My Hand Tool Education #2: Card Scrapers - All That with That?

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Blog entry by Matt posted 04-19-2009 06:35 PM 1835 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: My First Hand Plane - Stanley #5 Part 2 of My Hand Tool Education series no next part

Yep, that’s the title. You can do all of that with those little things? Wow!

Based on recommendations from all the good, helpful, folks and friends I’ve met here on LJ, I picked up the Garret Hack book, “Hand Planes”. There is a section in there on these wonderful little things. After a lengthy thread in the forums and several sharpening/using type videos, I was ready.

I stopped by my local Woodcraft and picked up the Lie-Nielson set. It came with two scrapers (a thick and a thin). When I got home, I went straight to the shop and found a rough cut piece of cherry. Well, frustration immediately ensued. I was thinking there has to be an art form to these things. True be told, there is a trick but it’s a strick you can learn in about 15 minutes. By varying the angle at which I presented the edge to the surface, I was able to find ‘my groove’ and start making thin ‘see through’ shavings. It only took about 15 minutes to get the small board flat and polished. No sandpaper necessary! Yes, they are that cool!

If you don’t have any of these in your toolbox, get some. You can burnish them with any round rod. Like a turning tool shaft, screwdriver, burnisher, etc. The only other things you’ll need are some sandpaper, a flat surface, and upper arms that are slightly stronger than my 8 year old daughters! It’s one of the best $5-15 dollar purchases you can make.

Here is a picture of my first attempt. Thanks to all the LJ’s who now have me addicted to hand tools! ha

-- Matt - My Websites - - Hand Tools :: - Small Shops

7 comments so far

View Bureaucrat's profile


18339 posts in 3616 days

#1 posted 04-19-2009 06:56 PM

Hey Matt, sounds like you got religion! Lol! The card scraper is a great tool. Most people I’ve told don’t believe it’s possible to get a smooth surface without sandpaper. Only take a couple of minutes to prove it.

BTW: I lived in b’ville from 1975 to 80. Visited my old neighborhood there 3 years ago and it hadn’t changed, just aged.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

View Matt's profile


181 posts in 3337 days

#2 posted 04-19-2009 06:59 PM

Awesome! If you ever get back down this way, gimme a holler! I’m right behind the college.

Yes, I got the religion! haha

-- Matt - My Websites - - Hand Tools :: - Small Shops

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3888 days

#3 posted 04-19-2009 08:01 PM

Matt, that’s got to feel good when your plan comes together and it works like you were told. So many times some products are advertised to do something and fall short of expectation this little tool is not in that category. I have a question check your mail ok?

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3358 days

#4 posted 04-19-2009 08:06 PM

Those shaves say it all!
great Matt, there is not going back!

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3613 days

#5 posted 04-19-2009 09:13 PM

welcome to the club….

good thing is – you can always use sand paper to sharpen blades… otherwise I wouldn’t know what to do with mine.

I’ve seen some people here on LJ, that skip the honing/flattening part in the preparation, but I think its required if you want to get transparent shavings (as opposed to dust).

Moai said – there is no going back.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Junji's profile


698 posts in 3346 days

#6 posted 04-20-2009 05:07 AM

I didn’t know that. Maybe I should start looking for one in Japan too.
Thanks for your post.

-- Junji Sugita from Japan,

View Junji's profile


698 posts in 3346 days

#7 posted 04-20-2009 11:11 AM

Thank you, yes you are right. I should just make one from old sawblades. I looked through web sites talking about scrapers in Japan, many people saying we don’t have much in Japan because we have so many kinds of planers, so it can do almost the same thing. Well, I think scrapers can do it easier than planers, so I should just give it a try anyway. Thanks for the information.

-- Junji Sugita from Japan,

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