Newbie - straight vs curved skew?
#11
  
I'm very new to turning. I bought a set of chisels to get started and two of them are labeled as skews. The cutting blade is straight across but all the videos I watch seem to have a curved blade on their skew.
Should I be trying to redo the edges on my grinder to make the curved profile? Is that even advisable? Or did I just get the wrong skews?
Thanks for any insight.
Also, does anyone know of a video they'd recommend showing how to use each tool? Mostly I just want to make sure I'm holding the chisel correctly. I keep hearing about kickback and gouging the wood. I haven't encountered that yet but I also would rather never have to experience it either.
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#12
  Re: Newbie - straight vs curved skew? by themoon (I'm very new to turn...)
(07-28-2020, 02:18 PM)themoon Wrote: I'm very new to turning. I bought a set of chisels to get started and two of them are labeled as skews. The cutting blade is straight across but all the videos I watch seem to have a curved blade on their skew.
Should I be trying to redo the edges on my grinder to make the curved profile? Is that even advisable? Or did I just get the wrong skews?
Thanks for any insight.
Also, does anyone know of a video they'd recommend showing how to use each tool? Mostly I just want to make sure I'm holding the chisel correctly. I keep hearing about kickback and gouging the wood. I haven't encountered that yet but I also would rather never have to experience it either.

Why leave both as skews?  A straight chisel from the larger will plane beautifully, and the point on the smaller will cut across grain as well as the big one.  

FWIW, when the first fad for curved skews began maybe 30+ years ago, I modified one of mine.  Still can't figure out what I gained, but I didn't lose anything, and I'm too lazy to take him back to straight.  It works, but no gain over non-radiused, to my ability.
Better to follow the leader than the pack. Less to step in.
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#13
  Re: Newbie - straight vs curved skew? by themoon (I'm very new to turn...)
The cheapest way I've found to learn and practice tool control is to put a foot long pine 2 x 2 between a live center in the tailstock and a cup center (frequently called a safety center these days), a stebb center, or a spur drive in the headstock. I like the cup center best.

Practice turning:
1. down to round
2. a constant diameter
3. a specific diameter
4. a taper
5. multiple beads (convex cuts)
6. multiple coves (concave cuts)

By the time you've turned a couple of 10' 2x4s into shavings (that's 40 practice pieces), you should be on your way.

When doing these, a catch will probably happen, causing the wood to spin on the driving center with no damage or excitement. Just pull the tool out, tighten the tailstock, and resume what you were doing.

Whenever you want to try a new tool or a new cut, try it on a practice setup first. Once you can repeatably produce a good cut on a practice setup, you can then use it on real pieces.

I also strongly recommend a live class to get you started.

Also look for Mark Silay's videos on slicing cuts. I found those immensely helpful.
We do segmented turning, not because it is easy, but because it is hard.
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#14
  Re: Newbie - straight vs curved skew? by themoon (I'm very new to turn...)
Thank you for replying. I'll check those videos out.
One thing about the pine. I read that pine was NOT a good choice for turning because of its softness. Is that really true? I'd rather practice on it being how cheap it is.

I'll keep the straight skews then. Just a lot of the videos I've been watching had that curved skew and I thought maybe I was doing something wrong.

Thanks again.
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#15
  Re: Newbie - straight vs curved skew? by themoon (I'm very new to turn...)
Poplar might not be much more expensive than pine 2x material these days. That's how i started, and it's really closer to what i normally use in terms of hardness. That said, i do find that it is MUCH more difficult for me to make a clean cut in pine--forces a light touch and has helped my sharpening at the same time.
earl
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#16
  Re: Newbie - straight vs curved skew? by themoon (I'm very new to turn...)
(07-28-2020, 02:18 PM)themoon Wrote: I'm very new to turning. I bought a set of chisels to get started and two of them are labeled as skews. The cutting blade is straight across but all the videos I watch seem to have a curved blade on their skew.
Should I be trying to redo the edges on my grinder to make the curved profile? Is that even advisable? Or did I just get the wrong skews?
Thanks for any insight.
Also, does anyone know of a video they'd recommend showing how to use each tool? Mostly I just want to make sure I'm holding the chisel correctly. I keep hearing about kickback and gouging the wood. I haven't encountered that yet but I also would rather never have to experience it either.

