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Old 01-02-2017, 01:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Difficulty getting "smooth" with skew?

Of course I'm new with question like this but working on it...
I see video's with turners going from skew directly to 320 or 500 grit sand paper. I can't get close to that and have tried 1500 to over 3000 rpm on pen blank. I've tried slowing horizontal movement and taking "lighter " cuts. That helped and I don't get the little chunks coming out. But, I still have to start with 80 grit and work my way up.
Would appreciate any tips for me to practice. Or, what are common mistakes that I'm likely making?

Thanks,
Regis
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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For some reason, I don't think the following is the complete solution to your problem but it could be a part of the problem:

"What is always left out of any comparison of tool finishes is the wood. All things being equal, shear scraping can leave a better surface finish than a skew chisel on the very hard dense and close grained species, but it can't come anywhere close on everything else.

If you really want to see the extreme differences, try using a both scraper and skew on Cocobolo, Blackwood, or Desert Ironwood. You will find that the scraper might be the better tool for these very hard species. At the opposite extreme, the scraper will be a disaster on a soft wood like Douglas Fir or Pine, while a sharp skew can leave a smooth clean cut and polished surface that doesn't need sanding
." The late Russ Fairfield, on IAP.
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Without seeing what you are doing I don't know if we can give advice.

One thing I will tell you is that the skew needs to be extremely well sharpened to get proper cuts. I am always honing my skews. Of all the tools the skew is the most important to get an extremely good edge on, IMO. How are you sharpening your skew?
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by JimB View Post
Without seeing what you are doing I don't know if we can give advice.

One thing I will tell you is that the skew needs to be extremely well sharpened to get proper cuts. I am always honing my skews. Of all the tools the skew is the most important to get an extremely good edge on, IMO. How are you sharpening your skew?
Sharpening is definitely a possibility. I have a Rikon slow speed and Wolverine adapter kit but, all new and learning to use.

How high do you hold the skew....in middle or up higher on the turning wood?

Thanks,
Regis
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Common problems; Skew not sharp. Shew should be able to cut paper like a knife.

Cutting with bevel rubbing. This is a must for the best result.

Cut incorrect.
Scraping cut; flat on tool rest, but this gives worst finish
Plane cut; bottom bevel rubbing on work surface. Medium finish.
Shear cut; point of skew above work and bevel rubbing. Best Finish.

Note: When doing a Shear cut NEVER allow the point to touch the wood! Cut only with the bottom 1/3 of the cutting surface.

Grind incorrect.
Hollow grind from grinder. Grabby, but most sharp of the grinds.
Flat grind. This is the way most skews are ground new in the store.
Convex grind. Easiest to control, but not sharpest. Least grabby.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RegisG View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimB View Post
Without seeing what you are doing I don't know if we can give advice.

One thing I will tell you is that the skew needs to be extremely well sharpened to get proper cuts. I am always honing my skews. Of all the tools the skew is the most important to get an extremely good edge on, IMO. How are you sharpening your skew?
Sharpening is definitely a possibility. I have a Rikon slow speed and Wolverine adapter kit but, all new and learning to use.

How high do you hold the skew....in middle or up higher on the turning wood?

Thanks,
Regis
I also have a slow speed grinder and the Wolverine. I don't use the skew jig. I use the platform. But what really makes a difference is what you do next. The skew is not REALLY sharp yet. I then use a diamond hone to get it really sharp. Mine is one of the credit card styles, 600 grit. Then, when turning and at the first sign it doesn't have that super sharp edge, I hone again without going to the grinder. You can keep honing without going to the grinder for days, weeks, even months depending on how much you use your skew.

The other issue you may have is the bevel angle. Mine was at about 35 degrees. Much to steep. It is now at about 25*. This was done by extending the bevel back further. It takes some grinding on the coarser wheel.

I hold my skew up high on the wood. Almost at the top. Use light cuts.

I'll point out that I struggled with the skew for 6 or so years until a VERY experienced turner from the local club invited me to his shop. He properly grinded my skews to the correct shape and then showed me how to properly sharpen and hone them. He then gave me hands on lessons for all the cuts you can do with a skew. After about 4.5 hours learning and practicing in his shop I was able to properly do the all the cuts, repeating them over and over, without problems. For me I was not a natural with the skew.
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randyrls View Post
Common problems; Skew not sharp. Shew should be able to cut paper like a knife.

Cutting with bevel rubbing. This is a must for the best result.

Cut incorrect.
Scraping cut; flat on tool rest, but this gives worst finish
Plane cut; bottom bevel rubbing on work surface. Medium finish.
Shear cut; point of skew above work and bevel rubbing. Best Finish.

Note: When doing a Shear cut NEVER allow the point to touch the wood! Cut only with the bottom 1/3 of the cutting surface.

Grind incorrect.
Hollow grind from grinder. Grabby, but most sharp of the grinds.
Flat grind. This is the way most skews are ground new in the store.
Convex grind. Easiest to control, but not sharpest. Least grabby.

Hope this helps.
That's a lot of help for sure. I'm "guessing" that the bevel is the part of the skew just behind the edge??
I have barely touched sharpening but, I do understand hollow ground and will work on that.

Thank you very much.
Regis
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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The skew is the best tool to use when turning pens. I many times go right from the skew to a finish and skip sanding all together. I have shown a few examples of that and if i had I would have had cross contamination of woods because I do a lot of segmenting in my blanks.

One other thing in addition to the advice you got it is important to be able to control the skew with fluid motions. Yes the lower third of the skew is used. Your rest needs to be smooth so that the tool glides right along it and you need to learn to use your finger to support and help it glide. that is why my tool rest is a robust and too I believe the best on the market. I am not putting down others tool rests but those that have the round bars do not work well for me. I have a set of those because I bought them on others recommendations and could not get the hang of them. The center post gets in the way of my finger as I glide it. I really should sell them because I will never use them again.
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Regis, there are a lot of Youtube videos on using the skew.

One that comes to mind is "Meet the Skew with Alan Lacer"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzkCCDgXqtQ

Also try this thread on here:

The skew is killing me!

Also, there are some DVDs you can buy:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=tamin...D8HTjAPzxbigCw
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Regis,
I'll chime in one more time. I think you are on target with the sharpening to solve your problem.

Those new to turning have one definition of sharp while experienced folks have a different one, and it is different. It isn't sharp until it has been honed.

Sharp - will it shave the hair on the arm without pulling on the hair, and gliding over the skin like a razor. Seriously though, I test mine this way. I don't recommend it to just everyone.
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