Skew success

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mmayo

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Jan 12, 2013
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Finally the last 30 or so wood pens have had a chance to meet my skew. The photos show the usually tough leopardwood shave handle before sanding.l straight from the skew. It feels good to the touch with no ray flakes popped out as can easily happen. A skilled turner from the Antelope Valley Woodturners Club gave the group skew lessons and then coached several of us individually. I was a lucky one to get a private lesson. That lesson plus improvement in my sharpening skills made the difference.

I have much to learn but I’m in the game.
 

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skiprat

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Oct 19, 2006
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In a Skip in Wales
And who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?:biggrin:
I don't have much use for a skew anymore except for opening paint tins.:wink:
Good for you. I never did master it.:redface:
 

mmayo

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Jan 12, 2013
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Tehachapi, CA
And who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?:biggrin:
I don't have much use for a skew anymore except for opening paint tins.:wink:
Good for you. I never did master it.:redface:

I resemble that “old dog” statement and take no offense. I’ve earned the distinction.
 

mmayo

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Jan 12, 2013
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Tehachapi, CA
Cool. Did he teach you point up or down or both ways?
He could do amazing things with a skew and had it in many directions depending on the task. I use the center of the skew and avoid even thinking about touching my blanks so far with either end. I’ll venture farther some time and I’m happy with shaving smoothly across tough wood blanks. Maple burl, leopardwood and crosscut blanks yield to the skew.
 

Charlie_W

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Nov 16, 2011
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Sterling, VA USA
Most excellent!! You and your skew will be best friends for life!
Is it amazing how much having one to one instruction can move one’s progress forward?
 

bsshog40

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Oct 2, 2018
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Midland, Tx
I started using a skew a while back. It does a lot better finish than a spindle gouge. It also helps to keep the blank uniformed as you shape. The more you use it, the better you'll like it.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
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Wolf Creek Montana
How wide is the skew you're using? I have two in my set (never used) one probably an inch wide and one about 1/2 an inch. I'd like to try them out but that pointed tip scares me no end. Thanks for sharing.
 

JimB

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Mar 18, 2008
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West Henrietta, NY, USA.
I had given up on the skew until, like you, someone gave me one on one instruction. The skew is now my friend. You will find the lower point is easy to use now that you are getting comfortable with the tool.
 

bsshog40

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Oct 2, 2018
Messages
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Midland, Tx
How wide is the skew you're using? I have two in my set (never used) one probably an inch wide and one about 1/2 an inch. I'd like to try them out but that pointed tip scares me no end. Thanks for sharing.
I also have one about an inch wide and 1/2" wide. I use both. I sometimes use the larger one if I'm going for a straight even shape, an the 1/2" as I can shape a little better when I don't want straight.
 

mmayo

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Jan 12, 2013
Messages
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Location
Tehachapi, CA
How wide is the skew you're using? I have two in my set (never used) one probably an inch wide and one about 1/2 an inch. I'd like to try them out but that pointed tip scares me no end. Thanks for sharing.
The skew is a moderately expensive 1/2” curved (oval) skew. My grinder has a memory stick to get the distance right and the wolverine system with skew attachment. I sometimes hone it on my worksharp with the leather hone plate. My skew was never sharp enough before getting it correctly set up in the grinder. Now I can finish up 10-20 wood pens before I think about sharpening again. I start with a roughing gouge to get the blank round and reduce the size, then use a square 2” radius EasyWood tool on an angle and finish with the skew. The skew is very nice right up to the TBC bushings. If the wood shows tear out with the EasyWood (very rare) I use the skew sooner.

My humble suggestion: find some junky wood blanks and start trying with your skew; it will be worth the effort. Get it sharp first! Tough wood blanks turn out silky smooth after a few passes with the skew - it’s almost amazing to feel the difference.

Best of luck
 
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