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stuck with a skew

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condeesteso

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Hi all - I'm a novice turner (make furniture and sometimes it needs the odd round bit). Coronet, a few tools, a chuck, and a danger to myself. I do realise I should do a day or so course, but on the off-chance, anyone local to me (Sevenoaks) that would offer to give me an hour teach-in - on the skew in particular??

Big ask but worth a try - I will certainly repay the favour in a way we find works (dollars then :lol: :lol: )
 

nev

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hi, should nobody be forthcoming with an offer of tuition, instead of the usual links to youtube vids of somebody using a skew properly, heres a link to a previous post of mine with video of someone who doesnt know what they were doing (me :D ) followed by the suggestions on what to do to improve. =D>
and , even if i say so myself, it worked. i am now fairly confident with the skew, make pens start to finish with just the skew (including roughing!).when-using-the-skew-t52562.html?hilit=%20skew
might be worth a look, or maybe you could do the same?
hth
 

Aled Dafis

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Sorry, I'm too far away, but the best advice I ever received when using the skew was to only ever use the first quarter inch on the "short" side of the cutting edge when learning.

I also find the skew much easier to control if it's ground with a curved edge - think smiley face. I'll take a photo of my skew later on so you can see what I mean. My skews are all oval pattern, which are supposed to be easier to use also, I've never used a square one so can't compare.

I was teaching three of my school kids to use the skew last week and they did very well indeed, I was amazed that they got no catches whatsoever.

Once you master the skew, it'll be your no. one tool, the finish it gives is amazing.

Cheers
Aled
 

condeesteso

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Thanks Nev and Aled... Sorry but how do I get the actual video link?? I'll view the video closely and keep practicing. It's just that of all the tools, when that one goes wrong it does it in a bug way! I am determined to master it anyway. Will report back re progress. And Aled, are you still making the infill kits??
 

DaveyP

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Hi Douglas

I feel your pain... lol

No matter how much reading or watching vids I did, I found the the skew to be one of the hardest of tools to get to grips with..

After catch after catch after catch I slung it in the corner and got a 'Spindlemaster' now that's a great tool, and the funny thing is that
it taught me the method and can now use the original skew quite nicely.

However.. thinking about it and to help with the learning curve and to save buying a Spindlemaster, I'd suggest grinding the corners back
a touch until you have mastered it...
 

condeesteso

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Thanks all - I have looked at the videos now and may be brave enough to try another cylinder. I have a feeling as an outsider that the skew is a bit like a woodturning right of passage. I can handle blades that cut wood and I do cut a lot of wood, but not normally when it's moving... I am fairly determined to crack this. And I may have found some help.
You're a good lot, you turners.
 

Jonzjob

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Douglas you said "You're a good lot, you turners." It's a case of bin-there-done-that and anyone that tells you different is either a liar or leaves a hole in a bucket of water when he takes his hand out!! :mrgreen:

The skew is a sod when you start and because of its basic shape is not forgiving, BUT don't let it frighten you away and the best way to master it is to get in touch with a local club/turner and get them to show you.

You can learn on your own but so much easier with help, so contact the Kent Woodturners and welcome to the slippery side of wood mate!
 

condeesteso

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Thank you all - Jumps has volunteered a brief teach-in, and I am certain that a real live demo (might even get a go, but stand well back) will help me across the line, so I can then practice alone knowing where I am trying to get to with it. The videos are good but i suspect there are nuances in exactly how it's held, angles etc which it's hard to get from vids or books.
Anyway I am sure the skew is a great tool in competent hands... so I'll give it a good shot.
Thanks again, if I manage to produce a good cylinder soon (or 4 matching newel posts :lol: ) I'll post!
 

Blister

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condeesteso":17yu7dhw said:
Thank you all - Jumps has volunteered a brief teach-in, and I am certain that a real live demo (might even get a go, but stand well back) will help me across the line, so I can then practice alone knowing where I am trying to get to with it. The videos are good but i suspect there are nuances in exactly how it's held, angles etc which it's hard to get from vids or books.
Anyway I am sure the skew is a great tool in competent hands... so I'll give it a good shot.
Thanks again, if I manage to produce a good cylinder soon (or 4 matching newel posts :lol: ) I'll post!

If you are new to turning it may be better to use a roughing gouge to turn cylinders , once you get some miles under your belt with gouges then move on too the skew ?
 

condeesteso

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Hi Blister - I've practiced a fair bit with the roughing gouge and at least I feel safe with it! Keith Rowley's book has helped, have managed reasonable hollows and rounds in 2" ash with no nasty accidents - well, there was just the small one, where the tool skidded the wrong way starting a hollow. I hope I am ready to try the skew properly as it will be very useful to me (mainly spindle work I expect). We shall soon see !
 

