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
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.
||A closer view of the curved blade