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View Rick M.'s profile

Interesting Russian turning tools

by Rick M.
posted 11-25-2013 04:35 AM


25 replies so far

View murch's profile

murch

1184 posts in 1348 days


#1 posted 11-25-2013 10:04 AM

Interesting. We get that show on the satellite channels. I’ll keep an eye open for it.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

2667 posts in 766 days


#2 posted 11-25-2013 03:42 PM

Rick, do you see any value in this to try and make one, or was this more of a observe view?

-- --Dave, Downers Grove, Il. When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

503 posts in 1484 days


#3 posted 11-25-2013 05:37 PM

Yeah, I saw that show and wondered about those Russian turning tools too. They use it as a “skew”, however it has a thin rounded blade edge that seems to work beautifully. It slices the wood and leaves a very smooth finish. I also noted the use of a “mashed potato” filler applied before painting. Yes, it is simply a thin uncooked finely mashed potato in water (cream-like consistency) applied in three coats, drying in between each coat. And the potato mush is just applied by hand . . . literally. And I noted the finial painted finish was a beautiful high gloss! So the potato filler must really work well. and its CHEAP!

I just may try to make one of those Russian-style turning tools. At least SOMEONE on this forum should give it a try!

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4345 posts in 1103 days


#4 posted 11-25-2013 05:46 PM

(edit – Ha! we posted the same thing but you posted while I was typing!!)

I think it would be worth trying. They were used like a skew, riding the bevel on top of the turning. The turners used a smaller version as a parting tool, cutting straight in but on an angle making a V shaped cut, just like parting with a skew. The cutting edge was an acute angle, more like a carving knife, and sharpened on both sides.

They mentioned sanding the pieces but it looked to me like they took them straight off the lathe to finishing. The dolls are given 3 coats of a potato paste primer over several days then painted by hand. Finally they are finished with shellac which is applied with bare hands. The episode can be seen on Amazon Prime but it’s not free.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Thermaloy's profile

Thermaloy

21 posts in 751 days


#5 posted 12-29-2013 04:53 PM

I have recorded this show (in the UK) and am trying to find a supplier of the skew in particular, before going to a tool manufacturer and asking them to create one for me to my specification. Does anyone know of a supplier of these specialist Russian turning tools, please?

Liked the potato starch primer glooped onto the wood, 3 coats, before painting. Question: what do you do to a potato in order to extract the starch – is it a question of scraping the potato through a grater? If that is the case then the remaining potato sludge, in an old recipe, makes a very good crisply fried accompaniment to scrambled eggs or omelettes! When I discovered the recipe it said nothing about any use for the liquid starch that was separated out.

-- Thermaloy

View Loren's profile

Loren

7809 posts in 2371 days


#6 posted 12-29-2013 05:02 PM

I haven’t tried potato, but I made rice starch by cooking it in a lot of
water so it won’t burn and just turns to mush. I may have squeezed
it through cheesecloth. I stapled a piece of silk to a drum frame,
pulling it tight. Then I rubbed the rice paste in and it dried to
make a membrane that could move air. Later I replaced it with
some plastic drafting vellum but the rice paste worked fine… I
think the silk tore at the staples.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Thermaloy's profile

Thermaloy

21 posts in 751 days


#7 posted 12-29-2013 06:33 PM

Thank you, Loren. Might try that once the Russian skews have been sourced and tested.

-- Thermaloy

View MacNut11's profile

MacNut11

19 posts in 759 days


#8 posted 12-30-2013 02:00 AM

Not the same tool, video or factory but still interesting videos on making Matryoshka dolls:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D794_X7js5w

and another:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhR9ALVd0Js

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4345 posts in 1103 days


#9 posted 12-30-2013 08:41 AM

That factory has been in business for a really long time making those dolls, I suspect the knife/skews are something they invented. I did try a google search after watching the episode but found nothing like them. You could probably start with a carbon steel slick or scraper and modify into something similar.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Thermaloy's profile

Thermaloy

21 posts in 751 days


#10 posted 12-30-2013 05:22 PM

Thank you, MacNutt11 and Rick M. The videos were interesting. As far as designing a tool is concerned, a local blacksmith is working on my design submission. Once that is to hand, and modified it if necessary, then a major UK manufacturer has agreed to look at it with a view to possible production. The round shaft rather than the heavy flat blade of the standard skew is an attraction, as is the steeply raked cutting edge.

