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Used a skew to open the interior of a straight sided end grain box

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Perry Hilbert, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    I turned a straight sided end grain box this afternoon. After I drilled the cavity out with a 1.5 inch forstner bit, turned the tool rest across the face of the box and used a 1/2 inch skew chisel, laying on it's side. It plunged the tip of the skew into the wood and took a 3/16 inch cut out of the wall of the box. Once I got to full depth, I did another one taking just a little less. The interior wall of the box was fairly smooth. There were some wood curls at the base and I cleaned those up with a straight square end scraper. The interior sides required very little sanding. I was turning yellow poplar, a very soft wood anyway. I could not believe how fast I could cut out the interior. I thought a skew for interior turning is supposed to be a major no-no. Was I just lucky or is this something that is known?
     
  2. Russell Nugent

    Russell Nugent

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    You were basically using it as a scraper. A skew is basically a negative rake scraper. I think the wood probably has something to do with the ease of the cut as well.
     
    Bill Boehme likes this.
  3. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    A skew can be used for checking the square of the wall and cleaning up the bottom if you address the wood grain correctly and the tool is sharp. The species of the wood will determine what tool works best, some wood can be very stubborn no matter which tool you use. A scraper or negative rake tool can also be used inside a box along with the newer carbide tools.
     
    Bill Boehme likes this.
  4. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    If you find this an appealing way to accomplish common box making tasks (or for making/shaping tenons), keep in mind the skew used in this fashion has a tendency to move toward the long point. The result is the side of the box, inside, is not exactly parallel to the lathe axis, as you planned. This does not have to stop you from using it in this manner, but be aware it can happen. More critically, if you are cutting a recess for the tenon, the conventional, snug/friction/piston fit means the side of the recess should be perfectly parallel to the axis, and a skew can screw this up. DAMHIK, but the end result is a just a little too loose fit when you finally get it parallel.
     
    Bill Boehme and hockenbery like this.
  5. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    As above a skew used on it side is a scraper. Easy to use.
    A square nosed scraper will usually do a better job on the side wall and leave a square corner in the bottom.

    You can make a lot of serviceable boxes with scrapers.

    Many better choices for leaving a cleaner surface on the inside wall.
    A #4 Hunter is easy to use and leaves a clean surface.

    Spindle gouge, ring tool, hook tool, all work well for boxes
     
    Bill Boehme likes this.
  6. Ed Davidson

    Ed Davidson

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    Perry, that is exactly the process I've been using for years on yo-yo boxes, yielding thin and precisely straight inner walls. The sharp point of the skew is doing the cutting (not scraping). Works well for me on all wood species.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019

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