No. 80 Cabinet Scraper

No 80 Cabinet Scraper

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Having trouble getting a good shaving with your cabinet scraper or want a refresher on how to sharpen, burnish and set it up? Follow along as Paul takes us through step by step.


  1. smfield on 3 March 2014 at 4:38 pm

    I love the #80!

  2. Mexiquite on 3 March 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Like butter

  3. NikonD80 on 3 March 2014 at 5:19 pm

    It’s so obvious when Paul shows how to do it but I’ve been struggling to get my #80 to work like that for ages. I cant wait to get home and try this out now.

  4. bobeaston on 3 March 2014 at 5:32 pm

    THANK YOU!!!
    Not long ago, I acquired an old #80 that was in very good condition. After a bit of cleanup and sharpening, I tested it a bit and set it aside. For the latest project, I flew on autopilot over to the stack of card scrapers and used those … forgetting completely about the #80. Doh!

    Now, I know how to make those #80 edges even better. THANKS!

  5. Eddy Flynn on 3 March 2014 at 6:00 pm

    thanks for putting this out i have tried sharpening my #80 with differing degrees of success now i have a step by step how to guide i’m off to the shed to give it a go (small thing amuse small minds haha)

  6. Charles Bjorgen on 3 March 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Haven’t touched my no. 80’s in quite some time. Can’t wait to tackle this now that I see how it’s done. Thanks, Paul.

  7. STEVE MASSIE on 3 March 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Thank you for this one, I have one but have never used it as most of my projects since I been using hand tools have been in pine. Now I know the technique it will get some use.


  8. isarad on 3 March 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Excellent video Paul,thank you.
    I have the Kunz no 80’s and is pretty much the same as the records. One thing i’ve found it works with this scaper is to flatten the sole as if it was a plane. I also use the Arno Carbur burnisher, and is super convenient and fast.

    • smfield on 3 March 2014 at 7:34 pm

      I find the Kunz products to be inferior, that is probably why you have to flatten the sole.

      • Florian on 4 March 2014 at 9:05 am

        I don’t agree. They might miss the final polish out of the box (except for their plus line) but that’s what makes them so inexpensive plus the fact that they do not advertise. Beside that they are well built. I like their spokeshaves. Even the blades do sharpen well and hold the edge although tool stores selling the products recommend to buy an expensive extra blade instead of the “inferior” one that comes with it.
        I probably wouldn’t buy their cheap plane line but the shaves and scrapers are worth a look.

  9. smfield on 3 March 2014 at 7:39 pm

    A good way to look at the #80 is to think of the bedding angle as actually negative or greater then 90*. After all, it is a bevel down plane.

  10. Juan-M on 3 March 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Mr. Sellers (and others of course): how critical is a flat sole for a cabinet scraper? I ask because I’ve read a couple forum posts about soles being really out of flat (bellied), and looking at the wear pattern on the soles of some of the #80’s on ebay, I think this is a fairly common trait.

  11. Dennis_C on 3 March 2014 at 8:39 pm

    I love his sharpening instructions in The Artisan Course Working Wood on the hand scrapers. If you haven’t seen it, it is well worth the money for his teachings in that course.

  12. derek.eder on 3 March 2014 at 8:41 pm

    I have an old Stanley scraper which needs a blade. Is sawplate thick enough?

    • Florian on 4 March 2014 at 9:35 am

      Scroll to the bottom of the page. There Paul discusses the use of a thick cabinet scraper as a blade for the no 80.

    • Paul Sellers on 4 March 2014 at 3:53 pm

      Many saw plates will be too thin or too hard to cut the plate. I have found that the thick, large Veritas card scrapers work well for a replacement blade and you can get at lesat two out of one scraper. If you buy there set of four you get good scrapers, but the larger one I find a little less use for than the others, so it is no loss to make a #80 scraper blade or two from that.

      • mnarges on 22 April 2015 at 3:09 am

        Just wanted to thank you for your hard work. I really appreciate the instruction and advice. Have had a Veritas Scraper Plane for several years. Due to your use of the Cabinet Scraper, I just got the Veritas version and it is a gem! Thanks for the videos and especially the blog!!

