Skew Chisel

Sometimes, of course, you may not want an entirely smooth cylinder, such as when you intend to leave square pummels in a piece for mortise and tenon joints. In such cases, you start with a square-sectioned piece and turn only some of it to a smooth cylinder. To protect the decorative turnings from damage, the mortises should already be cut in the pummels before the piece goes in the lathe. Once in the lathe, it's the pummels that need protecting. Their sharp corners can easily splinter off unless you first isolate the square sections from the round with a cross-grained knife cut. It's the same cut that you always make. Here, instead of the striking knife, the nicker on the fillister plane, or the slicing teeth on the big crosscut saw, you use the skew chisel.

The skew chisel has two flat bevels with the edge shaped obliquely to its length, giving it a long corner and a short corner, or a point and a heel. Set the skew chisel on the tool rest, held vertically on edge with the point down. Because the wood turns toward the tool from the top, this creates the same relationship that you would give a knife when drawing it across the grain to score a line. Square up to the division line between square and round and start the wood spinning. Lightly make contact and then stop to see that you are cutting in the right place. You can't cut very deep by striking straight in at the same place, any more than you can with an axe on a tree. When your first cut is still just nicks in the corners, cut back into it from one side or the other, or both, widening and deepening the cut each time until you reach the depth of the circle within the square. If you want a slightly rounded transition from the pummel to the round, now is the time to create it. Work with repeated fine cuts using just the point, always tilting slightly away from the surface with the rest of the blade.

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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