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Wimp with a Skew

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Wimp with a Skew

Postby Woodbloke » 19 Jul 2020, 14:15

I've long thought that this little tapometer isn't the finest tool stocked by Workshop Heaven, in fact IMO the dumpy little handle is hideous and not particularly comfortable in use.
In addition, I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to using skew chisels on the lathe as they've got a pretty fierce reputation as being 'difficult' :eusa-whistle: to use. A pal the other day though, recommended I try some of Colwin Way's German style skew(s) from Axminster, so SWIMBO got out her cc last week and got me a couple.

As a little exercise to practice with the new 32mm skew, I decided to make a new handle in Ash for my little 'ammer.

I had to knock the original apart with a slightly bigger 'ammer...

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...and then rough out a 50mm sq blank of Ash;

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...marking out the limits of the handle with beading tool.

The blank was then rough turned with the roughing tool and the new skew...

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...after which I started to refine the shape with the skew. Carefully :D

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I was surprised that the new skew straight out of the packet wasn't particularly sharp, so a few licks with an mdf strop and some green Veritas gloop soon put on a much better and workable edge.

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With a really sharp skew and small spindle gouge, it was now simply a case of refining the shape and checking that the slim end was a snug fit in the head.

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It was then sanded through the grits and finished with Yorkshire Grit and Hampshire Sheen;

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Once it was parted from the blank, the bulbous end of the new handle was cleaned up on the bench and polished. I then cut a slot in the neck to take a Boxwood wedge, refitted the handle, knocked in the wedge and pin, sawing off the waste and sanding/polishing afterwards.

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The new handle is a lot more elegant than the nasty little original thing and the completed hammer has more 'heft' as the handle is gripped around 100mm away from the head. I found the big skew fairly easy to use (with no 'dig ins :twisted: ) but it's well worth looking at the video to see how Colwin uses them - Rob
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Re: Wimp with a Skew

Postby Malc2098 » 19 Jul 2020, 14:43

Nice.
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Re: Wimp with a Skew

Postby DaveL » 19 Jul 2020, 14:53

Using a big skew is easier than a small one, rule of thumb, only use the lower half of the edge to avoid catches. So with a big skew you have more edge to use.

Must agree that handle was on the short side, you turned a much better replacement.
Regards,
Dave
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Re: Wimp with a Skew

Postby Woodbloke » 19 Jul 2020, 15:09

DaveL wrote:Using a big skew is easier than a small one, rule of thumb, only use the lower half of the edge to avoid catches. So with a big skew you have more edge to use.

Even so Dave, a 'standard' skew is a nasty tool to use. These 'German' style ones are a lot easier; it's well worth listening to Colwin's reasoning on the video clip about why they're much better. I've had a couple of ordinary, rectangular section skews and I hated them almost with a passion; these are much more benign and 'user friendly' - Rob
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Re: Wimp with a Skew

Postby Mike G » 19 Jul 2020, 18:27

Damn. Sucked into a turning thread by stealth. Must be more careful.....

:lol: :lol:
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Re: Wimp with a Skew

Postby Woodbloke » 19 Jul 2020, 19:07

Mike G wrote:Damn. Sucked into a turning thread by stealth. Must be more careful.....

:lol: :lol:

You're sliding down a slippery slope Mike...you'll be after a lathe soon :lol: :lol: - Rob
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Re: Wimp with a Skew

Postby Woodster » 19 Jul 2020, 19:08

I’m not a huge user of the skew chisel but I bought a couple of the rolled edge versions and they’re much nicer to use than the traditional square edge variety.
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Re: Wimp with a Skew

Postby Dalboy » 19 Jul 2020, 22:23

Nice job on the little handle it does look much better than the original,

As for the skew I have square and oval skews and find them great to use my favouite is a little 1/2" one which is great for detailed work on small items. Not tried the German style skew but have seen Colwyn demonstrate it when he came down to our club a while ago and was nearly tempted
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Re: Wimp with a Skew

Postby Woodbloke » 21 Jul 2020, 08:37

More work with the new skew(s), this time in Boxwood. Andy Pickard let me have some 11tpi thread chasers just before 'lockdown' and I made a couple of handles for them;

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I'd ordered some Boxwood from the 'English Woods' fleabay site where it looked pretty good in the pic. When I opened the box yesterday two of the three lumps were shot through with grey and black streaks :( The block on the left had a lot more clean and useable timber than the chunk on the right, which was appalling:

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It still turns beautifully, but one handle looks bloody awful. I rang up English Woods yesterday afternoon and gave them a proverbial earful; the chap on the dog n'bone promised to look through his stash and send me something more in keeping with the appearance of proper Boxwood;

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The rubbishy stuff sent to me is still useful for practicing thread chasing, but it's the very last time I buy timber 'sight unseen' from the t'interweb :cry: - Rob
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Re: Wimp with a Skew

Postby DaveL » 21 Jul 2020, 08:46

As you say, good for practice and shop stuff but that's a real shame. I think it's down to poor drying, not keeping the logs in a clean ventilated environment.
Nice handles, did you buy the ferrels or have you repurposed something?
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Dave
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Re: Wimp with a Skew

Postby Woodbloke » 21 Jul 2020, 09:04

DaveL wrote:As you say, good for practice and shop stuff but that's a real shame. I think it's down to poor drying, not keeping the logs in a clean ventilated environment.
Nice handles, did you buy the ferrels or have you repurposed something?


Thanks Dave. The ferules are heavy duty ones off some old Japanese chisels; I keep a 'baccy tin with a selection of the things.
Hopefully the chap and English Woods will manage to sort me out something decent, but if he can't I'll have a couple of chunks of yew instead; I'd much rather have the Box though - Rob

Edit - they rang about an hour ago and apparently a 'clean' piece of 70mm dia is on it's way to me
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Re: Wimp with a Skew

Postby Woodbloke » 24 Jul 2020, 17:28

As an update to this thread, English Woods did send me a decent lump of 70mm Boxwood which I received this morning. SWIMBO and I were partaking of our mid-morning beverage when she asked me if I...''was going to ring those people about your Boxwood?''

I replied that it would be the first thing I would do after I finished my coffee and as I was dunking my second biscuit, the Hermes waggon rolled to a stop in the road outside - Rob
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