How to Use a Cabinet Scraper
Cabinet scrapers — for use on
Cabinet scrapers give a satin-smooth finish to hardwood and hardwood veneers. Use them to clean up after planing and before polishing, to smooth rough areas of wild grain or remove discoloured patches.
Scrapers do not, in fact, scrape, but shave. They are sharpened so that a burr is formed at an edge and then turned back to give a tiny cutting edge which bites into the wood. This means that they do not produce the grain-clogging dust that sandpaper does.
New scrapers have to be sharpened; if a scraper becomes hot and produces dust instead of shavings during use, it needs re-sharpening. This is not as difficult as it appears and takes only as long as a plane blade to do. Sharpen the two long sides at one go, as shown below, so that you have a total of four cutting edges to work with.
Sharpening a Cabinet Scraper Step by Step
1. Run a fine flat file along the side, removing all pits or dents. This will turn up a metal burr on each face, as shown in the bottom left of the picture.
2. Lay each face flat on an oilstone and rub off most of the burr, turning up the remainder parallel with the face. Make sure the face remains flat on the stone.
3. Now hold the scraper upright on the stone and rub off the remaining burr. This gives a finely finished straight side ready to be given a cutting edge.
4. Place the scraper on the bench and rub a sharpener, such as the back of a gouge, flat over each face, to produce a fine burr parallel to the face.
5. Make two or three vertical strokes up the side with the gouge at about 85° to the face. This turns back the burr which forms the cutting edges.
6. Sharpen shaped cutters by the same method, using a slipstone on curves. For resharpening, ignore the first three stages, unless the cutting burr is worn right away.