Turning Archive 2004

Subject:
skews

John Lucas
>I just read the article by Nick Cook and Alan Lacer in the Journal and would like to continue the discussion here to get other opinions. Great article.

I use mostly an oval skew. I like the way it rolls beads because the pivot point stays near the center. I agree with Alan that it can be hard to sharpen because it wants to roll on the sharpening tables. I use the Oneway system to establish my grind and this uses the handle to control the cut so it doesn't matter whether it's oval or flat it's still up to the user to establish the initial grind.

I don't own a 3/8 thick skew and would like opinions on Alans thoughts that the skew vibrates less. I do own a really big skew, almost 1/2" thick and 2 1/2" wide. It doesn't vibrate but I haven't tried it on a long thin spindle to see if it chatters less. I think the wood vibrates more than the skew on that type of turning but I haven't actually done a side by side comparison.

Alan mentioned that the oval skews are flimsy and can be flexed in your hand. I don't believe mine fits in that category. It's quite stiff. probably not as stiff as a 3/8" skew but seems quite adequate to me.

He also says it's unstable with the toe down. I do a huge amount of turning with the toe down and don't find it unstable at all.

I don't have any problems with the flat skew. At least not one with the bottom rounded. To me they perform about the same with the exception of planing cuts. It does require more concentration with the oval skew but not impossible. I do it all the time. I did have problems with the flat skew with square bottom on the heel side. The pivot piont moves as you roll a bead and takes a lot more concentration. The oval skew or flat skew with rounded bottom works much better for beads.

Just wanted to get some opinions from other skew users. I'm always willing to learn.

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