Today in my woodshop #2: Scraper idea

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Blog entry by Sam Yerardi posted 01-28-2008 07:00 PM 845 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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This weekend I was working on my daughter’s hope chest and I needed to scrape down the edges of the raised panels. The problem was they were already installed, making it a bit difficult to do in place. I tried using a 1” wide chisel as a scraper and that worked fine for a while til my hand wore out. Since the edges have a slight scallop to them I needed a shaped scraper. I was trying to think what I could use and I looked over to my bench and there was a set of old kitchen carving knives in a wooden holder. My wife wanted to throw them away years ago but something told me to hang onto to them. I picked one that was close to the width of the edges of the raised panel. I put the knife in my vise so that about an inch of blade was exposed between the vise and the handle. I used a cold chisel to break the blade off where it entered the vise. Since the metal is so hard it is very brittle and I got a clean stright break. I then grinded the edge to match the profile. Voila – a scraper with a built-in handle. Granted it’s only good for that one purpose (unless I re-grind) but it worked beautifully!
Next time I go to a flea market I’ll be looking for cheap sets of carving knives!

-- Sam

9 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3954 days

#1 posted 01-28-2008 07:22 PM

Very innovative! That’s using the old grey matter.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4184 days

#2 posted 01-28-2008 07:23 PM

Necessity is the mother of invention.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4017 days

#3 posted 01-28-2008 07:36 PM

great idea.

-- Hope Never fails

View schwingding's profile


133 posts in 3791 days

#4 posted 01-28-2008 07:55 PM

Hmm! Sounds like maybe a putty knife could do the same thing? Cool thinking. I recently had to scrape the finish off of a tabletop and the old stanley #80 was the best tool for the job. Beat hands down sandpaper and handplanes. Thanks for the idea.

-- Just another woodworker

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3788 days

#5 posted 01-28-2008 08:18 PM

Again an argument for not throwing anything out. Nice job of improvising.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 3861 days

#6 posted 01-28-2008 09:35 PM

thanks guys

One of my most used tools is an old Stanley 80 I restored. I thought of a putty knife. I think the main difference is the putty knife tends to be flexible so you would probably have to grind a lot more because you won’t be able to break it off clean.

-- Sam

View Grumpy's profile


23841 posts in 3817 days

#7 posted 01-28-2008 10:33 PM

Great idea Sam. Thanks for the tip.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6851 posts in 3945 days

#8 posted 01-29-2008 02:59 AM

Hi Sam;

Great idea. We’ve been shaping old cabinet scrapers to the shapes we want, but I like your idea much better.

Clever, very clever!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3840 days

#9 posted 01-29-2008 11:25 AM

Great thinking outside the box!

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