• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Long handles on scrapers

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

TobyB

Established Member
Joined
4 Feb 2008
Messages
286
Reaction score
0
Location
Leeds, West Yorkshire
This may well be obvious to many here ... but ...

A year or so ago I had a nasty accident ... making a medium-sized natural-edge bowl had a catch with a scraper whilst finishing the bottom ... it dragged my left hand over the top of the rest into the horrible edges and did nasty stuff to my knuckles exposing tendons ... and went on to get very seriously infected (emergency admission, days on iv antibiotics, weeks on all sorts of tablets!) ... but actually I was lucky as it could have seriously wrecked my hand for good if the bones had broken, joints had been dislocated, etc ... came very close ...

My fault ... using a tool too far over the rest without adequate support ... hindsight is marvelous!

At the Harrogate show I bought a couple of AI big scrapers ... but just the metal and the collets ... and put them in big long handles (50 cms + of ash) ... and re-handled another I'd bought into something twice it's length. They feel so much better to use, safe and more securely controlled. A scraper where the handle lies along the length of your forearm with the butt is beyond your elbow whilst using a two-handed grip more proximally. Tools for deep hollowing have big/long/heavy handles as stock. Why is this not standard for larger scrapers, for larger work?

Pleased with these tools ... recommend others do the same if they use these?
 

chipmunk

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2011
Messages
1,100
Reaction score
0
Location
Windermere Cumbria
Hi Toby,
I wonder if the problem is that scrapers are normally associated with light finishing cuts? The other thing is that on the whole toolmakers aren't woodturners and they only have a very few handle lengths/formats available to them.

This doesn't help when you get a catch though - sorry to hear about your accident.

I think that from all points of view, including safety and economy, I'm a huge fan of unhandled tools and the Ashley Iles stand at Harrogate was brilliant for that. Lots of good tools at sensible prices and no need to pay for inappropriate handles.

It beats me why we as woodturners don't demand more unhandled tools.

There was a really stark example for me on the Sorby stand at Harrogate where a pair of thread chasers unhandled was £29 and a pair with handles was over £40. Surely any turner trying thread chasing can make a pair of handles for less than £5 each - especially for a pair of chasers!

Jon
 

robo hippy

Established Member
Joined
6 Aug 2008
Messages
155
Reaction score
0
Location
Eugene, OR, USA
I don't think any of my scraper handles extend past my elbow. I prefer them for heavy roughing on my bowls. 1 1/4 inch wide and 3/8 inch thick. There is always the temptation to hang out too far off the tool rest because you don't want to stop and move the tool rest, but I guess best thing is to figure out how far you can reach, then move it anyway. Just not worth the risk. As a side note, I would never use a scraper, flat on the tool rest, anywhere near the rim of any bowl, especially a natural edged one.

Some times that type of catch is more from accidentally having too much steel go into the wood at one time rather than the handle being too short. This happens most often when sweeping across the bottom, and then running into the sides of the bowl.

robo hippy
 
Top