Thursday, February 3, 2011

Taming the skew

Ok, let’s get all the puns out of the way.  Try not to skew this up.  The taming of the skew.  Situation normal, all skewed up.  Is that all of them?  Can you think of any more?

Can You Do This? Scares Me to Look at the Picture!!
What all this is coming to is, I am finally taking a turning class on using the skew.  Can we be honest here for just a moment?  I am scared of the thing.  I won’t use it in my shop.  When I pick  up my skew, it catches  before I even walk over to the lathe.  You can imagine what happens when I actually touch the wood with it.  Then when I finally turn on the lathe, well, things just start to happen without warning.  I watch other people use it and it is magical.  They make all those coves, rounds, and steps and it is beautiful and so beyond me.  When I took Peter Galbert’s chair class last fall at the High, he was the best I had ever seen with the skew.  We had the option of bringing our own premade chair legs or using ones Peter made for us.  I would have been out of luck if I tried to make my own before the class.  Just for funsies, Peter made a chair leg during the class and I couldn’t believe how quickly and easily he turned it out.  Wow!!   After he completed it with just the skew, it was so smooth that he had to rough it up (not smooth it out, mind you) with sandpaper so it would take a finish.   I may get there in about ten years of practice.
On February 9th Hal Simmons will teach a class at Highland on Taming the Skew.  It is three hours from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.  When I was in the business world, our staff sat down together and took a careful inventory of all the skills we needed to satisfy our clients.  Any skills we did not have, we acquired by either hiring or training.  I look at my woodworking skills the same way, except I don’t plan to hire anybody.   That is why I keep a close eye on the classes offered at the Highland web site.  This class will complete most of my turning skills and after that, it is a matter of practice.  Sometimes you just need a little bit of help to keep from really skewing something up.  Come on down and meet me there.

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