LumberJocks

Supporting the bevel...

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by dpoisson posted 505 days ago 902 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View dpoisson's profile

dpoisson

172 posts in 1538 days


505 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: turning skew spirals

I’m trying to make some tap handles for my friend who’s into homebrewing. I made one so far…out of african blackwood. I was lucky not to mess that one up hehe.

I’m trying to replicate the design onto another handle and OH MY GOD,... I’m about to break everything in my shop. This is supposed to be a source of pleasure and turning wood is becoming pure hell.

I got 5…that’s right, 5 freaking spirals. It would seem, from what I’ve read, that I’m not supporting the bevel…but I’m clueless as to what I’m doing wrong. This has happened with both my skew and my spindle gouge. I’ve watched countless videos on youtube, but on all of them, the camera is too far away and not zooming in enough on the piece of wood for me to actually see what I SHOULD be doing.

The one thing that’s different is that I am on speed #3 instead of speed #2 (yesterday). Not sure if this could change anything…

I’m a visual. I need to see a graphic of needs to happen / not happen and despite the vastness of the Internet, I haven’t found such a graphic yet.

Can anyone help me out?

You can either help me out or watch the “for sale” section for a used lathe very shortly (provided it survives).

Fish

-- http://picasaweb.google.ca/dpoisson


15 replies so far

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

1247 posts in 1033 days


#1 posted 505 days ago

Post a pic of what you have, this way people can see what you are having trouble with and help. Just a suggestion to get better advice ya know?

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View dpoisson's profile

dpoisson

172 posts in 1538 days


#2 posted 505 days ago

hmm, true true. However, the piece I had trouble with had…a “mishap” shall we say.

Seriously, since the piece was done for, I broke it down and extracted the insert which allows the tap handle to be screwed onto a tap system. I can’t take a picture of it anymore.

-- http://picasaweb.google.ca/dpoisson

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3718 posts in 2287 days


#3 posted 505 days ago

What tool were you using … a spindle gouge or a skew?

I have not heard the term ‘supporting the bevel’, but from what you describe, I would say you are not ‘riding the bevel’.

Tom Hintz did a nice article on ‘riding the bevel’ ... check it out: http://www.newwoodworker.com/turning/ridebvl.html

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 771 days


#4 posted 505 days ago

I’m a big fan of Carl Jacobson’s YouTube videos. Here’s one on the skew:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JbHe0CEjHQ

There’s no talking here, but it’s good to observe Jake.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOELuHLk98E

Another thing I’d mention is that sometimes spirals come about from trying to pass the skew too quickly across the wood. Ride it nice and slow. You’ll get a better surface that way too. You want to let the wood make multiple passes under the skew as you travel the length of the workpiece.

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 771 days


#5 posted 505 days ago

Almost forgot Bob Hamilton. He has a whole series on the skew.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XCyAcmZRvM

View Kenbu's profile

Kenbu

17 posts in 505 days


#6 posted 504 days ago

Newbie here. I’m having similar problems, so I appreciate the pointers to the instructional videos.

Ken

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

982 posts in 759 days


#7 posted 504 days ago

Try sharpening your tools more often so not pushing so hard while turning.

-- Bill

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

1247 posts in 1033 days


#8 posted 504 days ago

dpoisson, the best advice I can offer is what I was told when I started turning pens. Simple really, it will hurt to see but hey what can I say. Take your time. I turn two pens a night a few nights a week, never anymore. I prep two more for the next day and call it a night for pen work. I recently turned some chisel handles for another LJ and I did one each night and called it a good night.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View dpoisson's profile

dpoisson

172 posts in 1538 days


#9 posted 504 days ago

woodbutcherbynight: Unfortunately, this is something that I’ve been having problems with for a while.

@all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOELuHLk98E at 2:45, that’s exactly what’s happening to me, with both the skew and the spindle gouge.

-- http://picasaweb.google.ca/dpoisson

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3718 posts in 2287 days


#10 posted 504 days ago

The catch that is shown in the video is the result of the heel of the skew digging in. When riding the bevel of the skew, keep the cut about 1/3 of the way up from the heel.

The technique I was taught has me hold the skew at about a 30 degree angle to the workpiece, place the bevel on the workpiece, position the cutting zone about 1/3 of the way from the heel, raise the tool handle a bit, then turn on the cut with a gentle twist of the wrist.

