Best Wood Lathe Chatter Tool | Technique How to Use It | DIY

Wood Lathe Chatter Tool

General Description

Chatter tool got its name from the terrible chattering sound it produces when working with the wood. Generally speaking the chatter tool is a type of the scraper. But unlike other scrapers that have thick, heavy blades this one uses thin, flexible ones. Thanks to the thin blade this tool is capable of creating infinite number of patterns depending on how you orient the tool. Another thing that distincts the chatter tool from other tools is its construction. It has the ordinary handle but the blade part is rather unique. The blade is short and it isn’t directly attached to the handle. Instead it is inserted into the special steel holder, and then fastened by the screw. This also allows to use blades of different shapes that create unique patterns. For example, concave, convex, straight, the V point, etc.

Purposes of the Chatter Tool and How to Use It to Fulfil These Purposes

General Information

This tool has only one purpose–create patterns but number of patterns is limitless. So below you’ll find the description of basic patterns that might come handy in many woodworks. But first comes the preparation. Due to specific nature of the tool the tool rest should be placed rather far from the turning and slightly above the center line of the work. The handle is positioned higher than the blade but not too high. The blade looks downward when it touches the wood. This way the tool will vibrate, and this is exactly what you need to create nice patterns. If you change the elevation of the tool rest the pattern might also change, so keep it in mind when looking for diversity. Position the tool rest parallel to the end grain to create the pattern in one fluid motion.

And what about the wood? The end grain of hardwoods is the best choice in this case. We recommend you stick to rosewood, cherry, maple, and walnut.

Now to the basic patterns. All of them are cut at 1000 RPM. You can buy a chatter tool here.

Probe With the Point

You need to take the V-shaped blade and plunge it into the wood in even intervals leaving about 1/8″ between each cut. Then repeat the procedure at the uncut places. This will create a nice herringbone-type pattern that contrasts with the rest of the wood. You can leave uncut areas next to the pattern to create contrast.

Long Edge, Right to Left

You touch the wood with the straight edge of the blade and move the tool from the center to the outside perimeter. Make cuts from right to left to create fine lines.

Long Edge, Left to Right

Straight edge of the blade is moved from the outside perimeter to the center. This way, moving from left to right, you will create a counterclockwise spiral shape on the work.

Tip Only, Light Touch

The V-shaped blade contacts the wood, and the tool rolls slightly to the right, then you can start moving from the outside to the inside. You can also use just the tip of the V-shaped blade to get a different pattern. And change the speed of the lathe to get patterns of different depths.

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