Question: What is a Scorper

diane b

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Ok, I was reading about inlay and got off on the thread about a scorper. After reading four pages of different descriptions of a scorper, a disagreement between a scorper and a scraper which Roger B very sweetly and politely diffused, different pictures posted of a scorper that to me look nothing alike (although that’s probably just me not understanding what I’m seeing), seeing some new terms (flanging, spitztick, bullstick), learning that one does not use the term British interchangeably with English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish, etc., then a reference to vegetarian haggis (?) (which I completely don’t understand – I love haggis and haggis is haggis so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it), and finally a link to the beautiful work of Fred Rich, I’m STILL confused about the geometry of a scorper. Even with the step-by-step, paint-by-number instructions posted by Marcus Hunt on the last page of this thread, I cannot understand this geometry – it’s a flat graver, but not a flat graver… So, can someone, anyone PLEASE post a picture of a scorper so that I can understand the geometry? I’m clearly failing the Mensa test today. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Diane B
 

allan621

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Things to understand:
1. Great Britain is a forced union of four different countries unified ( for the moment ) under a common government and legal structure.
2. Haggis - doesn't matter if its traditional or artificial. Most people won't touch the stuff. Its like Scrappel here in the eastern Pennsylvania Maryland amish farming area. Either you grew up loving the stuff or its there to make fun of. I think in Ohio they have goetta, which is the same sort of thing. Myself, I love scrapple.
3. Fred Rich - takes craft enameling to a whole new level.
4. Scorper. Think more what it's supposed to do instead of what it looks like.

I was lucky that the person who taught me engraving told me a lot of information I would never use. I was taught that a scorper is a tool that shaves off small thin sheets of metal. Think of a plane shaving off small thin sheets of wood. That's a push tool. Think of a cheese tool that slices off thin sheets of cheddar from a big block of cheese. That's a pull tool. They both do the same thing. The geometry is not the important part. The only important part is that they do what they are supposed to do.

A scorper is a push tool so you'd want it flat on the bottom without sharp edges that would make deep cuts in the metal if it was tilted when pushed. Think of sculpting a metal image and needing to shave off a thin layer of the top of one section. Now it could be any geometry, it just has to work.

Why is it called a scorper? Well, you have to call it something. And if I'm wrong I can give you the address of the engraver who taught me this 40 years ago. I mean he died 30 years ago but if you still want to argue it out with him, don't let me get in your way. He was a great man who loved to argue.

And don't get me started on a tool we used to call a rispighi.

Allan
 

Roger Bleile

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Scorper: a sharp chisel-like tool with a curved or squared cutting end, used to scoop out broad lines and areas when engraving wood or metal.

I think Allan explained it well, "...what it's supposed to do instead of what it looks like."

My guess is that the origin of the word is a corruption of scoop and scrape combined.
 

diane b

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Allan: Thank you so much for taking the time to write out that great explanation regarding a scorper. I appreciate as well your reference to scrapple and goetta. I never heard of either and looked both up - created for the same reason as haggis: no waste.

Roger: Thank you for your definition and sharing your suspicion as to the origin of the name scorper - it makes sense.

Thank you both again for taking the time to answer my question. Diane B
 

pmace

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Phil Barnes in his book “The Art of Champleve” describes what I would call a “flat” graver with no heel. His work is all hand push in mostly silver so the action would be more akin to a wood chisel taking a very short chip rather than cutting a furrow. He shows it with the bevel up taking small chips like scooping out a divot. The result is a field of divots rather than a series of furrows. With no heel the flat would want to dive in so rather than fight that you lower the back end and pop out the chip. For hand work in soft metal that seems like a good technique to move a lot of metal. For power work the standard flat graver with a heel would do the same thing which is remove the background. JMHO.
 

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