Card Scrapers and wimpy hands

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Forum topic by DragonLady posted 01-09-2011 07:32 AM 3975 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DragonLady's profile


298 posts in 2427 days

01-09-2011 07:32 AM

I just got my first set of card scrapers, and I’m finding that my weak, wimpy hands with incipient arthritis just aren’t up to the task.

If I use one of these scraper holders, does it make a big difference as to the level of finish you are able to get? Or should I just resign myself to the fact that I can only use a card scraper for about 45 secs at a time before I become a blubbering mass of pain?

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

18 replies so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2535 days

#1 posted 01-09-2011 08:48 AM

i gess you had set your scraper up the right way :-)

they can get real hot if used free hand
and oyu have to find a way of locking your hand and arm in the right angle
but it still nessery to have some mucle in the fingers/hand itself and it is not every people who has it :-)

but I will gess if you can use carvingcheisel and pairing cheisels you shuold be able to doit more than 45 sec.

and I gess it wuold be alot more comfeteble to use a scraperholder like veritas´s
but I will surgest you make your own ….its alot cheaper :-) is the link to one made by a L J

good ,luck with it Dragon Lady


View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2494 days

#2 posted 01-09-2011 04:34 PM

I just bought one of those card scraper holders but I have not tried it out yet. I’m sure it will help with the strain on your hands. However, some people claim that it is harder to find the “sweet spot” when using the card holder.

Using a card holder is sort of a feel thing. You can feel when card is in just the right position. Some of us call that the “sweet spot”.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View spunwood's profile


1198 posts in 2256 days

#3 posted 01-09-2011 04:43 PM

I have been thinking of making this homemade holder:
If you do, let me know how they work :)

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View lew's profile


11263 posts in 3175 days

#4 posted 01-09-2011 05:34 PM

Check out these two projects before you spend any money


edit: sorry Dennis, didn’t see your link

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 3425 days

#5 posted 01-09-2011 05:39 PM

Come up with your own holder that caters only to you. One of the fun perks that comes from being a woodworker!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2535 days

#6 posted 01-09-2011 06:11 PM

LOL ..Lew that can happen to all of us :-)

but thank´s for the other link

Dragon Lady maybee consider to use a cabinet scraber like Stanley 80 or make one your self
I know the pictures ain´t the best to show how it looks on this link and I know there is a few more
of them on L J

or a scraberplane home made

take care

View Paul C.'s profile

Paul C.

154 posts in 2665 days

#7 posted 01-09-2011 07:11 PM

I have all kinds of trouble with my hands, and I find The Veritas holder to be really helpful.

View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


139 posts in 2285 days

#8 posted 01-09-2011 07:35 PM

Dragonlady, you didn’t mention what kind of card scrapers you got. They do come in different thicknesses. The thicker ones are better able to take a thicker shaving. The thinner ones take less material off, but are easier to flex and use.

You may want to look around for some thinner scrapers. It won’t solve your problem, but it would enable you to work longer, or more comfortably.

My computer programmer hands aren’t that strong, and they get tired quickly. But after learning to properly burnish a scraper (finally!) they are great! I don’t see myself doing much sanding on projects anymore after getting the hang of them. If a homemade, or commercial scraper works for you, I think it would be worthwhile for the results you get from the scapers.

Good luck.

View DragonLady's profile


298 posts in 2427 days

#9 posted 01-09-2011 08:14 PM

wow, thank you all for the links to the projects. For some reason, I didn’t even think about searching here first.

Glad to know I’m not the only one with this problem. It’s bad enough that all GOOD tools are built to fit man-hands, and I don’t have man-hands….not being a man, you see… :)

Will look around, and maybe I can cobble something together.

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3068 days

#10 posted 01-09-2011 08:56 PM

I have one of those scraper holders. They are useful for heavier scrapers,
but you don’t get as much use out of the scraper because you can
only use the center of the edge with them. When you do it with
your hands you can get use out of more of the edge.

I’d suggest getting some thinner scrapers. They are more pleasant to
use. They get hot faster though.

View DragonLady's profile


298 posts in 2427 days

#11 posted 01-09-2011 09:01 PM

Even with thinner scrapers, my joints just aren’t up to the task.

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View Dez's profile


1162 posts in 3497 days

#12 posted 01-09-2011 09:39 PM

My hands are still in fairly good shape but I still made my own holder years ago. The heat was uncomfortable and I hate wearing gloves.

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3068 days

#13 posted 01-09-2011 09:55 PM

Try using razor blades for fine scraping. I dub off the corners with a
diamond stone or grinder. Luthier trick.

Also, get a Stanley #80 or similar cabinet scraper. The scrapers are not
as fast to sharpen and get to work with as the handheld scrapers and
you only get one or two burrs instead of 4, but the tool is a monster
for heavy scraping.

Planes can also be tuned for scraping. Veritas makes an attachment
for this. The drawback is you have to sharpen them a lot because
the available edge is more limited than with card scrapers.

Some people use a piece of glass held between two rubber shoe heels.
You throw away the glass when it breaks or loses it’s cutting edge.
Maybe lab slides work. I’ve never tried the glass scraping method

Here’s a YouTube video of a guy showing a clever glass scraping trick
on cabriole legs:

View DonH's profile


494 posts in 2237 days

#14 posted 01-09-2011 10:54 PM

The one thing about card scrapers is proper prep of the edges. There are a number of articles available on that topic from the woodworking mags. A really good and proper edge allows you to use the scraper with less effort – with or without a holder. While I generally lean into it a bit I also often use scrappers with a one handed sweeping motion for very light cuts – and zero effort.

I use scrapers as a last resort to hand planning difficult grains and in place of sanding between finish coats on some types of finishes. The first can be a lot of work but the cleanup between coats is easy and way better than sanding – is is fast, dust free (shavings) and you can get into the corners easier.

Check out the options for scraper use and in particular edge prep. You will find their use much easier and be better prepared to make the right choice re any kind of holder.

I have the Lee Valley holder (Veritas) and it is a bit awkward for me for some reason. So I just get hot and tired hands on occasion. But worth it – these are great tools.


-- DonH Orleans Ontario

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2535 days

#15 posted 01-09-2011 11:40 PM

D. G.
whay joint´s are you talking about
can you show a picture ….PLease…easyer to help you :-)


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