Travishers are curved spokeshaves for carving chair seats, bombay chests, coopered panels and other concave shapes. My travishers now sport a brass sole attached to the walnut body for increased wear resistance. The blades are made from 1/8″ thick O1 tool steel and bent in a 4.5″ radius, tight enough to fit in the back of the deepest seats. They will cut both hardwoods and softwoods, though hardwoods require significantly more effort. Seth Elliott helps me make these travishers, based on a design Peter Galbert gave me a decade ago.
4.5″ Radius Travisher — $200 each
While visiting Dave Sawyer, professional Windsor chairmaker for over thirty years, I found he used a travisher with an 12″ radius to great effect on the front half of his seats. Final scraping of the seat was easier because the travisher’s curve closely matched the seat’s curve, leaving a flatter surface. While not as versatile as the 4.5″ radius travisher above, this flatter one complements it nicely.
12″ Radius Travisher — $200 each
These are the same blades used on our travishers. They are made from O1 tool steel, professionally tempered to RC 60-62 hardness. Travisher Blades come with two counter-sunk holes for a #8-32 machine screw and a bevel ground at thirty degrees. They come hollow-ground, but unsharpened. They are hand-bent, so they may have some twist and the actual curvature may vary. They may not work as replacement blades for our travishers, since each tool is fitted to each blade.
4.5″ Radius Travisher Blade — $35 each (free shipping in USA)
12″ Radius Travisher Blade — $35 each (free shipping in USA)
Claire Minihan makes and sells beautiful travishers. She shows how to make a travisher and a wooden spokeshave in this video. Also covers blade-making and sharpening. Plans are included (they will need to be stretched if you are using my travisher blade, which is longer than the one she uses).
Travisher Making Video — $26 each (free shipping in USA)