-- Thermaloy

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

503 posts in 1484 days


#11 posted 12-30-2013 06:15 PM

I would buy one of those “Russian design” turning tools if the price wasn’t too much. I may even try making one of my own.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

12011 posts in 1829 days


#12 posted 12-30-2013 06:33 PM

Very neat. Thanks,Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Thermaloy_Jnr's profile

Thermaloy_Jnr

23 posts in 326 days


#13 posted 01-05-2014 03:10 PM

If only I could line up my wood between two centers as easily as they line up the jam chuck with a couple of hefty clonks from the rear of an ax head!

-- Thermaloy_Jnr

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

503 posts in 1484 days


#14 posted 01-06-2014 01:54 AM

But that is the wonder of jam chucks! Just cram a chunk of wood between two jam chucks, set it spinning, and cut off anything that sticks out until you get a round blank. No careful marking of centers. You lose some wood that way, but when you have the entire Russian forest outside your door who cares! It makes for fast production though.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4345 posts in 1103 days


#15 posted 01-06-2014 06:38 AM

If I remember from the episode, it was just one conical wood jam chuck and they would just smack the blank in there and get it nearly perfect every time but then they are production turners doing it day in and day out.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Thermaloy's profile

Thermaloy

21 posts in 751 days


#16 posted 01-11-2014 09:08 PM

Update. Visited my friendly neighbourhood blacksmith on Thursday (9th January) to discuss progress with my prototype skew. He assures me he will have a couple of examples ready in early February. UK tool-maker notified and will plan to visit the manufacturer once I have tried & tested the skew and find myself satisfied with it. No photographs yet. Will keep you posted.

-- Thermaloy

View rum's profile

rum

148 posts in 1309 days


#17 posted 01-11-2014 09:54 PM

re: making potato starch. The way I’ve done it is to simply grate the potatoes fairly fine and then put them into a large tub of water. Agitate them (stirring is sufficient for a good chunk; rubbing between the hands gets a bit more, enough that you’re getting some action on the potato/water not so much you’re breaking up the pieces) for 15-20 minutes (longer gets you more but its starts towards diminishing returns). Strain the solid chunks out and make hash browns with them (you can blanch them quickly in boiling water and freeze for later – waste not, eat well). Let the water sit overnight and the starch will settle as a white sludge on the bottom. Pour off the water and enjoy your new pure white starch. You can “wash” the starch by running it through another batch of water and letting it settle into a narrower vessel, the finer stuff ends up on the bottom. The starch is convertible to sugar with the addition of enzymes (from say malted barley) and heat (150F), and time (about an hour); my interest in this process soon waned once I started doing ROI math on the cost/yield compared to grain sugars (considering that most spuds are around 80% water which doesn’t leave a lot of starch – and the relative labor was high at the small scale). I often save the starch from making large batches of hash browns (a lot washes off even with the grated spuds just sitting in ice water to keep them from browning) for use as a gravy thickener that evening (again… waste not, eat well).

Definitely post some pics of the skew, interesting to see :D

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4345 posts in 1103 days


#18 posted 01-12-2014 08:47 AM

Thermaloy I’m anxious to see how they ‘turn’ out.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Thermaloy's profile

Thermaloy

21 posts in 751 days


#19 posted 01-12-2014 12:41 PM

Thanks to Rum and Rick M. The starch thing sounds very messy but fun to do in an afternoon when there is nothing else on the mind! Thanks for the detail. Loren (above) has done much the same thing. As for photographs, OK, Rick M, it will be a week or two before that can happen.

-- Thermaloy

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4345 posts in 1103 days


#20 posted 01-27-2014 09:57 AM

Any updates Thermaloy?

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Thermaloy's profile

Thermaloy

21 posts in 751 days


#21 posted 01-28-2014 06:47 PM

Hi, Rick, no updates yet, still waiting for the blacksmith to come back to me re prototype(s). He is not due to call me before about the middle of February. Don’t worry, have not forgotten you!

-- Thermaloy

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4345 posts in 1103 days


#22 posted 05-01-2014 04:19 AM

Thermaloy, just wondering if you ever received a prototype.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Thermaloy's profile

Thermaloy

21 posts in 751 days


#23 posted 06-08-2014 07:52 PM

Re ‘my’ design for a new skew chisel, have been very badly let down by the blacksmith who had agreed to make a prototype for me. Have now found another blacksmith, not quite as near to home as the first one, and approaches will be made shortly with a view to obtaining prototypes of two designs. Will try harder to a) get these tools made and b) keep Lumberjocks informed!

-- Thermaloy

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4345 posts in 1103 days


#24 posted 06-08-2014 09:00 PM

Thanks for the update.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4345 posts in 1103 days


#25 posted 08-04-2014 06:19 AM

KnotCursor posted the video here:

http://lumberjocks.com/KnotCurser/blog/41944

Pics added to the OP.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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