tools into something more useful. Of course I also make my own from High carbon steel and HSS planer blades.
 

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Pain in the A$$
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
John Lucas, I had some time today so I checked out a few more of your you tube videos. Apparently I had already subscribed to your stuff so it was easy to find. Some good info. I also looked around a few other sites and saw some more good stuff.

I think my next step will be to cut some strips and practice with my current skew, while I look for a good larger one.

Mark
 
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