Tips on correct technique for rolling beads with a skew chisel

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Forum topic by Sanity posted 08-03-2011 02:15 AM 3640 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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174 posts in 2689 days

08-03-2011 02:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: turning

I wondered if there are any skew chisel experts out there who could offer some tips for correctly rolling beads (I am not referring to those who are using the skew chisel as a scraper…..). I have no problems executing planing cuts to form a cylinder, peeling cuts, or v cuts, etc. However, I struggle to create nice, regularly shaped round beads and mine tend to be misshapen. I have see a number of videos of experts demonstrating their techniques but it is difficult to get a sense of where the tool rest is in position to the lathe axis, or the correct angle of attack for the skew, etc. Any help would be appreciated.

-- Stuart

5 replies so far

View ChuckM's profile


608 posts in 3665 days

#1 posted 08-03-2011 02:28 AM

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2997 days

#2 posted 08-03-2011 03:03 AM

I know it has been posted before but here is the best I have ever seen a skew chisel being used. Don’t be put off by him doing it with a bow lathe.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

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174 posts in 2689 days

#3 posted 08-03-2011 04:30 PM

ChuckM – thanks! Those videos are really quite instructive. I will have to keep practising, and probably twist a bit harder particularly to the left.
David, I am not put off by him doing it with a bow lathe so much as I am by him using his bloody foot to steady and help rotate the skew on the tool rest. Humbling.

-- Stuart

View helluvawreck's profile


31082 posts in 2865 days

#4 posted 01-12-2016 02:31 PM

Where there is a will there is a way. With that kind of will and determination I wonder what he could do if he had a modern lathe and lathe tools along with electrical power. We should always be humbled by worked turned out by those craftsman that went before us who had nothing but a small collection of hand tools to work with. Thanks for the post, Stuart.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1175 days

#5 posted 01-12-2016 02:38 PM

The fastest way to learn would be to see if you could find a turner close by and ask for assistance. Books, DVDs, videos can only take you so far. Hands on is the best training possible. Of course practice makes perfect.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

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