Around the Woods

A Course in Woodturning
by Milton and Wohlers; 1919


Skew Chisel

The skew chisel is sharpened equally on both sides On this tool the cutting edge should form an angle of about 20° with one of the edges. The skew is used in cutting both to the right and to the left, and therefore, must be beveled on both sides. The length of the bevel should equal about twice the thickness of the chisel at the point where it is sharpened. In grinding the bevel, the chisel must be held so that the cutting edge will be parallel to the axis of the emery wheel. The wheel should be about 6" in diameter as this will leave the bevel slightly hollow ground. Cool the chisel in water occasionally when using a dry emery. Otherwise the wheel will burn the chisel, taking out the temper; the metal will be soft and the edge will not stand up.

Care should be exercised that the same bevel is kept so that it will be uniformly hollow ground. The rough edge left by the emery wheel should be whetted off with a slip stone by holding the chisel on the flat side of the stone so that the toe and heel of the bevel are equally in contact with it. Rub first on one side and then on the other. The wire edge is thus worn off quickly as there is no metal to be worn away in the middle of the bevels. The chisel is sharp when the edge, which may be tested by drawing it over the thumb nail, is smooth and will take hold evenly along its entire length. If any wire edge remains it should be whetted again.

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