Chair maker's pullshave - Lee Valley does it again

I pretty much quit hanging out in here a few years ago after the trolls showed up and made it more work than fun to read this group, but after seeing this little beauty in the latest flier from Lee Valley I had to pop in and ask if anybody has tried this yet:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&cat=1,310&pT888
I gotta have it!
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Yep, answers a couple of problems encountered with scorps, but poses a couple of its own as well. A scorp can be used as a shaving or scraping tool by varying the angle of attack, where this has a fixed angle. On the other hand, this shouldn't dig in as badly, nor should the blade be as prone to chatter. Pretty expensive for a guy who already has scorps or inshaves (travishers) to experiment with, but the theory seems good.
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Steve Turner wrote:

Steve, I picked up one these shortly after it appeared in the catalog. At the time I was in the middle of carving some spoon shaped oars. I thought of buying a convex spokeshave but didn't because I've always suspected they would difficult to use. The blade is not really lined up with the forces that the user applies and seemed to me that control, digging and catching would be a major problem. The Veritas tool definitely solves this problem by aligning the blade with the pulling force used on the handle and allows for a very precise application of force. Prior to using the pullshave I had been using a pair of hook knives for slow stock removal on the oars. The pullshave probably speeded up the process by a factor of three with a huge increase in the precision and smoothness of the cuts. The utility of this tools for carving recessed rounded surfaces is outstanding.
Overall the tool is very well made. It has a nice heavy feel that plows smoothly through the wood. It is also ergonomically correct. The screw adjusters allow a very precise depth adjustment. I do have a couple of minor gripes though. The blade wasn't terribly sharp out of the box. You will definitely have to do a good sharpening before performance is maximized. The shape of the blade makes for a small sharpening challenge. I used a piece of PVC that matched the radius and succesive grits of wet-dry sandpaper. Also the mouth opening for the blade is fairly large. Lee Valley could have easily included some shims to close the mouth but didn't so I will have to make some out of brass ( are you listening Robin Lee?, heh!, we know you are )
While I think that this tool is somewhat pricey, it was the perfect fit for project that I was doing so I have no regrets. If you have need for such a specialized tooI I doubt that you will find a better designed or constructed tool for carving large recessed areas.
Paul
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Lincoln Terns wrote:

Thank you Paul, that's exactly the kind of information I was looking for. I intend to use the tool exactly as shown on the Lee Valley web page; to assist in hollowing out seat blanks for rocking chairs. I've been keeping my eyes open for a LONG time for some type of travisher to help with the job, and even pondered making my own, but to no avail. I remember Robin insinuating a few years ago (right here in the wreck) that they intended to develop a tool to address this need, and I've been waiting with bated breath ever since... I had no idea it was going to be such a unique design; I expected a travisher of some kind but to heck with that, this looks like a much better idea!
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Hi Paul -
Good comments - and I'll make sure they get passed through to the Mfg guys...
The blade sharpness, I beleive, has been improved - and you shouldn't have to do much more than hone right now... we've started lapping those blades, and they should be flat to within .0002", and with an average surface roughness of .000005" .... (5 microinches - just over 1/10 micron).
Cheers -
Rob
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