    • smfield on 4 March 2014 at 6:20 pm

      Here’s a 81 from eBay:
      At James Bay Tool Co makes these replacements and Hock too.

      • smfield on 8 March 2014 at 2:30 pm

        The St. James Bay Tool Co. store on eBay has a #80 blade for sale for only $6!

    • rickcorradini on 5 March 2014 at 2:10 am

      Lee Valley also sells their replacement #80 scraper blade.

  13. david o'sullivan on 3 March 2014 at 9:15 pm

    this is one tool i love to use; set correctly its a dream to use even for the wiry grain. my 10 year old son loves to use it also . i have flattened the sole on sandpaper moving through the grits no problem i would leave the iron in but up of the face when doing it .i would definitely recommend owning a 80 .some woods will not plane but the 80 will leave a crisp clean finish that will surprise you . no more sanders and dust masks for me

  14. DeniseG on 3 March 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Thank you @Paul. I bought a #80 late last year on eBay and now it will be ready to give me a lovely smooth finish on a white oak night stand I’m building. The white oak is also something I have selected after seeing you work with it for beautiful results.

    • Paul Sellers on 4 March 2014 at 3:56 pm

      White oak has a better ‘grain body’ than red oak and more diverse character too. You certainly get a better finish with it and the colour I like too.

  15. Richard Mallard on 3 March 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Paul: Thank you so much for this. My #80 sat unused and unloved until now.

  16. Gary Henderson on 3 March 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Thanks for the viedo. I’m just finishing a 12 foot table for my patio made from a bowling lane section. My #80 came in handy working down some of the high edges. Now I’ll retune it before the next one. Very helpful, thanks again


  17. davebulow on 3 March 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Thanks very much Paul & Team for another excellent informative, (yet simple!) video. This is excellent! Many Thanks!

  18. adrian on 4 March 2014 at 2:05 am

    Thank’s Paul, as usual your no nonsense approach works like a charm. I have turned the edges on all my scrapers in the past with such care and wasted time. Your approach yields a better hook and in half the time. You the man!

  19. Jason on 4 March 2014 at 3:03 am

    @paul-sellers, thanks for this. This is good stuff. I have one question that may be difficult to answer except in person. What does an acceptable scraped board (top) look like, or feel like? I scraped my latest project (a kitchen table) and while its smooth, its not like a sanded surface. I did my final scraping as I’ve seen you do, with the grain. What I have is narrow scallops that go the length of the table. If you run your hand across the grain, you can feel them. Either my technique needs improvement, my scraper needs improvement, or its just a really different from sanded surfaces and I need to simply get used to it. Hopefully you can cover this somehow.


    • D.J. King on 4 March 2014 at 2:39 pm


      It may be that you’re not putting enough flex in the blade or in fact too much. Try adjusting how much flexes in the blade and see what results you get. Naturally, I would recommend you experiment with this on the scrap wood similar to your project, but not the actual workpiece itself. The thumb key type adjuster, which is on the opposite side of the locking bar, is used to adjust the amount of flex of the blade. You also didn’t mention what type of shavings were getting. If the shavings you are getting are dusty or too thick, your hook may not be right. What you should be getting are very thin curly shavings. Good luck and I hope this helps.

