Learn to Love the Skew Chisel
When you get the hang of it, your skew will leave a surface so nice and slick that 600-grit sandpaper would mess it up.
Synopsis: When you get the hang of it, your skew will leave a surface so nice and slick that 600-grit sandpaper would mess it up.
When I started making chairs I did the turning with a dull gouge, scraping and jerking wood fibers with the lathe running at mind-boggling speed. Then I broke out the sandpaper, working my way through the grits. The process was loud, nerve-wracking, dusty, and expensive. It was like making war. Then I had a chance to watch Vermont chairmaker Dave Sawyer at the lathe. His skew glided over the surface of the wood, leaving a glass finish—no sanding needed. His fillets were sharp enough to cut you, his beads were beautifully formed, and his V-cuts were crisp and clean right to the bottom. He did all this with the lathe running at a moderate speed. And it looked like fun. He explained that the skew…