Card Scrapers

Nature Man

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Curious to hear comments from those that use card scrapers in flat work, for such things as end grain cutting boards or other projects. What is your experience, and do you have any recommendations to share. Thanks! Chuck
 

DLJeffs

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I've used a scraper on some parts of guitar work - such as leveling the back strip on guitar #3. Mine was a brand new scraper and it worked really well. I think there is a little technique to get a smooth surface without any scratches or grooves. The other thing I noticed when scraping the back strip, which does have some end grain, when doing a piece like that with different woods, the scraper did start to "bounce" a little, removing the soft wood but bouncing over the harder woods. Maybe I was pressing too hard or not hard enough, not sure. I also used a scraper when leveling the rosette, but the highest pieces were the purfling which is plastic. The scraper did not work as well once I got down to the zebrawood and I got very nervous about making grooves or deep cuts into the spruce top so went back to a sanding block. Maybe that was because no matter which direction I went I was going across the grain, rather than with the grain and the scraper would bounce a little. My current opinion is scrapers have their uses and purpose, but like many things, to get the best out of them, it takes a little learning and a little technique.



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Lance

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I bought one primarily for juice grooves in cutting boards, as I would get some burn marks that sucked to sand out. It had different sized rounded corners, then obviously the flat sides. It's not perfect, but it saves a lot of sanding when it comes to the router burns. End grains are obviously a lot harder. For flat surfaces, my drum sander works wonders on the endgrain (as I'm assuming you're not wanting to put endgrains through a planer)!
 

Nature Man

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I've used a scraper on some parts of guitar work - such as leveling the back strip on guitar #3. Mine was a brand new scraper and it worked really well. I think there is a little technique to get a smooth surface without any scratches or grooves. The other thing I noticed when scraping the back strip, which does have some end grain, when doing a piece like that with different woods, the scraper did start to "bounce" a little, removing the soft wood but bouncing over the harder woods. Maybe I was pressing too hard or not hard enough, not sure. I also used a scraper when leveling the rosette, but the highest pieces were the purfling which is plastic. The scraper did not work as well once I got down to the zebrawood and I got very nervous about making grooves or deep cuts into the spruce top so went back to a sanding block. Maybe that was because no matter which direction I went I was going across the grain, rather than with the grain and the scraper would bounce a little. My current opinion is scrapers have their uses and purpose, but like many things, to get the best out of them, it takes a little learning and a little technique.



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Thanks! Think you've probably hit the nail on the head with your comment "scrapers have their uses and purpose, but like many things, to get the best out of them, it takes a little learning and a little technique." I have a basic one that I have not used yet, but believe it will take some getting used to in order too optimize its use. And then, I would suspect some uses are better than others. Chuck
 

Nature Man

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I bought one primarily for juice grooves in cutting boards, as I would get some burn marks that sucked to sand out. It had different sized rounded corners, then obviously the flat sides. It's not perfect, but it saves a lot of sanding when it comes to the router burns. End grains are obviously a lot harder. For flat surfaces, my drum sander works wonders on the endgrain (as I'm assuming you're not wanting to put endgrains through a planer)!
Thanks! Saving sanding time is certainly a plus. Was it a Gooseneck Scraper that you used for the grooves? I don't have a drum sander, yet, and have heard of the huge mistake of running endgrains through a planer, so that's not going to happen for sure! Chuck
 

Lance

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DLJeffs

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Thanks! Think you've probably hit the nail on the head with your comment "scrapers have their uses and purpose, but like many things, to get the best out of them, it takes a little learning and a little technique." I have a basic one that I have not used yet, but believe it will take some getting used to in order too optimize its use. And then, I would suspect some uses are better than others. Chuck
They seem to work pretty well, even for me when I haven't ever used one before, as long as I went with the grain. Going across the grain it tended to dig in and bounce. I guess end grain would be similar. I think you can go across grain at an angle, just not perpendicular.
 

