From the Bench: Simple, Useful Cabinet Scrapers

The cabinet scraper is an effective weapon in the war against tear-out.
By Don McConnell
Pages: 32-34

From the June 2004 issue #141
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The cabinet scraper (also known as a card scraper) holds a remarkable place among the traditional woodworking tools that are used to deal with especially dense timbers and difficult grain.

When woodworkers discuss hand planes that are able to deal with such woods, the talk invariably turns to earnest consideration of tiny mouth apertures, secure iron bedding, carefully considered angles, flat soles and a fine depth of cut.

The cabinet scraper gets included in such discussions, even though the tool – essentially a piece of thin steel usually cut into a rectangular shape – doesn’t exhibit any of these traits. Its inclusion is based on the fact that it’s capable of taking fine shavings while hardly ever tearing out the wood fibers. Further, the denser and harder the timber, the better the tool seems to perform.

The cabinet scraper is capable of this performance because, despite the fact that it’s called a scraper, it actually is a self-limiting cutting tool when it’s properly prepared, sharpened and manipulated.

From the June 2004 issue #141
Buy this issue now