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fiddlewallop

easier tool on the arms

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Hi All,

 

I was wondering if anyone has found an easier tool on the arms than a roughing gouge. There is a lot of pushing motion that places direct stress on the elbow. Especially when carving out the top and back plates. I was thinking that there may be a better tool like a spoon gouge or a scorp that evens out the stresses on the arms: 

http://www.woodcraft.com/product/2001825/1305/pfeil-swiss-made-scorp.aspx

I don't want to wear out my joints. Has anyone experimented at all with this?

Thanks,

FW

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I think of it like riding a 10 speed bike up a hill... you can have low rpm at the pedals and really hard to push each rotation, or really easy rotations, but a lot of them... and you can't have both.

 

Gouge, scorp, etc... lots of wood but hard to push... finger planes easy to push, but little wood removal per stroke.

 

With spruce it's easy... anything is easy... but for maple, except for really rough outside arching,  I find that a finger plane with a glove on to deal with heat is just about as fast and easier on the limbs in a given amount of time...

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I think of it like riding a 10 speed bike up a hill... you can have low rpm at the pedals and really hard to push each rotation, or really easy rotations, but a lot of them... and you can't have both.

 

Gouge, scorp, etc... lots of wood but hard to push... finger planes easy to push, but little wood removal per stroke.

 

With spruce it's easy... anything is easy... but for maple, except for really rough outside arching,  I find that a finger plane with a glove on to deal with heat is just about as fast and easier on the limbs in a given amount of time...

 

Really, so you'd use a finger plane to hollow out the entire maple back? I could give that a shot. Seems like it'd take a long time at first, but you probably get into that zen-mode, and just get it done.

I was thinking that the scorp might be good because it changes the motion from a pushing motion to a pulling motion. I'm concerned about damaging my elbow joints.

 

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Also, I don't know much about scorps. I'd assume this rounded scorp would be better for roughing:
http://www.woodcraft.com/product/2001825/27385/pfeil-swiss-made-single-handled-scorp-65-mm.aspx

 

Than this flat bottom scorp

http://www.woodcraft.com/product/2001825/1305/pfeil-swiss-made-scorp.aspx

 

But I could be wrong. Wouldn't be the first time! Ha.

Given that most roughing gouges are pretty flat, maybe the flat bottom would be better.  

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The thing with edges and scoop is the longer the  edge to work contact ....The harder the work ....but the less chance of cutting too deep with a tight sweep. A tight sweep will be easier to push ...but more likely to venture into no no land .

 Work is work . pulling or pushing the joints,muscles and tenons will take wear and tear ...I knocked the short handle off my rougher and put a great long thing on ...Now I can push with my whole body weight. Kind of supported. Handle diameter is also something almost every tool handle needs to work best. Not to big or to small.

 A scorp would be able to work ....I've never had good use with them unless the angle of the dangle is SPOT on, otherwise chatter is rather built into the design.

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There is a lot of pushing motion that places direct stress on the elbow. Especially when carving out the top and back plates.

I don't want to wear out my joints.

 

That's why I use a wooden plate on the handle so I can push with my chest or hip.

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I use long spoon shaped arching gouges, ground on the inside, and sharp. With a bench at the right height, very little effort is wasted in guideing the tool through the cut; I can more or less draw the shape on the wood. These arching gouges are well worth the money.

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With the right tool and technique (bracing the end of the gouge against the body), the arms are used for little more than holding the gouge in position. Cutting is done with the body weight and the legs. Don't know if it's obvious from the photo, but all the cutting force is being applied by the chest. Forget about those little short-handled pansy gouges they sell for roughing. ;)

Not sure if this method works for women... :lol:

 

009a.jpg

 

Hey Bruce, there's your bench again (the bench Bruce had when he worked at Weisshaar).

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Hi All,

 

I was wondering if anyone has found an easier tool on the arms than a roughing gouge. There is a lot of pushing motion that places direct stress on the elbow. Especially when carving out the top and back plates. I was thinking that there may be a better tool like a spoon gouge or a scorp that evens out the stresses on the arms: 

http://www.woodcraft.com/product/2001825/1305/pfeil-swiss-made-scorp.aspx

I don't want to wear out my joints. Has anyone experimented at all with this?

Thanks,

FW

Hi,

In Eglish, "to gauge" meant to cut or scoop with a turning action. Perhaps it is easier if you turn the gauge at the same time as you push it.

Like post #2 says, it is easier if you take smaller cuts at a time. Hitting the guage or chisell causes the problems with the arms.

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So this is a bit out of the blue.

Does anyone remember the "new" carving tool that showed up a few years ago? If I remember correctly it looked like a cylinder and was held in the hand and was advertised as being very easy to use, esp. for hollowing.

Anyone?

