How to Hand Scrape Wood

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Shave Hooks
Shave Hooks (Image: Public Domain)

This is a way of creating a finish on wood by hand scraping.

Things You'll Need

  • Shave hooks
  • brush
  • patience

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Why to hand scrape wood:

Hand scraping wood falls and the many different categories one of these is planing, another is the use of the draw shave, and yet another is for doing fancy cabinetry. The one we will consider is hand scraping that is done with a shave hook. This gives a superior finish too many woodworking projects ranging from furniture to fine floors. In this application that closely resembles paint scraping and is done with essentially the same tools. Many times you will find that hand scraping wood is far superior to sanding. This is because and scraping usually does not remove as much would that sanding.

Although many tools can be used for this purpose the ones that we are going to consider are the ones called shave books. These are sharpened triangles of steel on a handle that is at right angles to the steel blade.

In use one side of the sharpened triangle is placed against the wood and is pulled towards you by the handle. When you first start working with this tool do not try to scrape the whole workpiece at once. Instead mark off a small area ranging from 1' x 1' to 2' x 2' and stay inside the area you have marked. You will using the scraper blend one area into the area that is located next to it.

Before starting to scrape clean off the area as thoroughly as possible. Wood has two grains that run parallel to the length of the board. In one way you are working against the grain of the wood and you can feel this with the scraper because there is more resistance. The other way is working with the grain that has less resistance and leaves a smoother finish.

When you begin your hand scraping project you should start by going against the grain of the wood. This will remove any lumps or bumps in the wood and it may take more then two passes to finish your project. Just don't scrape off so much wood that you cut through the workpiece.

The finished project will have a much nicer surface than if you had just handed it. Although this project can be applied to any wooden object one of its main uses is for scraping wooden floors. And scraping is often used for finishing fine cabinetry and furniture.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep your work area clean.
  • Don't bear down to muchm make light cuts.
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