Woodworking Tips
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Handy Scraper Holder

Scraper HolderI've used a scraper on many of my projects. There's something satisfying about seeing those wispy thin shavings peel off the surface, and it's one of easiest hand tools to master. Simply flex the scraper and pull (or push) it along the surface of the workpiece to smooth a surface or remove stubborn burn and saw marks.
The only problem with this is I always end up with sore hands if the project is of any size at all. That's because keeping the scraper flexed can be tiring. Not to mention the fact that the friction from scraping can heat up the scraper enough that it becomes uncomfortable to hold.

Holder. I've eliminated both of these problems with a simple scraper holder, shown in the photo above. It's nothing more than a scrap of 3/4"-thick stock with a couple of screws at the edges of the scraper to hold it in place. But since the screws hold the scraper flat against the block of wood, I needed a way to flex it. So I added an ordinary thumb-screw. It's available at most hardware stores.

Figure 1Thumbscrew. The thumbscrew is threaded through the holder and pushes against the back of the scraper. This allows you to adjust the amount of flex, see drawing at right. And it gives the scraper a uniform bow, making it easier to use whether you're pushing it or pulling. By the way, the flex also prevents the sharp corners of the scraper from digging into the workpiece.

Cut Blank. A scrap of hardwood makes a great holder. Start by cutting the blank 2" longer than the length of your scraper, see drawing above. The width of the holder should be about 1/2" less than the width of your scraper, and it's best to sand down the sharp edges on the ends.

Drill Holes. Once the holder is cut to size, lay the scraper flat on the holder and center it from side-to-side. Then mark and drill a pilot hole for a screw at each end of the scraper, see drawing below. The next step is to drill a hole centered on the holder slightly less than the diameter of your thumbscrew, see drawing below. (This way the thumbscrew will cut its own threads as it's screwed into the holder.)

Figure 2Assembly. To assemble the holder, screw the scraper in place (I used #8 x 5/8" Rh woodscrews and washers) and thread the thumbscrew directly into the holder. When you're ready to put the scraper to use, adjust the thumbscrew to flex the scraper the desired amount, see drawing above.
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