It sounds like you have been watching vids by Lacer, Raffin, or their students. I prefer the Lacer shape for larger skews, but It helps that I took a class from Lacer. His shape of the edge has some advantages for some cuts, but they are cuts that you probably have no need to try until you get some time at the lathe.

For now, I would suggest keeping the cutting edge straight.

I hope that their cross-section is rectangular. The ovals can be a bit more challenging.

For chisels in general, I would recommend the Glenn Lucas vids.
"the most important safety feature on any tool is the one between your ears." - Ken Vick

A wish for you all:  May you keep buying green bananas.
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#17
  Re: Newbie - straight vs curved skew? by themoon (I'm very new to turn...)
One of the best training woods comes from green tree limbs -- any kind. Same advice as above with pine; however, tree limbs are plentiful and free. Drive your neighborhood and look for tree trimmers.

GM
The only tool I have is a lathe.  Everything else is an accessory.
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#18
  Re: Newbie - straight vs curved skew? by themoon (I'm very new to turn...)
from experience, my straight chisel is much easier to control and get a good surface than my skew. it is also slightly easier to sharpen. When I got it years ago it was a scraper but it was too wide for the thickness of the steel to be effective - too much vibration so I ground it (or attempted to) to a straight chisel but did a poor job. Last year I made it serviceable. Over time I'm making it much better.

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#19
  Re: Newbie - straight vs curved skew? by themoon (I'm very new to turn...)
I have tried curved skews and like MMouse I didn't see any advantage. I also have an oval skew and again I don't see the advantage. Two things on the oval is the cost and I found it harder to sharpen. It sets in a drawer collecting dust. 

As a side note I am traditional on turning. Meaning I use a slicing cut as opposed to a scrape. I have the tools for both but self taught to do the slice cut and self taught to get sharp tools. You can scrape cut but I never liked the end results and the endless sanding to get a nice piece. You learn on a set of cheaper tools and as you get it down pat move onto better tools for what you need. I reground all my cheap stuff for occasional specialty cuts.
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#20
  Re: RE: Newbie - straight vs curved skew? by gear jammer (I have tried curved ...)
(07-29-2020, 12:56 PM)gear jammer Wrote: I have tried curved skews and like MMouse I didn't see any advantage. I also have an oval skew and again I don't see the advantage. Two things on the oval is the cost and I found it harder to sharpen. It sets in a drawer collecting dust. 

As a side note I am traditional on turning. 

Not sure how traditional you are, but I use forged gouges for slicing/shaving wood, and, of course, they are curved to some degree on the nose. I suppose those who never turned in the woods at high Wycombe may try to use their skews somewhere near centerline on a spindle, rather than on the top, where the projecting portion might grab some wood while they look at where they're using "the lower third" of the tool.  

When I was a pup (rather than the old SOB I am now) skews were right or left handed, and, of course, beveled on one side only.  Think of skewing your low-angle block plane.  That's how the tool was used.  Up top and advanced either right or left, according to need.  long bevel made it too grabby for making beads, so they usually had a straight chisel type for that task, with a shorter bevel.  I made mine out of that useless round-nose scraper that came with my original octet.  Modern equivalent is called, I believe, a "Bedan", though used similarly.

When you look at a forged gouge with its broad sweep and curved nose, you're looking at a right/left skew, though you may use it closer to centerline - though always above, to let gravity be your mask - like a curved skew, so that's my analysis of why it became a fashion with some.  Since I'm still using traditional pattern gouges for paring, I seldom used mine. https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/shop/woo...hss-gouges  Rather than leave them straight across, they traditionally have the corners drawn back to reduce the possibility of catching when use for faceplate work.
Better to follow the leader than the pack. Less to step in.
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