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Re: [MedievalSawdust] Re:lathe: skew technique

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  • kjworz@comcast.net
    OK. Don t use it like Richard Raffan does til you have the basics. I have a little bit of experience and I don t like to risk doing very often what he does
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 22, 2004
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      OK.  Don't use it like Richard Raffan does til you have the basics.  I have a little bit of experience and I don't like to risk doing very often what he does on a regular basis. 
       
      The skew is a hairy beast.  I get catches all the time.  They are just less frequent.  And they were constant til I actually SAW someone demonstrate the usage at a lathe class at my local Woodcraft store.  If you can find someone to instruct you or just show you it may do your learning curve a world of good. 
       
      My tools are a big roughing gouge, a half inch or 3/8th inch spindle gouge, a parting tool, and 1 inch oval cross section skew chisel.  Maybe get a bowl gouge if you are going to do a lot of bowls.  I foolishly bought other tools that are supposed to do fancy things, but the first ones I listed are just fine and really the only ones I use.
       
      Skew specific:
      A skew can be big.  Big skews can do little work, but little skews are more difficult to get to do big work.
       
      When you catch with a skew it's because you either let the heel or toe of the tool get in the cut, or let a lot more lenght of the edge into a cut.  The actual cutting action of a big skew is still only supposed to be a small bit of the edge, 1/16th of an inch.   The cut is a tangent on a circumference of a circle, almost a "point" on an arc
       
      The basic thing I did starting out was JUST the finishing cuts.  Very light.  Bevel rubbing and burnishing what I already cut.  Blade edge almost perpendicular to the axis of the spindle. 
       
      The second basic thing is using the skew to make beads.  This takes hours of practice to get good at.  And it is impossible to explain in words the acrobatics necessary to do this.  THIS is where I get my catches as usually at the bottom of a bead.  If I need to make beads and it's been a couple days since I was last at the lathe I will STILL do some practice beads on some scrap to maximize my chances.   Michael Dunbar has a lathe book that does a decent job showing this.  Not as good as a live demo, but it helped me.
       
      Another thing I learned from Dunbar's book is the peeling technique of his.  This is where he intentionally engages the heel of the skew.  You can control it this way if you are intending to do this and it's not a surprise.  It removes a LOT of waste alone the length of the spindle.
       
      I will use the skew as a waste remover after using the parting tool to make little sections that give the skew room on either side to use IT like a parting tool.  This waste area has to be narrower than the chisel and there must be clearance on either side of the wastes section so the chisel doesn't run into other outside areas.
       
      All this said, I am FAR from a turning expert.  I know enough to get by and know enough to see it can be fun but it is more complex than it looks.  There are much more knowledgeable people out.  Probably on this list.  I defer to them.
       
       
      --
      -Chris Schwartz
      Silver Spring, MD
       
      -------------- Original message --------------

      >
      > >
      > > Message: 4
      > > Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 11:40:48 +0000
      > > Wrom: GSWZIDREXCAXZOWCON
      > > Subject: Re: lathe.. peel/scrape?
      > >
      > > Clarify...
      > >
      > > It sounds like you using the skew as a really wide parting
      > > tool. I see the edge of the parting tool as being
      > > parallel to the wood. I have used a skew this way, but I
      > > am chicken to do too much. It is quite dramatic. But it
      > > is not a finishing cut.
      >
      > I realize that.. but its the way he keeps doing it in the
      > videos, and it hogs off a LOT of wood fast.. he sort of uses
      > it that way, gets in to his desired diameter, then runs it
      > back and forth along the piece to give him his finish
      > diameter. (though not smoothed)
      >
      > >
      > > When I run a skew edge along the length of the piece, THAT
      > > is my finishing up It leaveds a shiny surface like a
      > > surface plane. That's with light cuts. You can also
      > > remove a lot of wood this way, but it requires some
      > > practice and sure handed tool work that comes with
      > > experience. The more experienced you are, the more wood
      > > you can hog off. I get chicken to go TOO aggressive
      > > myself, but my esperience is not even a minute fraction of
      > > Raffan's. Mistake with the skew are indicated by the
      > > dreaded 'catch' when the skew digs in. Bad bad.
      >
      > Thats _all_ I can seem to get it to do.. dig in bad.. I have
      > more pieces of wood that look like they were badly threaded
      > than anything else. Let me ask you this.. when you are using
      > it for that finishing cut, I'm assuming you have it with the
      > bevel rubbing on the already cut part, but the question I
      > have is how angled do you have the skew? near vertical or
      > more like \ as you go along? I'm _awful_ with a skew.. and
      > am trying to learn how to do it right, but all I seem to be
      > doing is destroying wood with it. *sigh*
      >
      > And do you prefer a wider or narrower skew for your
      > finishing cuts? I have a 1/2 and a 1.5 inch skew.. I like
      > the heavier one because it seems easier to control.. but I
      > still get crazy catches when I use it!
      >
      >
      > >
      > > This second way I've heard called 'peeling'
      >
      > Can you describe what you have heard of as "peeling"? That
      > may be the technique I am looking for.
      >
      > Thanks!
      >
      > Maeryk
      >
      > >
      > > Which way are you asking about?
      > >
      > > --
      > > -Chris Schwartz
      > > Silver Spring, MD
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
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