I had a recent inquiry about the oxhead inshave that I used. The question was in regards to the handles which seemed to get in the users way. I don't think that the company has changed the angles of the handles, so my assumption is that a change in technique may be enough to correct the issue.
I have mentioned in previous posts that I prefer the flatter profile (and cheaper price) of the oxhead inshave. Inshaves fall into the catagory of "most misused tools". It presents itself with two symetrical handles that just scream to be pulled evenly towards the user. Combine this with the mistaken notion that one should cut "with" the grain and you have a recipe for hacking, chattering, digging and sweating your way to a seat.
The photo below (thanks to Jeff Lefkowitz for the hand modelling) shows the inshave held in the best cutting position. Note the arrow showing the direction the tool is travelling.
As you can see, one hand is leading the tool in a skew across the grain of the seat. By skewing the tool and working cross grain, the handles never pose a problem and the cut is clean and easy. When the tool starts creating tearout, simply switch to the other hand leading and you'll see clean shearing cuts again.
Using the inshave this way sounds simple, but don't underestimate the innate desire to pull both handle towards yourself, it is irresistable in those new to the technique.
Below is Jeff with his chair in the home stretch of assembly. Jeff came to me as an experienced chairmaker, so we spent most of the week talking fine points and comparing technique. Next, Jeff is going to take a two week course with Brian Boggs at Kelly Mehler's School in Berea. Best of luck Jeff.