I had an hour to kill last night so I thought I would make something from my scrap pile. A month or two back, my kids broke the cheap back scratcher that just floats around the house. I had a piece of 4/4 white oak in my scrap bin that had a curvy grain pattern that looked similar to the old back scratcher, so I cut it out and sanded it down. It made a fantastic replacement. The wood was springy yet strong. So last night I decided to make another one, but with a twist. A co-worker had commented that he couldn’t find a good, long shoe horn anywhere. I thought: Why not combine the two? I grabbed another piece of white oak from the scrap pile. This one was 1-1/2″ x 2″. I cut it down to 18″ long and sketched the shape down the side. Took it over to the band saw and started cutting it down. I still had the 3/4″ blade installed so I cut a bunch of relief cuts to get around the curves, then cleaned them up on the spindle sander. Once I had the side shaped, I rotated it and layed out the adjacent side to roughly shape the shoe horn end. I used the spindle sander to shape the curves then trimmed the rest up on the band saw. The scratcher end is narrower then the horn end so I wound up with two half inch wide, 13″ long mini back scratcher shaped pieces of scrap. I sanded one down quickly to make a mini scratcher for my helper Adam and left it on his desk to find in the morning. I went back to the main project and rounded all the sharp edges, that I could, on the sander. I then moved to the bench and hand filed down the hard to reach inner curves. I did a quick final sanding with some foam sanding blocks, then filed in some teeth on the scratcher end. I don’t know if they help, but they can’t hurt… That done, I added a couple of coats of paste wax and was done. I tested the shoe horn when it was dry. It worked pretty well. So the next time you get an itch, pull a chunk out of your burn pile or scrap pile, look at the grain and see if it reminds you of something useful.
I am definitely going to have to make one of these. Right now I am using a bent up coat hanger – not quite as elegant.
Awsome, I have inspired someone… Find a pretty piece of wood and just follow the grain…
Made on out of scraps at work… Took about 2 hrs because I was using hard wood and limited tools… Nonetheless back is scratched… Life is good
My 90 year old father believes he has to see a doctor for every possible ailment regardless of severity had an itch on his back so he wanted me to take him to the saw bones, but I told him sometimes the only thing required for an itch is to scratch it. I had an old bamboo back scratcher purchased from Big Box Store R Us aka Wallace World I gave to him. Since he didn’t want to give it back I made one for myself from a piece of tzalam, aka Caribbean Walnut. Now granted my new back scratcher doesn’t have those utterly useless wheels, but it’s great for scratching. One of these days I’ll get around to sanding all the rough edges and give it a nice coating of oil, but in the meantime it’s great for gouging nasty holes in my hairless back and scratching those midnight itches.
By the way, tzalam makes a really nice scratcher and resits splitting. It’s also a very beautiful wood and great to work with..