Sharpening an Oval Skew Pointers?

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TonyL

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I am starting to enjoy turning with a skew, albeit learning slowly. I would like to know how you would sharpen a 3/4 inch Robert Sorby oval skew.

Please indicate your choice of grinder, wheels, and any jigs. I was looking to keep all under $300. If I am smoking skinny cigarettes...just let me know :).

Thank you.
 
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Dan Masshardt

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You know what I do - diamond hone.

If I was going to do something more aggressive if use a belt sander.

I don't ever use my grinder / jigs for the oval skew. If I was going to use it I'd prob freehand it

If you aren't planning to get gouges and other HSS, the grinding setup is a waste of money, IMO.
 

TonyL

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Thank you Dan, and I plan on doing that. Then I heard that it should be sharpened in something more aggressive, so I thought I would ask others. BTW, I love both the spindle master and the oval skew - thanks for the recommendations! So what sander would you get?
 

NittanyLion

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I use my bench too belt sander, with a worn out 120 grit belt. I use a black sharpie to color each edge so I know material was removed. All is done freehand. After that, I have 3 different stones for final sharpening and honing. I re-hone quite a bit, usually 2-3 times per blank. I turn my blanks 100% with my oval skew, from nocking corners off to final shaping. Hope this helps!
 

its_virgil

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I use the Wolverine system and with the skew jig and bring my ovals, flat skews and round ones the same way. I also have several skews ground with a convex bevel instead of hollow ground (concave bevel) and really like using them also.The convex bevel seems to hold an edge longer than the hollow ground.
Do a good turn daily!
Don
'
 

KenV

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Tony -- I have a 3/4 Sorby oval skew that I like to use. I freehand sharpen it from a RoboRest - was using a seeded gel wheel but went to Cubic Boron Nitride.

I use a Lacer style curved edge and only hit the wheel to it a few times a year -- diamond or CBN hones are used until it is time to reform the edge.

I was impressed with the skew sharpening style of Eli Avisera -- his style is to use a convex edge rather than the traditional concave grind.

Bottom like is I use a more convex shape - hone and use the skew a lot.

I hope to get the coins together and take one of his classes at Canyon Studio in Texas.
 

monophoto

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Tony

My skews are all of the straight variety, but my approach to sharpening is about the same as everyone else. I use a sander if I need to do any serious reshaping. In my case, I have a 5" sanding disc that I mount on my lathe that I use for the purpose.

But day to day sharpening is done with a diamond card. With the card on the ways of my lathe, I rub the face of the skew bevel on the card in a circular motion with my finger lightly pressing the bevel against the hone. I also add a lubricant to the card - I keep a bottle of water in the shop to which I've added a couple of drips of dishwashing detergent that is a perfect lubricant for diamond hones.
 

TonyL

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All good stuff especially the article. I will have to re-read. I am leaning toward the sander. I presently have a medium and fines stones (for knives) and this thing which I bought to extend the life of my carbide cutters (which I am looking to ditch). Is this a diamond card: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41hWgLlRRiL.jpg

Ken, I have to do more research on your method. I am looking forward to learning more about it.

Thanks to all!
 

monophoto

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Close - that's more properly called a 'diamond stone'. However, you can also use a diamond stone, an oil stone, or Japanese water stones.

A diamond card is a small piece of metal (steel) about the size of a credit card with diamond abrasive fused to the faces. I bought mine at PSI, but most supply houses carry them.

Alternatively, diamond hones are also available as 'paddles' - small diamond-coated metal plates on plastic handles. I find the credit card size to be more convenient than paddles for sharpening skews. But paddles are very handy for sharpening drill bits, especially Forstner bits.
 

eliasbboy

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Thanks Michael: This one: http://www.amazon.com/Work-Sharp-WS...TF8&qid=1417745534&sr=8-7&keywords=work+sharp

And which tool bar and can it sharpen oval skews (it says it can)?

Thank you!
That's it. Here's the tool bar. With it you can use many if not all of the Tormek Jigs.

http://www.amazon.com/Work-Sharp-WSSA0002601-WS3000-Attachment/dp/B006MQ5CQ8

I forgot to mention I too use an oval skew. I've tried every kind and just feel much more comfortable with the oval.

This is the Tormek jig I use:

http://www.amazon.com/Tormek-SVS-50...id=1417746984&sr=1-1&keywords=tormek+skew+jig

It will do roughing gouges as well, tho I don't use it for those. I found changing the angle setting was too difficult for me to get a constant result. I now keep the angle locked and just slip the skew in to the proper depth and hit the Work Sharp.

