Almost every time I post a photo of one of my chair seats in progress, I get this question: “Do you use an angle grinder and (insert spinning tooling name here) to rough out your seats?”
I answer: “No, I use a scorp.” But I don’t really talk about why.
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I think this sort of spinny, toothy tooling is inherently dangerous. It is difficult to make operations “safe” with it. And if someone ever hurt themselves after seeing me use the tool, I would be crushed.
I own one. I bought it years ago to experiment with after seeing several chairmakers use them in videos. I followed all the rules. Watched videos from the manufacturers. I practiced on scraps for a few weeks during my down time.
Then I used one – cautiously – to make the dugout chair that everyone in the world seems to think is ugly. Working that stump for hours and hours got me comfortable with the tool. After that, I practiced saddling a few scrap seats from the burn pile.
Then I put the thing away and haven’t touched it until I took these photos.
I think it’s too dangerous for my tastes (your attitude might differ). I am perfectly happy with the speed and accuracy I get from a scorp. If I needed to go into production mode with chair seats, I’d buy a CNC router instead of an angle grinder and knee-biter.
I believe safety is the responsibility of the individual. And this individual won’t use that sort of tool.
I’m not looking for an argument. This is simply a public service announcement, so I’m keeping the comments closed. Feel free to skewer me on your own blog.
— Christopher Schwarz