Spindles #2: Honing Oil Right in the FACE!

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Blog entry by Lisa Chan posted 10-24-2009 03:30 AM 1903 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Each day brings new delights Part 2 of Spindles series Part 3: It's been a while, but I haven't been unproductive! »

I really like my local hardware store… Stoneway Hardware. First, the people who work there are VERY nice. One happened to go to school with my husband about 12 years ago. Another girl is super sweet. And the owner took a few minutes to personally visit with me when I mentioned at the checkout that they were going to be seeing a lot of my business in the future.

I picked up a wide selection of regular ol’ sandpaper, honing oil, Howard Feed-N-Wax (Beeswax and Orange Oil), steel wool in 3 varieties, two gauges of 50ft of wire for burning lines into wood… and a dust pan. I got it all for under $40.

In this economy, that seems like a fair deal to me.

Anyhoo… I came back home and procrastinated all afternoon… then decided I should clean up the Spider Farm (garage). I douched all the dust and left overs from the new door being put it, organized some junk, tossed some things… it became much more livable.

I wasn’t going to work on the lathe tonight, but with everything all nice and tidy… I just HAD to make a new mess. HAH.

Earlier in the day, I watched a bunch of videos about the correct use of the skew and how to make clean finishing cuts. Also, I watched even MORE videos about using a honing stone to make a razor sharp skew edge. (Which is where the fun starts.)

I open up the honing oil packaging and pop the top open on the honing oil. Turn it over… nothing happens. There was some kind of stopper in there… so I unscrewed the top of the bottle and started to do battle with a red plastic seal that did NOT want to come off. I tried a screw driver and the plastic was so soft it just tore…

Fine… I’ll gently use my teeth. I get the the rim of the plastic between my upper and bottom teeth and give a little tug.

Sadly for me, I was also squeezing the middle of the bottle… so when the seal broke it squirted 1/4th of the oil in the bottle straight into my face. Luckily my mouth was closed. However…. I did have to figure out how I was going to get into the house to wash my face off without wiping the oil into my skin or dripping in the entry.

Man… what a day.

Everything after that went awesome. I did achieve razor sharp skew edge… and I turned out another beautiful spindle and had much less time with sand paper…. because my cuts were more exact and I am learning to trust the lathe and my tools.

-- Lisa Chan, custom cafts and yarn accessories,

5 comments so far

View lew's profile


13489 posts in 5097 days

#1 posted 10-24-2009 05:39 AM

Wow. Lisa!

Mastering the skew with so little effort, I envy you. All the videos make it looks so easy but all I manage to do is practice my Navy language skills every time I pick up the darned thing.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Lisa Chan's profile

Lisa Chan

147 posts in 4492 days

#2 posted 10-24-2009 05:47 AM

Lew… master?! HAH! You’re funny. ;]

What I did was make sure the skew was good and sharp… honed, not just the grinder… and I prayed. A lot. And I went really slow. And I learned that I need to pull the skew down the tool rest steady and with a firm grip. And when I noticed that it was barfing or bouncing around… I used the gouge to clean things up and I started all over again.

I did that for about an hour… over and over. And I learned a lot.

-- Lisa Chan, custom cafts and yarn accessories,

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 5054 days

#3 posted 10-24-2009 05:54 AM

It is really interesting to hear about how people learn the myriad skills they have. Thanks for posting this and I hope the oil didn’t make too much of a mess.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4772 days

#4 posted 10-24-2009 08:30 AM

Practice, practice, practice…..... Glad you are getting the hang of the skew. Sound like you are off to a great start.

Looking forward to more interesting stories.


P.S. Teeth are for chewing…...Not honeing. haha Hope it wasn’t too much of a mess.

-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View Hix's profile


161 posts in 4620 days

#5 posted 10-25-2009 01:01 AM

like Scrappy said, practice, practice, practice. One of the keys is to cut with confidence. If you hesitate, you will have problems. After tool presentation, firm and steady are the rules.

I forgot….pictures????

-- ---call me---- Mark

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