Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 5, Issue 2
   November 2010
   What Is It?

What Is It?
One of the most challenging aspects of hand-tool design is ergonomics. A design's success depends on a thoughtful and measured look at the proposed tool, and a consideration of its perceived need and eventual use. When all of this comes together, the designer achieves the ultimate — an implement that becomes an extension of the appendage using it. This (ideally) becomes a perfect melding of the body and the tool, creating an effortless working relationship between instrument and user while fulfilling the designer's intention. In practice, design is only the first stage in manufacturing a successful product.

For some inexplicable reason, I'm impelled to describe this tool as a variation of the ninja shuko, particularly the neko-te (cat paw). This can be attributed, no doubt, to a fascination with the famous villain Han and his vicious claws in the 1973 movie Enter The Dragon. But we are digressing from proper tool talk and this particular "What Is It?" and its use.

  What Is It?
  A closer view of the curved blade
This tool is a form of the scorp, a type of drawknife with a curved blade meant to scoop or shave wood. It comes in many forms and is used by bowl makers, chairmakers and barrel makers (coopers). Many manufactured and owner-constructed variations exist in both one-handed and two-handed (inshave) versions.
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