This page is part of a series of pages that consider cutting techniques used with flags (or slabs, if that's what you call 'em). The first page examined the basic principles of cutting-in: this page looks at how the layout for a Skewed Radius is prepared; related pages consider other cut features such as notches, curves and flagged radii. See the menu above right or the related pages listing at the foot of this page for a more comprehensive guide to what's available.

Cutting a skewed radius

A skewed radius is yet another option for taking flagstone paving around a corner.

It isn't as aesthetically pleasing as, say, a ring or fan radius , but it does have the benefit of minimising the amount of cutting required, and so it is being increasingly used as an option on projects where installers with the genuine skills and knowledge required to construct a more decorative solution might be difficult to find.

skewed radius
Single cut skewed radius

In essence, the radius is separated by radial 'spokes' into a series of sectors and each sector is flagged square to the preceding spoke radial, until the angle between the transverse course of flags and the arc of the kerbline (or back line) becomes overly obtuse (c. 105°) whereupon a new spoke radial is established by cutting the leading edge of a transverse course and starting a new sector.

skewed radius layout
Key parts of a skewed radius layout

As mentioned, the big saving with a skewed radius is the reduced amount of cutting. Many of the flags used to cover the area remain whole, with only the flags adjacent to the front (kerbline) and rear arcs, along with those against the next spoke radial, needing to be cut. Compared to, say, a ring radius , this is a significant reduction in cutting and labour, but a run-out corner remains the most effective solution for when cutting has to be kept to the bare minimum.

Using inboard cutting techniques will eliminate small pieces and create a more competent layout, with less risk of breakages.

Obviously, any given radius can be designed beforehand to create sectors of equal size and so achieve a more visually pleasing layout. However, all too often, it is left to untrained operatives on site to 'guesstimate' their way around the radius and hope for the best.