I’m in the process of making a picture frame for a very special picture (Personally autographed photo of Trevor Linden’s last step of the ice in his last game and me and my buddy in the background – for the hockey fans out there) and the main profile is a 3” x 1/4” cove I cut on my table saw (this is a first for me) using a combination blade. While the surface came out ok, the first piece required a lot of sanding the get rid of the teeth marks. So before starting the second side of the frame I went and bought the curved scraper set from Lee Valley ($14.50CAD for a set of 3 different shapes). I can’t believe how much time it saved me and the super fine little shavings that it produced! It does not require a tremendous amount of skill either, just a little practice and due care and attention. WARNING!!! I quickly found that the scraper can get very hot near the cutting edge and if your fingers are too close you will burn them! I also bought a straight edge scraper and it really does leave a very smooth finish when used properly.
The salesmen at LV made a comment about how using scrapers seemed to have a bit of an ‘old school’ stigma, which I thought was odd considering how useful they are, so I just wanted to share that little story for those of you out there that find you spend way too much time sanding – you should give scrapers a try! Another bonus is they don’t produce dust that you will inhale, like sanding does.
-- Greg - Vancouver, BC