I use this:

http://www.amazon.com/Tormek-TTS-10...id=1417746984&sr=1-3&keywords=tormek+skew+jig

to set the depth, but only because I own a Tormek T-3. While that does a fine job of sharpening, it just takes FOREVER. I can touchup and hone with the Work Sharp in minutes. I was able to completely reshape 3 old skews and step all the way to honing in less an hour.
 
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I have the Work Sharp, too. For my flat skews I built a jig that holds them at the angles I want. Easy. Haven't figured out how to do that with the oval skew. So I have to do it "old school" (freehand). Even though I don't get the exact same angles each time I haven't noticed anything I don't like.
 

TonyL

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Thank you, so we are sure that it does oval skews? It is presently the only one that I have (other than a spindle master, which I sharpen on a stone and diamond stone). I have the budget. I just want to make sure I am getting the right stuff given the tools and experience that I have (not your problem, mine :) ). One of the reviewers said it "stinks for skews). Do I need to buy sanding disks? If so, which ones? Thanks again; sorry for the 1,001 questions.
 

Dale Allen

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I have a question concerning the article and this thread.
Why do the skew surfaces need to be flattened?
I sharpen freehand on a slow speed 8" wheel and have never flattened mine before use. All I do is remove the burr.
Just curious!
 

eliasbboy

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It would probably be difficult for skews without the toolbar attachment, but it definitely DEFINITELY works with oval skews using the add ons I have. I actually have my oval skew sitting in the dining room. I brought it in after sharpening yesterday to show my wife how it shaves the hair off my arm. :)

She of course only commented on how stupid I was going to look it I kept shaving patches of hair to show off how sharp my tool was.:biggrin:

Work Sharp sells flat glass wheels and their own brand of adhesive backed discs. I've used theirs with excellent results, and in a pinch I've used regular adhesive 6" discs and cut my own center hole with no trouble whatsoever.

Thank you, so we are sure that it does oval skews? It is presently the only one that I have (other than a spindle master, which I sharpen on a stone and diamond stone). I have the budget. I just want to make sure I am getting the right stuff given the tools and experience that I have (not your problem, mine :) ). One of the reviewers said it "stinks for skews). Do I need to buy sanding disks? If so, which ones? Thanks again; sorry for the 1,001 questions.
 

KenV

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All good stuff especially the article. I will have to re-read. I am leaning toward the sander. I presently have a medium and fines stones (for knives) and this thing which I bought to extend the life of my carbide cutters (which I am looking to ditch). Is this a diamond card: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41hWgLlRRiL.jpg

Ken, I have to do more research on your method. I am looking forward to learning more about it.

Thanks to all!
I think Don Ward and I are singing in similar choirs ---
 

ed4copies

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All good stuff especially the article. I will have to re-read. I am leaning toward the sander. I presently have a medium and fines stones (for knives) and this thing which I bought to extend the life of my carbide cutters (which I am looking to ditch). Is this a diamond card: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41hWgLlRRiL.jpg

Ken, I have to do more research on your method. I am looking forward to learning more about it.

Thanks to all!
I think Don Ward and I are singing in similar choirs ---
There's an awful lot of knowledge and experience in that duet!
 

jsolie

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I use a diamond hone.

I've put it on my slow speed grinder once. I have the Wolverine system, but not the skew attachment. I used the tool rest/table and the thing rocked back and forth a little bit. It didn't come out faceted like a large gemstone, but it was close. :redface: That was probably last year.

Since then, it's been only with the hone. It might be close to getting to a point where some light grinding might be required, but things are still going okay with it.
 

Cmiles1985

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It's all about the angle you want :)
I sharpen my oval skew at 15 degrees on a WS3000 with the tool bar attachment and a Tormek jig. I'd say it was definitely worth the investment since I never truly had a sharp tool before. I'll be ordering a diamond card file soon for quick honing. For now, I just freehand on one of the higher grits on the WS in between actual sharpening.
 

its_virgil

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Yep! The convex grind I mentioned is the same as the grind used by Eli Avisera that Ken also mentioned. I saw a T V show about the weapons and the section on swords mentioned the sharpest and most efficient sword has a convex bevel and they explained how that edge was a harder edge, held the edge better than other edge geometries and was overall better than others. I

