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Hand held scraper review

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Anonymous

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Hi all

Posty delivered a very nice box this morning contain a low angle smoother and a set of 4 Axminster scrapers + Clifton burnisher which come as a set.

I have followed Brian Bogg's advice re sharpening and preparing the scrapers as shown here (thanks Philly):

http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pages/wvt088.asp


Preparation in this way is a really easy task to undertake if one has worked on plane irons and chisels before. I have avoided scrapers in the past due to a sort of fear of the unknown and their preparation but felt my time had come. 10 minutes on the stones and file and I was ready to go with 4 nice burrs on the first scraper.

I found from the very first attempt on a board that I was getting nice shavings from the scraper - much surprised as I thought it would be difficult to achieve this :shock:

I tried the scraper on Mahogany first of all which proved to be a mistake! Mahogany is prone to tearout and I found that I couldn't get a nice finish over all of the surface as in one section the grain changed direction through 180 degrees from one side of the board to the other :roll:
I was a little disappointed with the performance here as I expected the scraper to excel on problematic grains but instead i got mega tearout :( I then used the low angle smoothing plane that arrived in the same box and got a nice smooth surface!

I tried scraping other pieces of Mahogany without these problems and was pretty chuffed. However, when I hand sanded (3M 240 grit) one half of a piece and scraped the other, I found very little difference between the two finishes - this surprised me as I expected a superior finish from the scraper.

I was a little dissapointed in the finish from the scraper at this point. I expected to see the beautiful 'glow' one gets from the wood after planing with a sharp iron. I love the finish that one gets on a hand planed piece of wood and have managed to avoid any working of the wood after plaing on a few smalll projects :)

I then turned to Oak and Ash boards along with a nice wide slab of beech. Now we are talking!! I got a lovely smooth finish from all of these and nice shavings + slightly burnt fingers (still not ordered a veritaas scrpaer holder :oops: ), I also noticed far less 'dullness' to the surface. The stock was left beautifully flat and smooth with very sharp edges between faces - a very satisfying experience :lol:

Well, there it is, my first foray into scraping. I found it easy, satisfying and enjoyable and the results I achieved in my first couple of hours should improve with practice.

Go on, give it a go if you haven't already :wink:

So, why do other members scrape when hand sanding leaves a similar finish and the scraped finish is 'inferior' to a planed finish? Cost? enjoyment of scraper use? superior results to mine after some practice?
 

Chris Knight

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Tony":2zq5huk9 said:
superior results to mine after some practice?
I suspect this is the case Tony. Haven't yet watched the Boggs story but a scraper is - just like a plane, capable of being used and tuned in number of ways. Thick scrapers, thins scrapers, small burrs, big burrs, no burrs, angle of burrs, pushed, pulled, slicing cuts etc etc. All thse are variations on a theme that are very akin to the sorts of thing one can do with a plane.

Having said this, a scraper will not produce as nice a finish as a well set up plane. You should not get a lot of tearout however even on difficult wood. If this occurs just switch from pushing to pulling the scraper or vice versa. It is done in the blink of an eye and I don't even think about it anymore.

Scrapers beat sandpaper for lots of things, especially control and keeping surfaces flat (important for example in veneered work) - it's cheaper too!. A scraped finish can equal a sanded finish on some woods but not all and not if you are going to very fine grits (finer than say 320) .Another reason to use scrapers is speed. Scraping can be a lot faster than sanding - certainly hand sanding.
 

Alf

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Wot he said. Some woods just don't react well to scraping though (soft and stringy stuff always gives me grief, personally, but then I don't claim to be a scraper expert by any means. In another 30 or 40 years mebbe...); but often those are the ones where a high or low angle plane will come into their own, which is why <all together now> you need a wide range of tools from which to choose :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 

Philly

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You lot are really "scraping the barrel" now......... :lol: :lol:
The Laughing Woodie
aka Philly :D
 
A

Anonymous

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Just a small update.
I have used the scrapers on and off for a few days now and find them working better as I become more proficient (changing angles and directions on difficult grain helps loads). I now see a real advantage over sandpaper and am much happier with the finish!

There is a very nice feeling of 'connecting' with the wood and really 'working it' when one has a thin sheet of steel held in hand and a beautifully flat finish is emerging behind it.
THIS is why I took up woodworking in the first place - now where can I off-load all of those tailed demons? :wink:

Bean gave 'em a whirl last evening and I suspect he too will become a convert :wink: :p
 

Chris Knight

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Tony,

I'm glad you are starting to see the light! They can be great for curves too - used in two ways - first way is really similar to the way they are used on the flat, the second way involves filing or grinding a curve to match a moulding - say. Then you can scrape the curve of the moulding - basically a scratchstock without the stock really although it's used for refining rather than establishing a moulding.
 
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