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Tuning Oval tool handles, old style

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bugbear

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I found this in a 1908 reference, on making tool handles (mattocks, axes etc)...

The tools for this kind of work are heavier than
for ordinary turning, a 2-in. gouge and a 2-in. chisel being
all that are necessary; but an "oval turner's" spokeshave
is the proper tool for finishing the work. This is a specially
made tool for hammer-handle turning, and when being
used by an expert, sends a stream of shavings
flying over the turner's shoulder,
leaving a finish that scarcely needs glasspapering.
So - using a spokeshave on a rotating oval workpiece. Scary!

BugBear
 

Noggsy

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I'm sure I'm missing something fairly obvious here, but how do you turn an oval?
 

AndyT

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That's interesting. I've seen a picture of a special plane for turning the outsides of barrels (it's in Garret Hack's The Handplane Book) but am struggling to visualise this and have never seen any other reference to such a shave. Would it have had the mouth at right angles to the length of the shave, so the blade edge was in line with the axis of the handle (ie at 90 degrees to an ordinary spokeshave iron)?
Was there a picture? Is the book available on-line somewhere?
 

bugbear

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AndyT":1w7qjro6 said:
That's interesting. I've seen a picture of a special plane for turning the outsides of barrels (it's in Garret Hack's The Handplane Book) but am struggling to visualise this and have never seen any other reference to such a shave. Would it have had the mouth at right angles to the length of the shave, so the blade edge was in line with the axis of the handle (ie at 90 degrees to an ordinary spokeshave iron)?
Was there a picture? Is the book available on-line somewhere?
I was interested by it to, since like you I've never heard of such a thing.

Sorry - no pictures, and not on line AFAIK.

BugBear
 

AndyT

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That makes much more sense Richard, without inventing a new sort of spokeshave, never seen in captivity!

BB, what was the book? Was it a specialist description, or something where the writer might have got a bit muddled between shavings flying (when turning) and the use of an ordinary spokeshave later in the procedure?
 

toolsntat

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I seem to remember seeing something akin to this shave mentioned, but set up on a copy lathe :?

Many moons ago I made a lathe out of a pillar drill and turned a 16' pole down to make a sail bar for a themepark's pirate ship (Rainbows End Bognor Regis) using a normal spokeshave :wink: :D

To work on a turning oval freehand would take some doing :shock:

Andy
 

bugbear

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AndyT":1qovvrft said:
That makes much more sense Richard, without inventing a new sort of spokeshave, never seen in captivity!

BB, what was the book? Was it a specialist description, or something where the writer might have got a bit muddled between shavings flying (when turning) and the use of an ordinary spokeshave later in the procedure?
It's one of Paul Hasluck's, in the "Work" series.

The rest of the description of the processes for the various handle styles (the article is quite long) sound like the work of a direct observer, and make sound woodworking sense, so I have no reason to doubt this intriguing aspect.

BugBear
 

chipmunk

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Richard T":261unz1e said:
http://www.pbs.org/woodwrightsshop/video/3100/3112.html

Looks like this might be useful on another recent thread in handtools too.
The turning on the video was pretty poor but I liked the tip about creating a parted reference at the inner diameter - I always find getting the two offset sides even a bit tricky and this makes sure they match up.

Jon
 

AndyT

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bugbear":by9vcttj said:
AndyT":by9vcttj said:
That makes much more sense Richard, without inventing a new sort of spokeshave, never seen in captivity!

BB, what was the book? Was it a specialist description, or something where the writer might have got a bit muddled between shavings flying (when turning) and the use of an ordinary spokeshave later in the procedure?
It's one of Paul Hasluck's, in the "Work" series.

The rest of the description of the processes for the various handle styles (the article is quite long) sound like the work of a direct observer, and make sound woodworking sense, so I have no reason to doubt this intriguing aspect.

BugBear
How odd - he'd have known how to describe tools, lathes and production processes ok! But even if we wait nine years for it to appear on line, we'll still be none the wiser as to the form of this strange spokeshave.

And so another fragment of old tool knowledge bobs up over the surface, only to sink again beneath the waves of history.
 

Richard T

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Chipmunk wrote:"The turning on the video was pretty poor"

He was using a peddle lathe, peddling backwards, with a blunt gauge in one take for a 23 minute TV show about off set turning. That's a pretty good trick if you can do it. I'd like to be able to.
 

bugbear

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AndyT":1th4yyoy said:
bugbear":1th4yyoy said:
AndyT":1th4yyoy said:
That makes much more sense Richard, without inventing a new sort of spokeshave, never seen in captivity!

BB, what was the book? Was it a specialist description, or something where the writer might have got a bit muddled between shavings flying (when turning) and the use of an ordinary spokeshave later in the procedure?
It's one of Paul Hasluck's, in the "Work" series.

The rest of the description of the processes for the various handle styles (the article is quite long) sound like the work of a direct observer, and make sound woodworking sense, so I have no reason to doubt this intriguing aspect.

BugBear
How odd - he'd have known how to describe tools, lathes and production processes ok! But even if we wait nine years for it to appear on line, we'll still be none the wiser as to the form of this strange spokeshave.

And so another fragment of old tool knowledge bobs up over the surface, only to sink again beneath the waves of history.
Oh, I don't think so. There's now some people who know the damn thing exists, and may be better prepared when another snippet of information appears. Enough snippets and we get an answer.

e.g.

http://swingleydev.com/archive/get.php? ... =1#message

(most of the links are dead, I'm afraid)

BugBear
 

chipmunk

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Touche Richard - I'll make allowances for the pedalling then, but not the blunt gouge :wink:

...My point was that turning a straight taper, albeit offset, is hardly "high-class" spindle turning.

Jon
 

AndyT

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Ah! So the 'oval turner's spokeshave' of old could be a witchet / stail engine / rounder sort of device. That could make sense.
 
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