I find the convex grind skews do perform quite well and seem to catch less that others. I have suggested this grind to many who have difficulty with hollow ground skews and the success rate of their skew usage has increased.
Do a good turn daily!
Don

http://zknives.com/images/knives/knifeedgetypes.jpg

I think Don Ward and I are singing in similar choirs ---
 

TonyL

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Good Stuff! I happen to stumble upon a Captn' Eddie video last night about sharpening oval skews; it was excellent (and funny!). He used the same diamond stone that I have. I am going to watch it again.
 

randyrls

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Good Stuff! I happen to stumble upon a Captn' Eddie video last night about sharpening oval skews; it was excellent (and funny!). He used the same diamond stone that I have. I am going to watch it again.
Tony; Capt'n Eddie did a video on how to convert a belt sander for sharpening both skews and gouges.

I always prefer to use a flat grind on a skew, it makes the skew less grabby.
 
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TonyL

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Thank you! I love his videos..they are informative and entertaining. He is such a good man.

My challenges are:

I am new to pen turning, but have made close to 300 since March(mostly acrylics, just getting into woods now).
I am very new to skews; I still use round carbide for the very last thousandths of an inch.
I know the skews will have to be sharpened, and I don't want to mess them up.

On the positive side, I do have a reasonable budget, but don't want to buy way more than I will need. I don't have to have the best (I don't have the best), but I don't want to buy "junk" which I know is a relative term.

I am floored by how much all know, and how little I do.
 

Fay Prozora

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I sat here and watched a lot of Capt Eddies vids last night as I could not get to sleep. They are so funny and he makes a lot of sense. I was watching one he did on making a jig similar to the wolverine jig and I'm going to try to make some thing like that. Next payday I will get a good sharpening system for my tools. That will be my late Christmas present to myself. I spent just about all of my money on bills and bought my sister a pressure cooker and me some wood and tools. I ordered a nice skew chisel and it came in a two set thing. I like the feel of a new tool and I needed these. My little skew for pen turning is a bit too small for those larger things I want to turn. Right now I have a stone to sharpen mine on but will just keep that on hand for a miner touch up when the tools need it. I have a little bitty stone about the size of a credit card and that works great for those kinds of touch ups. But we do need to keep our tools nice and sharp and looking great. They will last longer and give you a nicer cut... Looking forward to getting a new sharpening system so I'm leaning to the Wolverine sharpening system... Fay
 

GaryMGg

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I really enjoyed the Demystifying Sharpening DVD by Kirk DeHeer.
I also think it answers all your questions--not trying to be smart, I just highly recommend it.
 

Fay Prozora

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Yes I enjoy watching his vids. So sorry about his health issues and such but when ever I look at his vids, my eyes wonder all over his shop. He has so much in there too but it looks like a small shop like mine. He sure knows a lot of stuff and has a wealth of information and gives it to use so freely. Wonderful man... My prayers are still going up for him and his family... Fay
 

TonyL

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Hi Frank: I read the reviews on this product and just like all of the reviews of other products, some love it and some hate it. I had my heart set on using CBN wheels to do my sharpening so I went with the slow speed grinder and two CBN wheels (and one way system, and robo hippy platform. In the end, given my sharpening skills, anything that I chose was going to cost me about $450 to $600. While I really like the CBN wheels and have all of the jigs, I would probably buy the Sorby. However, I find myself sharpening on anything motorized very seldom now. I restore the edge on my chisels using a CBN card that D-Way sells or the light weight one that Trend sells. FWIW. Enjoy the research..I didn't LOL.
 

JimB

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Work Sharp WS3000 Wood Tool Sharpener....

I'm giving thought to buying one. Strictly for skews. Owners...Any regrets or would you buy it again. Thanks.
What do you currently sharpen your skews on? For skews I do what Tony does. I hone them on a credit card style diamond card not sharpen on a wheel.
 

JoeCallahan

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I use the Wolverine system and with the skew jig and bring my ovals, flat skews and round ones the same way. I also have several skews ground with a convex bevel instead of hollow ground (concave bevel) and really like using them also.The convex bevel seems to hold an edge longer than the hollow ground.
Do a good turn daily!
Don
'
I've found that the easiest way to get a nice convex edge on any tool is by taking the platten off of a belt sander and slack sanding the edge.
 

TonyL

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For skews I do what Tony does. I hone them on a credit card style diamond card not sharpen on a wheel.
_________________
_

I actually do sharpen on the 8 inch CBN wheels. However, I practiced using a the CBN and diamond card and find myself relying less on the wheels.
 
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