Category Archives: Turning Skills

Dennis at work

Taking a break from the StoryTellers, Dennis works on one of his favorite subjects for stone inlay–the classical labyrinth.   In this photo, he is carving the channels for the lapis inlay with a small dental drill.

The Liggetts’ woodshop also serves as a classroom.   Dennis has a new demonstration of ‘Twistwork for the People’ ready for the Utah Woodturning Symposium.    The debut was for the Pikes Peak Woodturners.  In the follow-up class, several club members came by the shop to try their own hand at making the flame twist.

In the photo, Milo Scott helps Mark Harry sand his first flame twist.  Dennis is watching Robert Brewer (behind Mark) turn a pineapple.  Bill Smith and Lyle Wilgers also came over to learn simple twistwork.

Dennis holds training sessions throughout the year as part of his mentoring role for the Pikes Peak Woodturners.

The Practice Stick


Dennis Liggett – Skew Practice Stick  (hand-out from Demonstration)

Start with a 2” x 2” x 10” piece of stock

Mount between centers, and use the spindle roughing gouge or the skew to shave it to a cylinder.  Make the cuts by moving your body, not your hands!  Posture is the key to all skew work.

The first cut (top of photo) is the V-Cut.  This is the start of all shaping cuts with the skew.

The next shape is the half-bead.  Make the V first.  Starting at the top of the bead, roll the skew into the V, without stopping.  

The cove cut is more challenging with the skew.  You may also use a spindle gouge for the cove cut.  

To practice the ball and the egg, mark the fullest circumference in pencil.  Use v-cuts to lay out the length of the ball or egg.  Start at the pencil cuts and roll the skew into the V.  Don’t cut the pencil marks!

At the bottom of the practice stick, Dennis has shaved a narrow disk with V-cuts on both sides of it.  This is a good test of how much side pressure you are using.

Practice with the skew is the best way to learn correct bevel contact for all turning tools.

Practice every day for no more than 20 minutes.