The Uses of the

Woodturners' Mini Scorp Tool

Andrew Hilton

Hey!  We make and sell these tools too!

The Woodturners' Mini Scorp Tool is fantastic!  Sure, we've all used our pocketknives or chisels or even our turning chisel to remove those blasted little nipples or knobs at the end of our parting cuts.  We want to clean up the bottoms (but not necessarily go to the trouble of turning the bottoms on some projects) so that they look presentable so we go about, ohhhh sooo carefully, cutting off that nub.  Well, the problem is that we're trying to use a straight, flat blade to cut on a concave (you DID make it a little concave so it'll sit well, right?) surface down there.  We end up gouging it up a little with the sides and corners of our knives or chisels. Go ahead ... admit it.  I do.  Or maybe I'm the only one?  Naaahhhh!

Here's the tool that takes care of that problem.  It's actually a very very old tool that I found laying, ohhhh so innocently and quietly I might add, next to the lathe of a true master woodturner.  He had obviously been using it for several decades and after talking to him about it, he said that it was just a tool that had been given to him by another master woodturner .. now get this .... 80 years ago!  He said that it was one of those unsung tools that just had made its way through time quietly doing its work next to the woodturners of old.

So, how do you use it and what's it good for?  Read on...

Woodturners Mini Scorp Tool Use1_1.jpg (106525 bytes) Those blasted little leftovers of wood at the bottom of parting cuts.  Don't you just hate them!  Many projects or pieces that we make just don't justify turning these around; putting them back on the lathe either in a jamb chuck or other device to hold the other ends while you woodturn the end prettier.  All we want to do is just clean up that bottom of the piece a little.
Woodturners Mini Scorp Tool Use1_2.jpg (97936 bytes) The tool used here is a right-handed one (because I'm right handed ... go figure).  I'm pulling the tool toward me ... right into my thumb ... I HOPE NOT.  For the lefties out there, you need to use a left-handed one. Well, just start carving off that little nipple there.  It's easy and you don't have to worry about gouging things up.
Woodturners Mini Scorp Tool Use1_3.jpg (112785 bytes) What's great about this tool ... and it owes this due to it's unique design that the woodcarvers' scorps and hook tools don't have .. is that the curve or hook to this blade is NOT just one radius.  It's an ever decreasing radius that doesn't stop until it folds back onto itself.  So, what's the big deal about that?

#1:  There's no sharp corners to gouge into your work at all no matter how tight of space you're working in.

#2: You can work large radius' as in a large bowl bottom ... or a fairly small piece shown to the left ... or something tiny as shown below with the same tool.   It just depends on how you hold the tool!

Woodturners Mini Scorp Tool Use1_4.jpg (106197 bytes) Nubbin all gone. And no gouge marks anywhere to be seen.  I'd take a little bit of fine sandpaper to finish up the bottom there and that's it.  Pretty slick little tool, eh?  I love mine!
 

Tiny Turnings

Woodturners Mini Scorp Tool Use2_1.jpg (100729 bytes) Here's a tiny turning in Cocobolo wood.        "Nubbin ..... You shall be dealt with henceforth!"
Woodturners Mini Scorp Tool Use2_2.jpg (97448 bytes) Hold the tool so that the radius you need on the tool matches the wood and just carve it off.
Woodturners Mini Scorp Tool Use2_3.jpg (114042 bytes) Tada!
 

Hand Carved Spoons

Woodturners Mini Scorp Tool Use3_1.jpg (106189 bytes) This tool is also great for making wooden carved spoons.  The larger radius (flatter or shallower concavity I guess you could say) matches the longer portion of the tool. Just hold the tool differently so that you get the radius you need.
  

 

 

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9/30/07 8:37:30 AM ... Why didn't I think of that? I'll be ordering a few of these for our turning club.
10/13/07 12:15:35 PM ... I shall make and use this gadget. Thanks! I can't get the other pages to come up. Please check.
2/16/10 7:51:12 PM ... where can you uy
2/17/10 3:22:18 PM ... You can buy them from this website. See the Contacts page for ways to get hold of us and order your own woodturners mini-scorp.
5/17/10 9:03:56 PM ... Great site! We have found an old scorp that was apparently used for working on wooden shoes. They work on more than turnings as we modified a wooden shoe to fit better for a lady of our aquaintance.
6/1/11 6:09:38 AM ... I like it.

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