Turning a square blank to round?

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Woodchipper

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I have made a bunch of pens and wondered that after turning to round, if anyone used a 1/4 inch parting tool to take off the majority of material and then turn to dimension? May not be any faster than using a roughing gouge. Curious.
 
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donstephan

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Can be done. A parting tool only removes wood by peeling or scraping, depending on how you present the tool to the wood. A spindle roughing gouge and skew will scrape or cut depending on how you present the tool to the wood. For me, a spindle roughing gouge is faster at removing wood and if used to make a slicing cut leaves a fairly smooth surface.
 

Charlie_W

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My go to is a 1” spindle roughing gouge used in slicing mode like a skew. Usually, I will use this start to finish. If I need to, I will use a skew for final cuts.
 

Woodchipper

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Thanks for the replies. Need to get some wood and become familiar with the skew. Right now I use a roughing gouge for the whole operation.

An aside- donstephan, we miss Skyline chili!
 

jttheclockman

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Thanks for the replies. Need to get some wood and become familiar with the skew. Right now I use a roughing gouge for the whole operation.

An aside- donstephan, we miss Skyline chili!
If you can learn to use the skew you will not be sorry. It is a great tool for us pen turners because many times you can go right from tool to finish with no sanding. :):)
 

Woodchipper

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John T., thanks. There is a fellow I know who has a video on using the skew. Will review it and practice. Got enough wood to build Abe Lincoln a log cabin.
 

donstephan

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Catches when getting to know the skew can be very demoralizing. Try to find someone to turn the lathe by hand while you experiment the first time with a skew, to gain understanding and confidence presenting the tool to the wood. Some use it first in a peeling cut to bring a blank round, but that can cause chipping in figured wood, angled grain, and perhaps with acrylics and other resins. Ed has some very good videos on his Exotic Blanks web site for turning blanks with lathe tools.
 

vtgaryw

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When I'm doing "production" work (multiples of the same pen) in interest of efficiency, I'll use my roughing gouge to get to round, my carbide to get it to near finish and my skew to finish.

Gary
 

bsshog40

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I agree with using the skew. I get a much better end finish before sanding with the skew. Plus using the 1" skew can also help in keeping a symmetrical shape a lot better.
 
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