Square End Scraper

Scrapers are a type of tool used in wood turning.  Scrapers are held at an angle that is a little less than perpendicular to the surface and scrape material off as their name implies.  They can have any end shape needed and can be reground to change the shape at any time.  Of course constantly changing the shape of the scraper wastes tool life so it is good to have multiple scrapers.  I found myself in need of a large squared ended scraper the other day and decided to try to make one out of an old metal working file.  Files are made of high carbon steel that makes good material for making a scraper.

Of course you can’t just hold the file in your hand while using it at the lathe unless you want to be stabbed by the file tang.  So, the first thing to do is make a handle for it.  I’ve posted before on making a tool handle and I recommend you take a look at it because I’ll be using the same approach here.  If you’d like to see it go here: Tool Handle.

To make the handle I’m going to use a piece of Soft Maple.  Soft is a relative term when it comes to Maple as it is a pretty tough wood.

Once cut into a square piece on the bandsaw on to the lathe it goes to be shaped. Lathe tools have a long handle on them to allow better control of the tool.  This one is about 10.5″ long.

Here’s the shape I came up with based off some of the handles on the tools I’ve previously purchased.  I thought the end of the handle was a little fat and trimmed it down after I took this picture.

The nose of the handle has been turned down to accept a copper ferrule.  An easy way to produce a straight surface is by using a skew chisel to peel the wood away.

Once the handle’s shape was finalized, it was sanded down to 320 grit.  As I did in my post on making a tool handle, I cut off a piece of 3/4″ copper pipe and pressed it on for the ferrule.  Then it is over to the drill press to make a hole for the file’s tang.

Before the file can be used as a scraper the end has to be ground.  Since this is a square nose scrape it just requires grinding the edge straight with a shallow relief angle. 

Here’s the sharpened end viewed from bottom.  I also sharpened the left side of the scraper. 

After this the file and handle were brought together and the handle was oiled.

Here’s a close view of the handle because I think Maple is such a good looking wood.

The scraper functions pretty well though compared to High Speed Steel the High Carbon Steel it is made of needs sharpening more often.  It is also fairly long compared to its thickness so it tends to chatter a lot.   Hopefully, it’ll get me by until I decide to purchase a thicker one.

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