SHARPENING THE LACER SKEW

There is a particular grind for the skew that I prefer over a "traditional grind." This grind appears on the Hamlet Signature Skew Chisel--with my name on it. First of all, I did not "invent" this grind: I learned it from an outstanding spindle turner, and now, have found it used by older professional turners from Arkansas to Indiana to Maine. I do believe though that I have helped publicize the grind as an option for the skew chisel.

There has been a lot of confusion about the grind: it is not a curved skew--where the long and short points are almost non-existent. No, it has a right angle from the long point that goes about 1/3 to 1/4 the edge's length--and then breaks into a curve. The angle from the long point to short point is still approximately 70 degrees--clearly maintaining the short and long points as functional cutting edges.

Here are some of the advantages of this grind over a standard or traditional skew grind. First--and probably the foremost benefit--if you are doing a planing or rolling cut and stay within the curved section when leading with the short point region, you cannot get a dig-in (unless first preceded by a run-back). Next, the curved section for those same two cuts tend to do better in "chippy" woods that are hard to cut cleanly--being a progressive or a lower impact cut at the contact point of cutting. For peeling cuts, the straight section has two advantages: regulated or limited amount of the edge into the cut and the handle is parallel to the lathe's axis and therefore is not off to one side of the cut (which would be 20 degrees if on a standard ground skew of 70 degrees). Also the curved edge fits over or into a curved section better than a straight one. I have found the straight section, leading with the long point in front of the cut, is excellent for slicing and forming pommels.

Is there a downside to this grind? Yes, but not a fatal one: it is a bit harder to sharpen than a "traditional" ground skew.

So, to help with understanding how to grind a skew wtih this concept, I have made a short video. It can now be found on UTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmCxDToHm6Y