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Making and Using Tools - Planes, Scrapers, and Shaves


Making Flexy Scrapers by Scott Grandstaff



Ever use a skinny scraper?  I've never seen any for sale or anything, but I've been using them for years.  There isn't anything I know better for cleaning up curves.  Light and fast and you won't believe you ever lived without one!

I was cutting a couple out yesterday just for spares and then pretty soon I just decided to make some.   Took some pix too.  You start with an old handsaw that's too far gone for saw duty and lop it up.

I've cut old saws with a lot of different methods over the years, but my current are those paper thin cutoff disks they make for Dremel.

The disks are so thin that unless you use too much pressure you won't overheat the blade at all. Lay out your cuts and make a light pass down the line.

Then subsequent passes go deeper each pass. When you're well over 1/2 way through you can snap off easy.

My usual favorite size is around 5" long and somewhere around 5/8" wide.  You lop them up and then drawfile smooth and just a bit convex. From there you can stone and roll a burr if you want. I do most all my work straight from the file. "Drawfile and Go" but I guess you've all heard that before.

Anyway here's what they look like. I made one a bit wider in this shot just to use up the extra stock.

This is what they'll do for you.

It's an old transitional beech plane tote all cracked and nasty and paint dripped on and well, you probably have some yourself down in that box under the bench.  This was <10 seconds of work to clean and get down to fresh stock. Bam, it's gone!

So, I made up a few extras while I was at it. If you don't want to make your own they are for sale. 10 bucks and postage until they're gone.  First come first served and there are not a lot of them. I am not planning production here!  They'll come with one edge drawfiled and ready to cut.  I only do one edge on these.  They are cut from pre war Disston saw stock. Old tool terms of course.

Here's more too.  Ever use a torch?

The philosophy of a torch is that your arm wants to swing in an arc.  Unsupported it jiggles like mad too. So get something to lean against, like a bench leg, and then reach as far as you need to go and steady the tool there.  Keep your elbows close and use body movement instead.

The path back toward yourself will go a -whole- lot smoother.

Scott Grandstaff

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