    • Paul Sellers on 4 March 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Sounds like too much bellying by turning the thumbscrew too much. Initially, turning the thumbscrew to get a cut should be about 1/8th of a turn once if the plate lies dead flush. Often times I find people leave the plate shy of the face of the scraper sole. That means they must convex the plate all the more and they end up with a narrow arching and a narrower surface being scraped. Sometimes we use this as a technique to create a faux hand planed look. Flexing the plate this much also exaggerates the protrusion causing invisible chatter to the surface and so we end up with more fuzzy surface. This is a very common problem people allude to in articles like the one I countered in Fine Woodworking last year when the author said that a #80 will not give an acceptable surface for finishing. Less bow, accurate alignment, minimal protrusion gives the best results. Now when it comes to hogging off stock, go ahead and protrude much. After you are level, resharpen and refine the surface with fine shavings and almost no protrusion.
      It is hard to say what wood should feel like. If you are scraping some hardwoods like Rosewood, Cocobolo, Padauk, you know, those that are without openness and very dense, the surface should feel like glass from the scraper, regardless of which type, make etc. Maple and walnut, cherry may fall in the mid range and require superbly high levels of pristine sharpening to get the same or similar finish, softwoods and soft-grained woods are diversely problematic. Most pines, if not ultra soft, will scrape, some will not.

      • smfield on 5 March 2014 at 2:51 pm

        I read that Fine Woodworker article too and was surprised that the author said that the 80 wouldn’t leave a fine enough surface to avoid sanding. Being humble, I just excepted the superior knowledge that a Fine Woodworker writer would have and rationalized that I’m just tolerating as final the finish I get with my no. 80, however “inferior” that it is from that writers perspective. Glad Paul set us straight.

  20. Ian Thomas on 4 March 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Is it a bastard cut file or second cut?

    • Paul Sellers on 4 March 2014 at 4:14 pm

      Usually, in general, my experiments have shown that this will not matter as much as we think it should. If you are honing or even consolidating with the burnisher this will smooth the surface by pressing any roughness into the main body of the steel plate. In general. the file is to remove metal and square the edge on a card scraper or reshape the 45-degrees on the #80 plate.

  21. Carlos J. Collazo on 5 March 2014 at 12:48 am

    Thank you so much for this Paul Sellers and team!

  22. Doug Commons on 6 March 2014 at 2:24 am

    Thank you for thoroughly explaining the process of sharpening a No. 80 scraper blade.

  23. Anonymous on 11 March 2014 at 6:08 am

    I’m using English cabinet scrapers right now. Are there significant advantages to using what looks like a holder for these, or are we looking at a thin hand-held scraper versus a thick mounted two-handed scraper? If so I would imagine the applications differ.

    To put the question another way, when would I need to buy one for my tool set?


    • Donly on 19 March 2014 at 11:09 pm


      Your video convinced me of the usefulness of the #80 scraper so I went ahead and bought one (probably paid too much). Received it today, sharpened the blade, and tried it on walnut and pine and I’m tickled with its performance.

      The price does not bother me at all now and I’m happy to have it. I’m sure to get lots of use from this tool and have you to thank for pointing me in that direction.

      I’m really enjoying your Woodworking Masterclass and anxiously wait for each new video every week. Each one teaches me new techniques and helps improve my workmanship.

      Thank you,


    • Philip Adams on 25 March 2014 at 1:03 pm

      Hi Mike,
      The No 80 is useful for different situations, as it is indeed thicker and you can more easily control the flex. One such use would be the flattening of a table top with wiry grain, and we will be putting up a video on the different uses for scrapers in the coming month. I wouldn’t be without one in my toolboox. Very useful for situations where you might not be able to use anything else.

  24. stevefsims on 21 September 2014 at 5:46 am

    I bought a Stanley #80 at a junk shop. When I got it home I noticed that on side of the scraper was convex. After a little research it seems that the second generation of the stanley #80 came that way. I am curious if anyone can tell me what you would use the convex side for and how do you set it up? I assume you create the hook the same, but am not sure how to set it up and use it and for what purpose.

  25. bigal on 11 October 2014 at 10:21 pm

    After watching this video I even got a great cut from a faithful 80 which cost a paltry 14 quid new !

    Thanks Paul

  26. moristar on 27 January 2016 at 11:13 am

    So what is recommended then for pine? I had good enough results with smoothing plane + fine sanding, but actually got some scrapers to see if it improves finish. Now I’m a bit discouraged by knowing that it’s not suited for pine really.

