John K Jordan
This young friend wanted to make a wand for a present for a college professor. Her only experience at the lathe was over two years ago when we had one spindle turning lesson and one bowl-turning lesson. She had not touched a lathe since.
As a review I showed her the process on a practice wand blank and let her try each cut to get a feel for the tools again. I brought out a roughing gouge, spindle gouge, and two skew chisels.
It took her about two minutes to learn the "left-hand steady rest" technique with the skew. Then she started on a yellow poplar blank and finished this wand. The only thing I did was watch and correct tool presentation and technique as needed. I was impressed since thin spindles like this can be a challenge at times, even to turners with some experience.
When she finished she said "I think the easiest tool for me was the pointy one, the skew thing"
BTW, when I teach turning to beginners the first tool in their hands is the skew.