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Old 03-07-2009, 06:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Small Hands

I have small hands and being a woman, find it hard to control the larger tools easily.

It may not be the safest resolution but I've found if I wrap my left pinky around the tool rest post, I get better control, especially with the detail work.

It also helps me keep a straight line using a skew.

Nancy
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I assume you are new to turning (I've been at it about a year). Better control will come with more experience and practice. I'm not even sure I understand what you are doing. If you wrap a pinky around the post how are you moving the tool across the blanK? The tool should glide across the rest and your hands should should both be moving with it. (Actually your whole body should move with it with your hand on the rest sliding along the rest and your hand on the tool handle should hold the handle against your side).

Also, larger tools should be easier to control. They are heavier and will vibrate less and handle catches better.

If you are wrapping your finger around the rest then that is dangerous. If you get a catch the tool could kick and you could end up getting stitches.

Maybe if you give more details about what is happening someone can give you some help.
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Old 03-07-2009, 07:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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IMHO, A skew is the most versatile tool and correctly used - gives the best overall results in most situations. I have not mastered it and just recently started using it. I bought an Alan Lacer DVD and watched that.

Having said that, skews need much more strength to control than scrapers. In my short time with it, I even thought of the "little finger" idea to give more control - But I didn't as I know what the possibilities of injury are. The Skew just wants to vibrate, rotate, or twist - if not in the precise position that only experience teaches and held with a strong grip. Strength and finesse are an almost necessity from the beginning.

I have a round end scraper, flat end scraper and a radius scraper that I shaped to my needs. These tools need much less strength to control, and finesse comes easier as more concentration can be focused on the cut than on the control, as is needed with a skew chisel.
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Lee;

Glad to see you're working on your skewery!! Once you get used to getting the tool into the sweet spot and riding the bevel you will find it takes very little strength to work with it. My guess is that you're digging in a bit more than you need to, which does make it hard to control.

The interesting thing that I've found is that mastering the skew makes you better with all your tools. It must make the turner more sensitive to what the bevel and edge are doing.

Marc
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Old 03-07-2009, 10:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcruby View Post
Lee;

Glad to see you're working on your skewery!! Once you get used to getting the tool into the sweet spot and riding the bevel you will find it takes very little strength to work with it. My guess is that you're digging in a bit more than you need to, which does make it hard to control.

The interesting thing that I've found is that mastering the skew makes you better with all your tools. It must make the turner more sensitive to what the bevel and edge are doing.

Marc
Thanks Marc, for the encouragement. A friend from the Philippines came by a couple of weeks ago and I let him practice by teaching what little I knew with using the skew. He was impressed with how smooth the cuts could be with the skew. I just haven't learned to naturally recognize/feel that sweet spot just yet, nor the fine control from end to end.

I am bringing my blanks to round with a skew though and getting them close.
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I can say that wrapping a finger around a toolrest is a very bad idea. You can break your finger if the cool catches and jerks......
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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after reading several posts on this forum, i bought a Lacer skew. its about 3/8" thick and 1 3/8" wide. really big skew! this was the first time i used one but have mastered it pretty well. i can use it right side up, upside down or as a scraper. this in the last 3 weeks. as for the little finger.......i have no feeling in my little finger since my surgury in janruary so i keep it pretty much out of the way. i have found that the smaller "pen turning skews" are a lot harder to control than the big skew. i have no trouble controling it and neither does my daughter who also has small hands. the Lacer is kinda pricy but well worth it. i bought the rediused skew and have only caught it once on my first try with it. since then.....grrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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While I certainly don't have this level of control, one of the members of my AAW chapter gave a skew demo, and could easily control the skew with one hand and a gentle grip. So if I or any of us gets the tool control to an ideal state it takes no stength at all to use it.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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One of the greatest golfers in history, Bobby Jones, said about how to grip the club, which I think works for turning as well, think as if you were holding a small live bird in your hand, just tight enough to keep it from flying away, but not too tight to harm it.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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when I'm turning, I lay my little finger in the grove of my tool rest, I ground one of my carbide scrapers so it would ride like a skew, (Thanks Marc) I'm still Skew challenged, but that has gotten me closer, I really don't think it would be a good idea to wrap your little finger around the tool post, unless you mean your holding you finger under the tool rest between the back of the rest and the bed of the lathe, That sounds like a good way to get hurt badly.
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