  27. theojo65 on 20 August 2016 at 12:40 am

    Picked up a Kunz not that long ago.First thing I did was spend about half an hour or so flattening the bottom of it. Watched this video a few times and sharpened it up just like Paul showed us. I got wonderful shavings on my first oak board. I truly appreciate all the time and effort Paul takes to teach us his knowledge.

  28. Jamie Duff on 14 September 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Excellent video had to re-watch as my wife has both me an old Stanley No.80 in great condition £20?

  29. ehisey on 27 November 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Picked up an old Sargent #54 and after watching the video, it was making wonderful shavings.

  30. joeleonetti on 30 June 2017 at 12:55 am

    Thanks Paul. What I like about all of these videos is that after two years of woodworking, I am now ready for this knowledge. I am building some nights rands for my daughters bedroom out of cherry that has reversing grain. I get a little tear out in either direction with the hand plane. Solution is to go to the cabinet scraper. A quick Google search later and I have this very nice details step by step how to.

  31. Douglas Rosebank on 24 October 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I’ve set up my used No.80 from ebay just like this and it works really great! It is completely saving a kitchen table I’ve been making from cheap construction timber, that just kept tearing out no matter how I planed it. So ..thank you!

    My question is how do I just touch up the hook? I have a good straight and polished 45 degree edge, when the hook starts to feel like it’s not cutting so well what’s the honing process? Do I remove the bur on a stone and compress and re-burnish? Or just re-burnish?


    • Philip Adams on 26 October 2017 at 11:23 am

      Hello Douglas, you certainly can try just re-burnishing and sometimes that is enough. Once you’ve done that once or twice it will probably be time to start again from the file.

  32. Ryan Dillon on 15 January 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks for this video it really hits the spot with simplicity and clarity. Results to boot!!!

    Can you talk about the homemade burnisher a little more. I think you said in the curved scraper video its O1 steel. Did you harden in oil and leave as is or did you temper it down a little.


  33. Philip Adams on 16 January 2018 at 3:16 pm

    Glad you enjoyed it. Paul hardened it in oil and then left it as is.

  34. Harvey Kimsey on 19 February 2018 at 1:10 am

    Experimenting with the edge preparation on my #80….Honing the edge but not putting a hook on it with the burnisher gives an acceptable but less aggressive cut. Beginners might want to try this, then put a hook on the edge and see how that performs.

  35. Tim Linnan on 25 September 2018 at 2:01 am

    I have had a #80 that I could not get to produce the way I thought it could. I had purchased it at auction and now I know how to tune it. The 45 degrees was the key as my iron was way off. Took about 15 minutes to fix.

    Thank you Paul!

  36. claudisimo on 3 October 2018 at 4:33 am

    A long time ago I bought a cabinet scraper (stanley #81) that I was never able to leave in a good working condition, it is kind of weird. Anyway, I just ordered a new Veritas (It’s been years since I started with woodworking and still don’t have a cabinet scraper, what a shame) and I’m wondering if I will have to take this steps or it will come ready to use

    • Izzy Berger on 5 October 2018 at 3:05 pm


      Paul says you will still have to follow the video, it will not come sharpened. Even if it did, within a few minutes cabinet scrapers need sharpening anyway. So you may as well learn the skill now and own it for the rest of your life.

      Kind Regards,

  37. Colin Scowen on 2 January 2020 at 4:53 pm

    Just finished resharpening the blade on a no 80 I picked up over crimbo. Thanks very much for this, and the other tool / technique videos.
    The blade was very worn, whoever had had it before seems to have deliberately curved the cutting edge (I could feel trace of the hook all the way along the blade when I first got my hands on it). Aside for the ‘faux planed’ look mentioned above, could there be any other reason?
    Now to check and polish the sole. Tomorrow, time to start cutting joinery on a scaled down version of the trestle table.
    Happy new year everyone.

    • Izzy Berger on 3 January 2020 at 2:25 pm

      Hi Colin,

      I can’t think of any practical reason for this beyond the ‘faux planed’ look.

      Kind Regards,

  38. Johnny Burgess on 5 September 2020 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks for all info.

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