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The Zen of Card Scraping

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Blog entry by Todd A. Clippinger posted 10-24-2009 06:21 AM 3893 reads 14 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was making some veneer panels in the shop. I had resawn the lumber, matched the grain, and glued up the 1/8” thick pieces. After all this I had to scrape the excess glue from the joint in the middle of the panel.

Outside was a cool but sunny autumn day here in Billings, MT. The double doors face south and I had them open. I started scraping the veneer panel glue joints and all you could hear was shhhhhhck, shhhhhhck, shhhhhck.

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The veneer panels are made of curly maple and the card scraper handled it with ease. I seemed to achieve that moment of nirvana. No power tools. No stereo. Just me, the panels, and a card scraper producing angel hair curls. It seemed that everything in the universe lined up and I was working in that sweet zone that woodworkers dream of.

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Of all the very cool tools that I own, the card scraper is absolutely my favorite tool in the shop. I even use it more than my hand planes. It is such a simple and efficient tool to use. I marvel over the results of this simple tool every time I use it.

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I use the most simple method for sharpening the card scraper and I love sharing it because I know how frustrating it can be to figure out.

I know many have seen the video, but I have to post it again for those that may have not seen it yet. I just want others to enjoy using the card scraper like I do.

One more thing before I go, notice how naked the back of my hand and wrists are in the first picture. I recently sharpened all of my chisels. I LOVE sharp chisels!

Share the Love~Share the Knowledge

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com



25 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112486 posts in 2295 days


#1 posted 10-24-2009 06:23 AM

Thanks Todd

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View KevinVan's profile

KevinVan

91 posts in 1869 days


#2 posted 10-24-2009 06:59 AM

I’m going to try your method….Thanks for Posting…

-- ALS IK KAN “to the best of my ability,”

View scrappy's profile

scrappy

3505 posts in 2148 days


#3 posted 10-24-2009 08:22 AM

Been there done that. Your video is why I invested in AND use my card scraper. Thank you for sharing the reminder for those that don’t know the ease of use this simple tool has.

Curly Maple has an interesting grain and the card scraper works very well on things like that. I use mine the most on Inlay work. The grain is going in all dirrections and the card scraper can handle it with ease.

Thank You

Scrappy

-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2539 days


#4 posted 10-24-2009 01:21 PM

Thanks for posting this again, Todd. I had struggled with using my card scrapers and was not satisfied with my performance until I started using the process that you demonstrated with this video. Now I use it routinely to prep raw wood and panels before sanding.

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

View Russel's profile

Russel

2199 posts in 2657 days


#5 posted 10-24-2009 02:30 PM

Gotta love those Zen moments. Nothing but peace and productivity.

-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com

View Karson's profile

Karson

34901 posts in 3118 days


#6 posted 10-24-2009 03:46 PM

Great posting again. Thanks.

I see you are using the resawn cutoffs from your tabls.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2817 days


#7 posted 10-24-2009 04:16 PM

Cessna – I did not even cover that one but I do use it to fix finish defects as well. For fixing finish defects I also use a single edge razor as a mini scraper or a chisel.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Blake's profile

Blake

3437 posts in 2592 days


#8 posted 10-24-2009 06:48 PM

...yup

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View Richforever's profile

Richforever

739 posts in 2438 days


#9 posted 10-24-2009 10:13 PM

Thanks for sharing the zen!

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View RockyTopScott's profile

RockyTopScott

1141 posts in 2196 days


#10 posted 10-24-2009 11:30 PM

Great video…what type file are you using and any particular type of scrapers you prefer?

Scott

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2817 days


#11 posted 10-24-2009 11:58 PM

I use either a single cut 10 or 12 mill bastard file. I have both and either works.

Card brand does not matter.

I also wrote a blog covering the same thing and you may see it here.

You will find some pictures of the card scrapers that may help.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3681 posts in 1882 days


#12 posted 10-24-2009 11:58 PM

Thanks Todd for the instruction. Didn’t know much before seeing this, but now I feel comfortable about buying and starting to use card scrapers.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View poroskywood's profile

poroskywood

614 posts in 2082 days


#13 posted 10-25-2009 02:07 AM

Thanks Todd, I’ll be getting a card scraper, it looks like it would definitely save me some sanding time!

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3186 posts in 2540 days


#14 posted 10-25-2009 04:35 AM

One of my all time favorite tools…bullet proof it never need charging, easy on the ears, and I can hear my favorite music in the shop yes sir this is fine woodworking. Share the love…Blkcherry

View Mark's profile

Mark

316 posts in 2851 days


#15 posted 10-25-2009 03:19 PM

Thanks. Card scrapers have become one of my favorite tools in the finishing process. They work exceedingly well, are easy to sharpen and the peace and quite is exquisite. I will try your sharpening method on the piece I’m currently working on. Thanks again.

-- Mark

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