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After the beating my shoulders took roughing out bass and cello plates, and after deciding that an electric chain saw was not the tool of choice for interior wood removal, I bought myself the largest Ibex violin maker's finger plane. With a file I rounded it a bit more along both axes so I could use it on smaller plates. Then, with a smaller file, I opened the throat, after which I ground a rounder front to the blade. In effect, I turned it into a small scrub plane.

 

I was pretty amazed at how quickly I could remove wood with this, and now I use it for everything. If I find the time, I might consider making a small two-handed version for use on basses by converting a plane with a wooden sole. The Ibex would be my choice for anything smaller. Although it might be a little slower than using a gouge, the ability to take just the right amount of wood with each stroke outweighs the speed advantage, in my view. It is definitely a lot easier on the body (you should use it while standing as much as possible), and you are far less likely to go too deeply as the plane gives you terrific control of the process.

 

I use the scrubber for both exterior and interior arching. When on the outside of the plate, I find it makes me think about the shape of the arching almost from the first stroke, whereas with the gouge I thought about just hogging wood out and not injuring myself. I still resort to the gouge when working on the outside arch in the center bout region along the purfling line, but I will probably modify a smaller plane to get into the tight spots.

 

Try it. You'll like it!

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So this is a bit out of the blue.

Does anyone remember the "new" carving tool that showed up a few years ago? If I remember correctly it looked like a cylinder and was held in the hand and was advertised as being very easy to use, esp. for hollowing.

Anyone?

It worked well when I tried it at a VSA convention, but removed much smaller shavings than I would want for general hogging out.

 

I too use a large scrub plane for the outside sometimes, but find it's actually harder on the hands,  shoulders and elbows than using the body-pushed gouge.

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A Scrub plane will remove wood fast but I also find them awkward. The long-handled gouges from Diefenbacher work well for me but if they were a little larger that would help.

 

There was a great article in the Strad a while back on how Juliet Barker removes wood fast -- we could all learn a few things from her I bet!

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It worked well when I tried it at a VSA convention, but removed much smaller shavings than I would want for general hogging out.

 

I too use a large scrub plane for the outside sometimes, but find it's actually harder on the hands,  shoulders and elbows than using the body-pushed gouge.

What was "it" called and where is it? Thanks!

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 The long-handled gouges from Diefenbacher work well for me but if they were a little larger that would help.

 

Like this?

 

Patterned after Michael Darnton.

 

post-98-0-47002900-1360599567_thumb.jpgpost-98-0-41349300-1360600003_thumb.jpg

 

Definitely shows improvement in free hand turning.

 

The ridge nearest the blade allows the left hand to push and twist as well. The ball fills the right hand most comfortably. 

 

 

 

cheers edi

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Thanks All. Dave, I think you're right. I have been pushing with my arms, not my body. Maybe I need to rethink my technique. The picture is helpful. It demonstrates what you mean very well. Thanks Bob, I'll need to give the IBex plane some more thought too. They're the only ones I use. Very high quality tools. I've never reshaped them from the factory sweep, or touched the throat. I think that's what you're talking about. Kind of reshaping the sweep of the cutting edge.

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What was "it" called and where is it? Thanks!

I vaguely recall that Mike Molnar might have owned one, so maybe he can comment. There was a thread here a few years back about it. Wassamatter, you haven't been getting good forum search results by searching under the word "it"? ;)

 

Edi, my roughing gouge is about 1.5 times as long, which lets me make one long sweep to the far side of a cello while still against my chest. The part that goes against my chest is much larger and flatter too, which helps prevent bruising, broken ribs and lung punctures. :)

 

It also makes it easier to rotate or twist the gouge during the cut.

The tubular handle is filled with lead, because I found that the added mass makes it easier to cruise on through those occasional hard spots, as opposed to coming to a sudden stop and getting whiplash. :lol:

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Some things that make a gouge push into the wood easier:

 

Finger nail shape, even if subtle.

Tighter curve radius.   A 5 gouge will cut deeper chips easier than a 3 of the same size.  Similar to advantage of a scrub plane.

Less metal behind the edge.  Grind down the metal.  Less thickness and more acute angle both make a softer pushing action.

Some oblique motion and rotation in your push.  Both yield mechanical advantage.

Firm support of the work.  I prefer pushing against a ledge or a dog.  But clamping works.

Working from your back and your body.

Stay sharp!

 

Removing metal from your gouge weakens the tool some.  But if you buy a gouge that was design to withstand mallet work, and you only push it with you arms, then there is room to weaken the tool considerably.   This can greatly  improve pushability.  But you'll have to sharpen more frequntly.

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Pretty much agree, David Beard, except that I don't think a thicker blade increases the force required. The shaving curls as it comes off the edge (doesn't drag very far along the blade), and one can see from the wear pattern where the high-pressure/high-friction contact is.

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I kind of felt like grinding off metal let me dig in at a steeper angle, when I'm hogging out wood as aggressively and quickly as I can manage.  But, I didn't do any back and forth comparison, just took off metal and thought it helped.

 

Probably only matters when the chips coming off are thick enough to be very solid and firm.

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