Left Handers

All things bowl turning, hooks, lathes etc..

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Left Handers

Postby Rob. N » Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:15 pm

hello

im looking at building a pole lathe and making some hook tools but I wondering what changes need to be made for a left handed turner :oops:

Any words of wisdom
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Re: Left Handers

Postby gavin » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:55 pm

I have made hooks with edges in every orientation. Most of mine have edges on both sides, and these are the ones I sell. You can make them single-edged, and George Lailey's hooks held at MERL's collection in Reading are ALL single edged.

But If you single-edge, you need to think through more carefully the permutations of shape and orientation. I suggest you go for double-edges.

In my experience, there is no left or right handed-ness to a bowl lathe's operation - or to a hook's operation. Clare is a left-hander and uses the bowl-lathe just as I do. She uses my hooks and my set up.

I'd just get on with it. If it does not work, just put it back in the forge and flatten it out and have another go!
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Re: Left Handers

Postby Nicola Wood » Tue Nov 04, 2008 7:33 am

Like Gavin said I can see no reason why you should not set up a lathe left handed and make left handed tools. However, when Robin was doing the research for his book on bowl turning he looked at the tool marks on many old bowls and couldn't find any evidence of any being turned left handed, so we assume that in the past everybody turned right handed. I worked with a left hander on Robin's lathe when I was researching for my phd and she got on fine, although she did use the tool a little differently than the right handers. I think you'd work it out whichever way around you went!
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Re: Left Handers

Postby Rob. N » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:50 am

:idea: Thanks Gavin and nicola thats definately given some scope for my pole lathe. Im am gonna have to see when owen bush has got some knife making courses for me to join so i can have a go at making some hooks. thank you for the words of wisdom :D
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People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately see's the results. (Albert Einstein)
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Re: Left Handers

Postby robin wood » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:43 am

As has been said, theoretically for a left hander the hooks should go the other way and the toolrest too etc but it seems that most lefties can use a right hand lathe and tools, just as you have to do with so many other things. There are no left handed chainsaws for instance. I always wanted to find a bowl that had been turned left handed on the lathe but have not done do yet, I suspect that when you learnt from your dad on his lathe you just had to pick it up that way and pass it on that way too. It is not as difficult as using right handed scissors left handed.

PS Owens course will not teach you to make hooks. It will give you a good intro to forging and moving hot steel and is particularly good for learning the basics of heat treatment.
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Re: Left Handers

Postby Robin Fawcett » Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:11 pm

robin wood wrote:There are no left handed chainsaws for instance.


I've also never come across a southpaw fiddle player !
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Re: Left Handers

Postby RangerKris » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:41 am

Im a southpaw (hahahaha only ever got called that by the bloke that i got the lathe from). When we fought he used to change stance and it confused me :? :? nd he used to laugh rather than right.
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Re: Left Handers

Postby woodness sake » Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:22 pm

Since I have been doing more- or only as the case continues- pole turning, I have found it necessary to teach myself to turn with either hand. Although i can shift my stance, adjust the position of the treadle, and in some cases reverse the work piece end to end, I find that the grain of some pieces requires an approach from an off-hand direction that is best facilitated by turning with my left instead of my right. Otherwise, I could spend half mytime reversing the work piece to get at it. This will also be handy as I would like to start teaching and my left hand is a pretty good student to start eith. :wink:
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Re: Left Handers

Postby Mark Allery » Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:17 pm

There may be no left handed chainsaws but that doesn't mean that left handers use them the same as right handers. I have a good friend who is a chain saw sculpter and he uses his chainsaws left handed (ie in the wrong hands) to my absolute amazement. I guess he's only doing what Jimmy Hendrix did.

As a turner I have the luck to be ambidextrous (and ambilegstrous as I am always telling people). That means I am equally bad in either hand. So I am quite happy working with either hand on the chisel and in either orientation.

I do use a left handed pair of scissors though,

cheers

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Re: Dextrous or Sinister

Postby Robin Fawcett » Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:26 pm

It's interesting this left-handed thing isn't it Mark ?

Apparently in carving "factories"in Poland they have to change hands every half hour and be able to carve ambidextrously - anyone know more about this ?

When I demonstrate on the pole lathe I tell people that I'm ambipedic !

We play the guitar (sometimes) and I'm righthanded. So my weak(ish) left hand does all the complicated work - fretting, chording, fingering etc, while my stronger right hand just strums about vaguely.
Vanessa's nephew, Rhys, learned to play from me and he's a lefty and he could only use my guitars BUT he plays brilliantly and he's only a youngster.
Perhaps some things need rethinking ? Exercise the right-brain . . .

P.S. Would left-handed nail scissors be good to cut the nails on my right hand ?
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Re: Left Handers

Postby Nicola Wood » Sat Nov 08, 2008 7:34 am

I was reading Otto Salomon's book written 1920s I think about the NAAS school in Sweden which had a system of teaching woodwork by systematically working through sawing, chiseling, making joints etc - it was as much a method of training the body and mind as it was learning woodwork. He recommended with tools that were easily ambidextrous like saws changing hands every half an hour as a way of fully developing the brain and hands. I've also heard that kids with dyslexia can be helped by doing activities which use both sides of the body equally like drumming and juggling as it forces the brain to make connections that can otherwise be missing. If we're teaching left handers spoon carving Robin will carve left handed to help them out - maybe I need to have a go at that too!
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