Making chair devils

Making Chair Devils

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Chair Devils are a great tool for refining the shape of round legs and spindles, smoothing out any irregularity or unevenness. Paul shows how to make your own using a card scraper. The design can be adapted to various tapers and diameters and you could make a couple of different ones to have at hand for a number of projects.


  1. Steve Schlang on 15 August 2014 at 5:57 pm


  2. Michael Petre on 15 August 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Thank you Paul for this video! I can see a few chair devils in my tool kit in the near future!

  3. Kirk Zabolio on 15 August 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks Paul. I can many uses for the devil not only chairs.

  4. Tim457 on 15 August 2014 at 7:13 pm

    This is great, I was just spending too much time trying to get a handle for a slick just right with the spokeshave. It was getting there and it is a good learning experience, but this will really help.

  5. António on 15 August 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Thank You team!
    Another great poor man’s tool!

  6. SharpPencil on 15 August 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks for that Paul…..when I watched yesterday’s video (14th Aug) on the Shaker chair, I was left feeling that by rounding with a spoke shave, there was a risk of surface flats. This video of a rounding scraper answers my thoughts, although it should be said that if it were cut to, 1″ diameter and then used on 1.25″ diameter a groove would be cut either side of cutter. A disaster at the final stage.

    How do I optain scraper material please.

    I have noticed that although you have access to pristine no 4 planes, yours is one,
    no doubt used for years, I think that’s a nice touch.

    Thanks John

    • Tim457 on 16 August 2014 at 2:37 am

      “How do I optain scraper material please.”

      Old saws can make great material for scrapers when cut up. If you live in an area where old saws are available they are cheap and you can find the ones that aren’t good as saws any more.

      • Frank Joseph on 17 August 2014 at 10:12 pm

        Corn & Tim

        You can use the end of a scraper this will not damage your scraper,in fact it adds to it. You can also use any flat sheet steel , it may need the edge refrashed more but if you look around you can find some spring steel
        I am using a old bandsaw blade, I also found a housing from a old file cabnet its just. Over 3/32 thick I have cut scrach stock from it. Remember its not doing a lot of cutting its just shaving or pealing the wood..

    • ballinger on 16 August 2014 at 6:57 am

      That’s a good question Paul suggested the veritas scrapers previously on his blog:

      My scrapers are not to expensive and I recommend buying the set from Veritas. The hardness is perfect, the flex well to task, they retain their edge and take an edge readily. I have every type of scraper made I think and have used every maker type. Bahco scrapers are good too. The reason I like the Veritas set is that they are different thicknesses and different sizes. Here is the link

      Get the scrapers only; plus a burnisher. Holders and edge formers are not really necessary and they slow down the development of skill and intuition, which speed up the whole process for me. Sorry Veritas.

  7. SharpPencil on 15 August 2014 at 7:53 pm

    I like to use a piece of worn medium sandpaper wrapped around a washing up sponge, as it moulds generally to the curve it is applied to, knocking of high spots. At the same time being careful to avoid scratches!!

    Thanks john

  8. jenewman2 on 15 August 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Thanks Paul–great stuff, as always. Maybe in the future—how we take our new ability to form a round handle and put some threads on the end to match the standard female threads on brooms and such?

  9. bigparny on 15 August 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Simple and brilliant – as always. I’ve never regretted subscribing to this forum.
    Always relevant and useful.
    Many thanks!

  10. Dave Deady on 15 August 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Once again, warm thanks. I’m doing some repair work to stair spindles, this is very helpful.

  11. Frankie Lee on 15 August 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Thank you. That tool would come in handy for many things.

  12. Xavi Molina on 15 August 2014 at 10:02 pm

    1000 thanks team!!!!!

  13. Mihai on 15 August 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Wonderfull : working oak like it were pine (sharp tools)
    I noticed the center marks on the end of the stock… devil , angel ?
    It surely works bettter than a plane and some 150- grit sand paper !
    Thank you , once again P.S. !

  14. skodger1nine80 on 17 August 2014 at 7:30 am

    Yet again Paul and team come up trumps, great video. THANK YOU.

  15. rayc21 on 17 August 2014 at 11:45 am

    After a few trials and eras I can now sharpen and use a scraper thanks to your videos.
    Next job make a chair devil. Thanks. Paul and team.

  16. Abel Camarillo on 1 December 2021 at 4:11 am


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