Every left hander knows that the bane of our existence is scissors molded for righties. Trying to use a pair of these is like being subjected to some kind of cruel medieval torture! It feels like the scissors were designed to dislocate our thumbs, and pull them from our bodies. It sucks!
Anyhow, I’ve often wondered if something could be done about it. Well I’m here today to say that there is.
Task 1: The Back Story
Or why would I wreck a perfectly good pair of scissors? First off as far as a left hander is concerned scissors molded for right handed use are worthless to us. Second, I bought these used for cheap. This was something I’ve always wondered about, so when I came across these at a flea market for a buck I figured now was the time to experiment.
Bonus Tip: When I bought these the guy I got them from said, “They’re sharp!”. Well, they certainly were past their first blush of youthful sharpness when I tested them out on some cloth at home. They cut a bit spotty let’s say. Still Fiskars makes their scissors out of premium materials so they can be sharpened to a keen edge. But don’t use a sharpening stone to do it.
I have sharpened scissors that way myself in the past, and while it does something, there is a better way. Use something called a knife steel on dull scissors. It is way easier than trying to stone the blades, and I think the results are better myself. Steeling a pair of scissors is practically idiot proof. Take it from this idiot, it’s true!
Task 2: On the Operating Table
In this image we can see our victim, er I mean patient about to get operated on. Actually looking closer the rubber has already met the road by now. I used that cordless cut out tool with a sanding drum mounted in it to do some of the rough material removal.
But as the image shows I ran into a little bit of a melting issue, so I whittled that goo off with a melon knife. I ended up using the knife to kind of carve the contours I wanted in the handles a lot. I alternated between the sander and the knife here as I worked the shape I was looking for.
I would clean my work up to an extent, then try the fit I had by holding the scissors in my hand. Doing that I could feel, and see where more work needed to be done.
A Dremel with a sanding drum would work here, or just going at it with a knife. But that would be more labor. I was shooting for an angled bore hole contrary to the one in the thumb hole originally.
Task 3: Getting to the Meat of the Matter
On the end there is just so much to cut away. The handles are thin there. But on the back side of the hole there is a lot of meat that can be removed here. I suggest folks focus most of their efforts there. There is more to be gained (or ground away?) on the inside back side of the hole. If you know what I mean.
Task 4: The Finishing Touch
By now things have improved significantly, but I want to smooth out the rough surfaces I have made. This is delicate hand work here. So I wrapped a piece of sandpaper around a pencil, and used that as my implement of destruction.
Task 5: How’s it Looking?
After a bit of hand sanding things are really starting to shape up I think. It still needs a bit more, but we’re almost done now.
Task 6: Conclusion
My scissors could probably use a bit more hand sanding to really smooth them out but they’re already a whole lot better for me to use. Now I wouldn’t say run out and buy scissors new and try this with them. They do make left handed models. But if you fall into a right handed pair somehow, like I did, this is worth considering.
It did not take me very long at all to do it, and I am pleased with the results. It isn’t perfect, but it is a definite improvement over the thumb popping that was going on before I started.
tools – Make Righty Scissors Lefty Ones, in category: workshop