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Quick removal of hardwood

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DrPhill

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I like making walking sticks and I have some lengths of yew wood to process. These are quite thick (say 3-4 inch diameter) and I want to remove lots of material to reduce this diameter so that I can get to the boundary between the sap wood and heart wood where all the patterns live.

I used to do this with a surform and files, but wondered if there was a faster, mechanised way? Would 'rasp bits' in a drill be effective? or an attachment on an oscillating tool? I do not have a workshop (or budget) for large machinery so I am looking at a step up from hand tools.....

Any advice gratefully received - even if it is that there is no good solution.

Thanks

Phill
 

Jacob

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Draw knife and shave horse. Designed for the job! Fine finishing with spokeshave. Much better than any power tool which springs to mind.
There are simple shave horse variations such as a clamp made from a length of wood with a bit of rope and a loop for your foot to hold it down.
If it's very over size, knotty etc, then an axe.
 
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Adam W.

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What he said ☝


You could also make a brake to use with a drawknife and work standing up, then you'll be able to take a massive long cut. You could also use a jarvis, which will cut a rod.

If you're quick......


 
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DrPhill

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Thanks for the suggestions Jacob. I have a draw knife but even though it is very sharp (flexcut) I cannot seem to drive it well enough to remove stock atte. any real speed. This is probably my poor technique.
I never thought of an axe - thugh the battered old hatchet I use for splitting is probably going to bounce off seasoned yew, and as for cormel wood.... Maybe I need to source a decent axe for the task if I go this route.
 

DrPhill

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You could also make a brake to use with a drawknife and work standing up, then you'll be able to take a massive long cut. You could also use a jarvis, which will cut a rod.
Thanks Adam, but Brake? Jarvis? Never heard of these - what are they?
 

Adam W.

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A brake is something that you can jam timber into and it will stay there with downwards pressure and a jarvis is a wheelwrights shave for making large spokes. It's like a big wooden spokeshave with a regular plane iron, but it has a curved sole for shaving a segment of a circle. They come up on ebay now and then, but usually go under wooden spokeshaves.

There's a brake on my BA thread in the projects section, but yours won't need to be anywhere as hefty or you could also just use a vice or shave horse.


A jarvis is below.

jarvis.jpg




jarvis sole.jpg
 

DrPhill

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Thankyou Adam.... I learn something new every day.
The tools with plane irons are maybe the second stage - I have a lot of material to remove so something rougher might be needed first. Plus I will need to ask advice about sharpening a plane iron - something I have never mastered.
 

Ttrees

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Have a look at Peter Follansbee to see how sharp you're axe might need be for the job.
I'm sure he demonstrates a proper drawknife also, and not the wee thing that I imagine the flexcut to be.
That jarvis also looks a handy thing for the job.
 

Adam W.

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Thankyou Adam.... I learn something new every day.
The tools with plane irons are maybe the second stage - I have a lot of material to remove so something rougher might be needed first. Plus I will need to ask advice about sharpening a plane iron - something I have never mastered.

A jarvis will take a big cut and has a metal sole so it can cut on an edge if you set it to take a big bite.

Have you tried using your drawknife with the bevel facing downwards, as you can control the cut better ?

Jacobs suggestion is what I would use for something like that, but if you don't have a shavehorse, put it in the vice an axe takes a bit more practice to get it going.
 

thetyreman

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chisel will remove a lot of material fast as well, you could even use a bandsaw and just finish it off with the spokeshave, I would try and avoid any dust with yew wood.
 

Adam W.

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Have a look at Peter Follansbee to see how sharp you're axe might need be for the job.
I'm sure he demonstrates a proper drawknife also, and not the wee thing that I imagine the flexcut to be.
That jarvis also looks a handy thing for the job.
It looks great doesn't it.

I've been doing a bit of research into curved work, as I want to make a fan vault. I'm going to have a bash at making one over the summer.
 

Bm101

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You can have a look for heel shaves as well. Originally used by cobblers.
By coincidence I have one for sale. :D Pm me!


But really yeh. A drawknife and shave horse. A cleaving break is used to control the split up grained green wood.
I'd be looking at what stage of drying the wood you are using is. Traditionally I think walking sticks were prepared green then left to dry in the round then finished when cured.
 

DrPhill

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The Peter Follansbee video looks good. I like the idea of the hatchet. I have minimal equipment - no workbench, so chiselling is going to be difficult. Hewing downward one handed using the ground/scrap as a brace seems a good technique to try. The small size of the workpiece could mean a small hatchet would be sufficient (?).
Any recommendations? I would rather buy one that arrives sharp so that I would be encouraged by the results, rather than always wondering if my sharpening was at fault.
If the wood defeats me then I always have the log burner.....
 

Adam W.

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You want a stump to hew on, otherwise you'll be on your knees and the axe won't be very far away from them.

Watch how Follansbee puts his right leg away from the path of the axe. He does that for a good reason.
 

MARK.B.

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Could you get someone local with a lathe to rough turn them for you, maybe for a few beer tokens
(y):)
 

Bm101

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Have you seen side axes Phill?
I'm certainly not trying to seem the expert (I'm not).

But all of a certain you are entering a market for expensive tools with side axes..
Adam obviously knows what he is about but a small investment in cheap/free timber will make you a drawhorse. You can get an excellent quality drawknife for C.£25 with time and effort on an auction site. but without looking for months. One other option is to get a non modern billhook and get it sharp.
 

bobblezard

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I think it depends a lot on the drawknife too. I have the flexcut drawknife and 2 older more traditional ones, one of which is big, wide and heavy.
I find the flexcut good for fine, more precise work but pretty ineffective at removing lots of stock or keeping a straightish line over distance. The big old one however will hog off large amounts quickly and can be more easily kept straight on those heavier cuts.
I had a go at an axe handle from riven ash this morning and would have been there all day with the flex cut despite it being a relatively small job. Needed an axe and the heavier knife.
 

thick_mike

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Draw knife is definitely the right tool...have another go. They are great fun to use too.one of my favourite tools.
 
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