JerseyHighlander

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Card scraper was on the list of required kit when I took my first job in a cabinet shop back in the 1980's. Had to learn to use one, as taught by the then, old timers, of the shop. From there had to learn, several times over how to properly "sharpen" one and that is the key above all else to success in it's use or frustration. A good quality burnisher is a must and from there develop and practice your technique in creating a burr. It's very, very easy to go too far or to turn out a not so good burr but when you have it, you'll love how they work. Hardly ever use sandpaper when the scraper is working well.
I've made many a scraper over the years too, of various sizes and shapes, sometimes for specific work like cleaning up the chatter on a moulding left by the shaper or router, back when I used such infernal machines.
Never pass up a cheap old handsaw at a flea market or garage sale... Too abused or just not worth the trouble to restore, it's still good spring steel to make scrapers from, especially when you get it for a buck or less.

You can also get them in various thicknesses, giving them a heavier or lighter cut, just not that common anymore.

For end grain on a cutting board, honestly I'd recommend a good low angle block plane rather than a scraper.

Here's a link for a good source for quality card scrapers if you like.
.
 
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Nature Man

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Thanks for the seasoned advice! And the link! Just what I am looking for. Chuck
 

brown down

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Thanks! Saving sanding time is certainly a plus. Was it a Gooseneck Scraper that you used for the grooves? I don't have a drum sander, yet, and have heard of the huge mistake of running endgrains through a planer, so that's not going to happen for sure! Chuck
As long as your blades are sharp and take lighter cuts than you would face grain you can def send end grain through a planer I do it all the time
 

Patrude

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I use card scrapers for finishing wood spoons. I keep several handy and I really like the finish I get with them. They definitely require prep work. That tiny burr you get from burnishing is what gives you the best results. I use the hardened emd of a drill bit for burnishing. Good idea to turn a handle for it. Everyone has their preferred angle for burnishing, mine is 5 to 7 degrees. There's a number of you tube videos for tuning up a card scraper available. There's a product out there called "accuburr" that's well taking a look at m as always the more you do it the better the results. Good luck
 

Mike1950

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Card scraper was on the list of required kit when I took my first job in a cabinet shop back in the 1980's. Had to learn to use one, as taught by the then, old timers, of the shop. From there had to learn, several times over how to properly "sharpen" one and that is the key above all else to success in it's use or frustration. A good quality burnisher is a must and from there develop and practice your technique in creating a burr. It's very, very easy to go too far or to turn out a not so good burr but when you have it, you'll love how they work. Hardly ever use sandpaper when the scraper is working well.
I've made many a scraper over the years too, of various sizes and shapes, sometimes for specific work like cleaning up the chatter on a moulding left by the shaper or router, back when I used such infernal machines.
Never pass up a cheap old handsaw at a flea market or garage sale... Too abused or just not worth the trouble to restore, it's still good spring steel to make scrapers from, especially when you get it for a buck or less.

You can also get them in various thicknesses, giving them a heavier or lighter cut, just not that common anymore.

For end grain on a cutting board, honestly I'd recommend a good low angle block plane rather than a scraper.

Here's a link for a good source for quality card scrapers if you like.
.
You absolutely nailed it. If you cannot get the card scraper sharp it is worthless. Then again that applies to almost everything in a wood shop. scary sharp is good.
Nailed it except at infernal machines- us old guys love our machines. If I had to hand plane some of the wood I have- it would not get done. My shoulders do not like my hand tools as much as I do.
 
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woodtickgreg

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I have card scrapers, and a couple of gooseneck style and they have their uses, but I prefer the Stanley 82 scraper for most everything. It's much easier on the hands and thumbs. This thing works excellent, it's my go to for scraping. It leaves such a smooth surface you can actually skip sanding if you wanted to. The trick for figured wood is to came at it from different angles. 20231023_201716.jpg 20231023_201709.jpg 20231023_201631.jpg
 
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