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Tool Review - McNaughton Multi Axis Scraper

By Ian Outshoorn on November 12th, 2011

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I have tried a new type of tool (well for me anyway). A long time ago I tried to use a scraper as I'd seen this used in the books. Wasn't terribly succesful. It left torn grain and every now and then I'd have the catch from hell, tearing the piece from the lathe. Decided that the scraper was not the tool for me. I learnt to use the bowl gouge instead with greater success. Cutting the timber felt more natural and left me a decent surface before sanding (usually at 120 grit on a good day).

More recently I heard about the benefits of shear scraping. The big difference is the way the scraper is presented to the work, at a shear angle, typically between 45° and 50°. The way this is measured is not the angle of the scraper to the bowl, if looked down on from above. The trick is to look at the end of the tool handle and with the scraper sitting flat on the tool rest rotate the tool anti-clockwise through 45 to 50 degrees so that the cutting edge is at about 8 o'clock and the top edge about 2 o'clock. This is often varied as the shape of the piece dictates. You can do this with a conventional scraper by tilting it on the tool rest. However the risk of a catch is ever present if you allow the scraper to touch the wall at the wrong angle.

Recently I acquired the McNaughton Multi-Axis Scraper. At first glance the thing is built like the proverbial brick S**thouse. The main shaft has two flats on it, this allows you rest the scraper with the head at a fixed angle. The scraper head rotates around the shaft to vary the shear angle. Now the really neat thing is that you can also vary the Rake angle. This means that you can set the tool to suit almost any wall shape. I turned a bowl from Puriri. Once I achieved the best surface that I could on the outside, I switched to the scraper. I was able to create these whispery, goosedown like shavings that smoothened out all the small ridges left by the gouge. I found that I could start sanding at 320 grit. The finished form has a clean flowing line. I then treated the inside the same. Created a smooth flowing inside line almost to the rim. As I'd used a undercut rim, I found that the scraper could not quite get all the way up there. However, as with the outside, I could start sanding at 320 grit.

It doesn't come with an handle, but I fitted the 16mm shaft to my ER25 Collet handle (also from McNaughton). The heaviness of the tool minimises the vibrations and makes it easy to hold your line when pulling the scraper. I am happy with the tool. The McNaughton Multi Axis Scraper is now available from Carbatec NZ.