Turning Archive 2005

Learning to use a skew *PIC*

Peter Teubel
>This is the most asked question I receive from my students and fellow club members. While everyone learns differently, I'd like to share with you how I did it.

There's alot to learn from the pioneers of this craft. Rude Osolnik is one of my folk heros, even though I never got a chance to meet the man. One of his famous quotes which I tend to live by is (I may be paraphrasing here, but you'll get the idea...)

Student: "How do I get good on the lathe?"

Rude: "Stand in front of it!"

Simply, yet so true. Practice, practice, practice. When I decided to conquer my fear of the skew, I did just that. After watching Alan Lacer's videos several times, I knew the mechanics in my head. All I had to do was train my hands to obey. I started making snowman Christmas ornaments (article in the AAW journal a few years ago by Nick Cook) and used ONLY the skew....from roughing to finishing. All weekend, I turned and turned....forcing myself to put into play the techniques I saw Alan Lacer demonstrate.

Well, after completing over 150 snowmen, I pretty much had it down pat. Now its second nature. It still requires more attention than any other tool (IMO), but one shouldn't dismiss it as too difficult to learn. All you need is time....and wood.

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