Reply To: Thickness of card scrapers

Sven-Olof Jansson

Her most gracious request for a sideboard in sugar maple (Acer saccharum) has provided me with a lot of experiences from the use of various scraping tools.
Scraping tools
The upper part of the inserted photo shows a piece of said wood with unruly grain; the bottom part is of the tools tried on it. Overall, the scraping plane worked best for me, giving no issues going along the board in either direction. Then followed the cabinet scraper, which was worked without a hook on the edge. In the hands of someone more accomplished, it would perhaps have been the best tool.

Of the scraper cards, the Crucible (0.81 mm) was very effective, with little tendency to dig down along the corners of the edges. Thanks to its shape, it didn’t require any flexing. The card scraper holder has a 0,81 mm Veritas scraper inserted. My thumbs prefer that combination a lot above flexing the 0.81 Veritas card next to it. The short one, third from right, is a Bacho 0.61 mm. Mine have all come with good hooks, ready to use straight away, and not too hard to flex. As long as I shy away from upcoming opposing grain along the edges, they have done a good job.

Last to the right are a 0.52 mm Lie-Nielsen card scraper and a 0.41 mm Veritas; very good for details, and I don’t think they are intended for work over any larger surfaces, with the exception of scraping finishes like shellac.

The HNT Gordon with its 60º bed angle worked well enough as long as the grain didn’t rise up against it. The little Veritas bevel up smoothing plane quickly retreated to the rear, leaving issues behind.

In summary and as usual, I think the best scraping tool is the one that one first achieved good results with. The Crucible, Bacho, and Lie-Nielsen are to me a good combination.

Sven-Olof Jansson
London, UK; Boston, MA