Wildwood is right … the sharper the tool, the better the cut.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

1247 posts in 1033 days


#11 posted 504 days ago

I see now what you are dealing with. Like Dane suggested you are catching the edge of your tool.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 771 days


#12 posted 504 days ago

One thing that really helped me with skews was to grind it with a slight radius, so that the bevel is rounded towards the edges. This makes it a lot easier to keep the middle section in contact with the wood and avoid the heel and point digging in and causing that sort of thing. I don’t remember who it was, but I watched a video on YouTube where they put marker lines on the middle 1/2 of the skew and showed how to use it while always staying within those marker lines. I’ll see if I can find that one again.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3718 posts in 2287 days


#13 posted 504 days ago

Alan Lacer ( http://woodturninglearn.net/ ) grinds his skews with a radius.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View rance's profile

rance

4128 posts in 1785 days


#14 posted 503 days ago

One can look at that video and speculate a LOT of things. As was pointed out, it looks like the heel was dug in, causing the run. A beginner could look at that video and not detect many of the key points when using a skew. BTW, the skew is not the easiest tool to start with. Some free videos online even teach bad techniques. How would a beginner know good techniques from bad ones. In the video, when starting his divisions between his beads, he has an interesting approach. He is sort-of cutting up-hill. Fundamentally you should always try to cut down-hill. I believe one reason he gets away with it is that is tool is not dull.

Have you considered taking a class to get hands-on instruction? In a class, an instructor can see minute differences that you are actually doing that can make a big difference in your results. An online or purchased video can’t give you that feedback.

FWIW, the video you linked to demonstrated a run, not a catch. Two very different things. Also mentioned was Alan Lacer. He is a good teacher and has good techniques(IMO). You might buy one of his or Richard Rafin’s videos. However, even a purchased video is NO where near having hands-on instruction.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View JTJr's profile

JTJr

11 posts in 1299 days


#15 posted 473 days ago

Since I’m no expert by any means, I’ll just pass along some of the videos I’ve watched and lessons learned.

Take a look at this video by John Lucas, it comes in very close on the skew. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vA91yJ9KhKU . Captain Eddie on youtube talks about skew shape and bevel (doesn’t matter if you can find the bevel, as Nick Cook told me). The Captains video is good as well. The important part is that the bevel can be ground any shape, as long as you’re riding it. I have 5 skews, from hollow ground long bevel (25 total degrees), oval (ish), 3/4 with a relatively blunt bevel more like 40 degrees. That skew grind is easier for me to keep out of trouble, but I’m not thrilled with it as it’s harder to finesse. All rectangular skews have had the bottom edge rounded over so as not to create drag and slide smoothly on the rest. Rest is filed to get rid of anything that will catch the tool, and then sanded to 240/320. Larger skews are easier to keep out of trouble on larger diameters, and you can do more with them until you get into a space where the skew can’t swing to the direction of cut.

Sharp, Sharp, Sharp. Flexible Diamond honing tools are great, because they are easy to use, keep your fingers away from the cutting edge, easy to feel the bevel to hone. Rockler: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=2414&site=ROCKLER

I talked to Nick Cook at a demo a couple of weeks ago because I was ribbing some hard maple. Too much pressure. Too hard a grip. Use the body to stabilize the skew and shift the body, not your hands. The only time I have a heavier grip on the skew is when I’m roughing or hogging the piece and plowing through prior to going to finishing cuts and the handle is anchored to my body as well.

Cutting on the lower third of the skew is important, because as you venture to the top of the skew, the forces will tend to tip the trailing edge into piece, resulting in a nasty catch. Dpoisson and Gerry, I agree that the catch in Jake’s video seemed to be from over rotating the heel of the skew and catching the edge. My biggest fault in turning bevels and a nasty spiral climb in the reverse direct of the cut.

Speed: Faster is better to a point, but not to the point where you are getting vibration, which will increase ribbing. Cutting to smooth thereafter gets harder, because you must take fine shavings and part of the time the bevel is “in the air”.

Finding the real bevel is finding the fine edge of the skew (or gouge) where the wood is singing as it’s being cut, the skew is light in your hands, and the body is swaying with the cut. The wood is peeling, and if you’ve ribbed it and trying to get rid of ribs, it is short and fine peels until you it gets smooth again. Watching the top of the piece will tell you whether the cuts are clean or whether you still have “low” spots (they always look shinier to me.

Take a piece of junk wood, square the ends, stick it into the lathe and practice, practice, practice, then go shape those next taps when the feel is back. I make little mushrooms and give them away to friends to have around the kitchen in little groups of three or four. 30 seconds of sanding and friction polish, or no sanding if I did it right. Also make drawer knobs, shaker pegs, little people shapes, anything that has involves rolling the skew to get the feel back. Throwing them in a box, or in the garbage. My sushi chef really like the mushrooms. Stick the junk piece in pin jaws, and cut away, making it shorter all the time. Same way with the spindle gouge, although most people seem more comfortable with the gouge, I have successfully caught the trailing edge on that as well far more times than I care to admit.

Centers. If you can find a dead center to drive with (cup and point), then your mistakes will be easier to forgive, than a spur center driven into the wood. I now turn with steb centers rather than spurs, as they are a tad more forgiving. If I could find my old dead center for my shopsmith tail stock, I’d use that to warm up with or to turn that really expensive piece of wood. The stebs will have to do for the time being.

BTW Kreegan, I think that might have been John Lucas’s Skew Practice 2 video (Link at the top of the post) where John put the mark on the middle with the sharpie.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase