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Forum topic by Whitewalls posted 08-06-2013 12:09 AM 1135 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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61 posts in 1971 days

08-06-2013 12:09 AM

I have always seen cabinet scrapers in the woodworking magazines, and have always wondered if one is really needed. I think I may have finally found a reason to go buy one or two. I will need to do some small stock removal from a piece that is already to correct thickness. I’m not sure if I would just be better off to use my router and get as close as possible to the finished piece, then sand it with heavy grit sandpaper.

Thoughts and suggestions?

-- Jared, Northern IL

14 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


10385 posts in 3645 days

#1 posted 08-06-2013 12:15 AM

Scrapers work very well. You do need to get a burnisher and
invest some time in learning how to prepare a scraper edge.

Some people scrape with broken glass. I do fine scraping
with single edged razor blades. They don’t last very long,
but they make a nice finish on small problem areas.

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 2949 days

#2 posted 08-06-2013 12:33 AM

Whitewalls, personally, I don’t find a cabinet scraper a good choice for any kind of stock removal; they are just not capable of removing a lot of wood and only really excel at removing very little wood with each pass. They work best for localized tear out on difficult grained wood and evening up edge glue joints where there is very little to remove to make them even. I would say if the difference in the joint is 1/16” or less, I might use a cabinet scraper, but anything above that and I am using a plane. To answer your opening question as to if they are really needed; I would say no. I like mine and use it now and then, but I could get by without it for sure.

-- Mike

View pintodeluxe's profile


5658 posts in 2811 days

#3 posted 08-06-2013 12:39 AM

1+ on Mike’s comment. The only thing I use a scraper for is repairing tearout from the planer. Even then, sanding is faster. You can take 50 strokes with a scraper, with nice fine shavings coming off, but it seems to take forever to clean up a panel that way.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2358 days

#4 posted 08-06-2013 12:45 AM

Nothing leaves a finer surface than a scraper. Those who don’t like scrapers, don’t know how to use them.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View chip73's profile


55 posts in 2210 days

#5 posted 08-06-2013 12:51 AM

I agree with Clint. Had mine for a year and used very little the past couple of months I have invested more time in technique and now I use it all the time. And its a very inexpensive tool.

-- Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

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Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2472 days

#6 posted 08-06-2013 12:54 AM

You don’t get tired with a scraperplane, if you care about finish and avoid sanding as much as possible, scrapers are the way to go.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2484 days

#7 posted 08-06-2013 01:00 AM

I agree with Clint…. A scraper is a Godsend at times, but you also have to realize it’s limitations.

I differ though on buying one.
I make my own out of the cheapo Dollar Store handsaws.
You need to make it true with a good file, but a good Kleintool screwdriver works nicely as a burnisher.

There are a lot of videos online you can view on how to use and work with your own.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View GT350's profile


368 posts in 1979 days

#8 posted 08-06-2013 01:23 AM

I prefer a scraper to a sander for several reasons. It’s cheaper, I don’t have to buy as much sandpaper, it’s quieter and I don’t like a lot of fine sawdust. There are other reasons to like scrapers but those are my top reasons. I think there is a time and place for sanding and it may be faster but I find scraping more enjoyable. Now if I was only good at sharpening the darned thing.

View bondogaposis's profile


4727 posts in 2348 days

#9 posted 08-06-2013 01:59 AM

Scrapers are very useful and they are cheap, there is no good reason not to own one or 2 or 4. Get one and learn to sharpen and roll a burr and you will wonder how you ever got by w/o one.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View JohnChung's profile


408 posts in 2072 days

#10 posted 08-06-2013 02:21 AM

There is a misconception on a scraper’s ability to remove stock thickness. It can remove stock quickly but not as much as a scrub plane or a bench plane. It can do scallops on the surface pretty well. Mike is right on the 1/16” thickness rule.

I use a lot of salvaged wood. So a scraper does comes in handy

View Whitewalls's profile


61 posts in 1971 days

#11 posted 08-06-2013 02:30 AM

Thanks for the info everyone. I was planning on using a router to bring the stock down as close as possible ANC then go from there.

Looks like I will be stopping by woodcraft or tickler on my way home from work this week. Darn I have to buy some more tools.

-- Jared, Northern IL

View waho6o9's profile


8190 posts in 2574 days

#12 posted 08-06-2013 02:41 AM

William Ng totally rocks on with the scraper. I’d suggest looking into
his web site as well. is also a fine site.

View nuttree's profile


280 posts in 3321 days

#13 posted 08-06-2013 05:09 AM

I have several scrapers with different profiles and use them all the time.

-- I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. -John Muir

View Don W's profile

Don W

18713 posts in 2565 days

#14 posted 08-07-2013 11:33 AM

I like a scraper for finish a lot better than sand paper. But look into a scraper plane if your talking about larger area’s. Its all the advantages to card scraper, but easier on the thumbs. I think most use both for different instances, and each have a place in woodworking.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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