Friday, September 15, 2023

A Makeshift Travisher

While making the democratic chair recently, it would have been nice to have a travisher to help hollow and smooth the seat.  I like to make due with the tools that I have, and what I have is a shoe lath shave.

Top view

Bottom view

View from front

I enjoy using this tool.  It works great, but there is a problem.  When I'm working near the sides or back of the seat hollow, I can't get into the more steeply curved areas because one of the handles would start hitting the seat.  Curtis Buchanan once showed the use of one of these, and he solved that problem by cutting the handles off.  I really didn't want to alter the tool that much, so I got an idea to use the blade and make a travisher body.

Used the blade to scribe the shape on some scrap.
The ends of the curve were extended up and out at an angle tangent to the curve at the ends.

First cut the bottom away, then refined the shape to match the blade.
Then added holes for the screws and cut away an escapement area.

The original screws were too short, but miraculously they were a standard
8-32 thread.  I have plenty of screws that size and found some the right length.

This shows the screws holding the blade to the body

And here you can see the blade projection

I angled the "wear", the area in front of the blade to give the tool a chance to cut

Testing it on some scrap - working nicely!

In short order I hollowed this piece 5/16", with a pretty smooth bottom.

After rounding over all edges, it's more comfortable to use.  There's one last thing I might need to take care of.  The screw heads are a little proud of the "wear" area ahead of the blade.  They are just outside the extents of the blade, but they could gouge a workpiece when I'm working at an extreme angle.  I might file them down or just leave it.

This was a big success.  Well, I shouldn't count my chickens too early - I'll determine how successful this was next time I hollow a chair seat.

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