Jonzjob

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I agree with Blister at getting it round before using the skew. Later, it's OK, but a bit daunting when you have square bits flying round and you get a dig :shock:

Then once you have got the right handed, or which ever you are? Then it's a veru good idea to persever and get t he other hand too. It can save you trying to stand in some very peculiar positions :mrgreen: . I'm fine both ways until it gets to complicated shapes, then it's good fun :? :?

Practice makes perfect, eventually :D
 

jumps

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condeesteso":2dt8kq7h said:
Thank you all - Jumps has volunteered a brief teach-in, and I am certain that a real live demo (might even get a go, but stand well back) will help me across the line, so I can then practice alone knowing where I am trying to get to with it. The videos are good but i suspect there are nuances in exactly how it's held, angles etc which it's hard to get from vids or books.
Anyway I am sure the skew is a great tool in competent hands... so I'll give it a good shot.
Thanks again, if I manage to produce a good cylinder soon (or 4 matching newel posts :lol: ) I'll post!
something clearly got lost in the translation earlier #-o but I'll come round for a cup of tea and we will take it from there!
the problem with the various videos is a little like golf - there are lots of ways of doing it that work, but they all share a few key elements which aren't necessarily obvious when watching! KR's masterstroke was in the explanation of his 'laws' which cut through the other bits.

we could also head over to Aylesford Tuesday evening if you are free, but I'm not sure the lathes will be out as there is a lot of preparation for the second sale of the year at the end of the week to be done.
 

condeesteso

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sincere thanks to all of you for the excellent advice and support. I would not dare round a square blank with the skew...! I feel almost safe with a roughing gouge, but am keen to get on the right side of a skew in order to go forward and feel some degree of competence. Anyway Jumps is going to help... we may have 'stories' to share with you all soon, and our respecitve versions of events might differ :lol: .
 

robo hippy

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A friend who mostly turns bowls said last night at our club meeting that a skew is good for sticking in a post and hanging rolls of tape on. Had to laugh at that one.

robo hippy
 

bosshogg

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Good luck mate, when I started out all our lathe work was done with scrapers, made from old fettling files, of which there was an abundant supply. I now use gouges and a skew chisels which I self taught myself, but a recent re-watched Woodwright Shop episode - 2605 Windsor Highchair With Curtis Buchanan, Part 1 - where the guy really demonstrates the way to use the skew chisel...bosshogg :)
Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.

Judy Garland 
 

jumps

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bosshogg":csyentpk said:
Good luck mate, when I started out all our lathe work was done with scrapers, made from old fettling files, of which there was an abundant supply. I now use gouges and a skew chisels which I self taught myself, but a recent re-watched Woodwright Shop episode - 2605 Windsor Highchair With Curtis Buchanan, Part 1 - where the guy really demonstrates the way to use the skew chisel...bosshogg :)
indeed - one of my all time favorites; for those that missed it.........or whose interest is being spurred

http://flash.unctv.org/woodwrightss/wws_2605.html

as with a lot of this spindle work the 1/2" skew seems to be the tool of choice here.
 

Sawyer

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Aled Dafis":l7udayup said:
My skews are all oval pattern, which are supposed to be easier to use also, I've never used a square one so can't compare.
If learning the skew chisel, Keith Rowley is as usual, excellent. Try practising at low speeds, as any catches won't be half as frightening. When you get the hang of it, increasing the speed will lead to a better finish. Sharpening is very important with skews - a properly flat or concave bevel is essential.

I reckon square ones are better for rolling beads, which I found the most difficult thing to learn. My first skew was an 1.1/4" oval, which makes smoothing cylinders pretty easy (nice and wide, so easy to keep the deadly top corner well clear). After many a failed bead, I bought an 1/2" square and immediately had much more success. I also find the square better for V cuts.

Anyone tried a round skew for making beads? Never used one, but I suspect that for beads, it may be the ultimate?
 

Aled Dafis

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Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, this thread had completely slipped my mind. Here's a pic of my 3/4" oval Skew (not that it matters, but mine is a Robert Sorby)



The advice given to me by my tutor was to grind this curved shape, and while gaining confidence, only to use the portion coloured in blue. Obviously when you're more experienced you can proceed to use the rest of the tool, but the risk of catches is greatly reduced if you stick to the first 1/4" (ish). I also use a cone drive centre at school as I find it much safer where catches are expected, the wood just stops turning as opposed to making a mess of your work and/or jumping at you! Spectacular catches are no good for confidence building!!

I've been meaning to produce a couple of videos on spindle turning for beginners, but am not quite sure where to start, I have the camcorder, but it's the editing that I'm not so sure about.

Cheers
Aled
 

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