As the turning gouge - being curved - can be used only as a roughing-down tool or for turning out hollows, and cannot be used for finishing, the skew chisel, one size of which is shown in Fig. 92, is used, in common and ornamental turning to make a straight, true, or smooth surface. This form of chisel is made in all sizes from 1/8 inch to 2 1/2 inches in width, but, unlike the gouge, requires considerable practice and skill for its successful use.
Fig. 92. Skew Chisel.
The skew chisel is held slightly tilted in order that while the short edge of the blade touches the tool rest, the long edge will be slightly above the rest, so that the long corner of the skew point extends up and well over the cylinder which is being smoothed, thus preventing the long skew point from catching and tearing into the work. All the cutting must be done with the short part of the skew edge, say 1/2 inch only of the cutting edge, the tool resting not only on the tool rest, but resting also firmly on the cylinder that is being turned, just as a plane rests on a board while cutting and removing the shavings from its surface. The right position for this tool is hard to obtain at first, and can be acquired only by patient and continued practice. In no case, however, should the skew chisel be held flat on the tool rest, or used as a scraper, this not being allowable or good practice either in common or in ornamental turning. One skew chisel each of the 1/4-inch, 1/2-inch, 1-inch, and l 1/2-inch sizes will be found sufficient for all ordinary work.