Travisher in the time of the Thomas fire

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Project by Chiaroscuro posted 12-23-2017 08:50 AM 2791 views 3 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, it has been an interesting few weeks. The Thomas fire decimated my neighborhood and my city (Ventura) leaving hundreds of homes destroyed and thousands temporarily displaced. Building this travisher was a bit of recuperation for me after two weeks out of the house. The blade (from Elia Bizzarri at came while we were still evacuated and involved a bit of sleuthing to find it. The design was predicated on the blade and the available scrap of walnut I had in the garage. While I did not purchase or read Claire Minihan’s book, the design drew heavily off pictures of her travishers and those of Peter Galbert as well as Elia. Instead of a copper or brass wear plate I used some left over ebony. I haven’t decided whether or not to open the mouth a bit more.

-- Todd

5 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8798 posts in 1866 days

#1 posted 12-23-2017 12:29 PM

Looks good, Todd. I’m sure you’ll end up tuning it as you use it and discover what it does and doesn’t do well.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27002 posts in 4389 days

#2 posted 12-23-2017 01:13 PM

Nice work, Todd. With that fire in the background, were you able to do the work in you house?

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Chiaroscuro's profile


157 posts in 2059 days

#3 posted 12-23-2017 04:14 PM

Jim – the garage had a lot of ash in it but the Shop Vac took care of that fairly quickly. The air quality was very bad for about a week and a half, but was not bad when I started on the project (3 days ago). That picture is from the first night when we were evacuated and the fire followed us into midtown Ventura. I kept walking up to the high school to check the status as see if we needed to re-evacuate. The family and the dog were crowded into a small apartment until we got back so no woodworking was possible.

-- Todd

View Acts65Woodworks's profile


114 posts in 1826 days

#4 posted 04-23-2020 06:36 PM

Looks great! Did you get the 4.5 radius? Are you happy with the ebony wear plate or should I get the brass? Thanks!

-- Steven, California,

View Chiaroscuro's profile


157 posts in 2059 days

#5 posted 04-26-2020 07:21 PM

I ended up getting both but I only built the tighter radius (haven’t built another chair/stool yet – the longer radius will likely be used prior to smoothing out). I am happy with my original build but the brass would have been preferable.

To give you a sense of the two next to each other.

You can see the wear after making two stools.

-- Todd

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