Finishing an inside curved surface on wood projects such as carved bowls requires specialised tools. Wood scrapers are ideal for smoothing these surfaces. Since making scrapers is reasonably quick to do, they can be made to fit a specific project. Scrapers can also be made for general use on wood projects as the need arises.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 16-gauge sheet steel, approximately 3-by-5 inches
- Fine point marker
- Junior hacksaw with a 32-tooth blade
- General purpose mill file
- Screwdriver with round shaft
Draw a very smooth curved line with the curve getting smaller or tighter on each end.This forms the outline of the scraper on the steel sheet. The shape resembles a draftsman's French Curve.
An easy way to make a smooth curve is to make a guide or template to help in drawing on the sheet steel. Use a very straight piece of medium gauge wire. Gently bend the wire to form the outline of the scraper. The template is ready to use as a guide when drawing the curve.
Use the junior hacksaw with the 32 tooth blade to cut out the scraper drawn on the sheet metal. If you have access to a metal cutting bandsaw this will make this step both quicker and easier.
A bandsaw will allow you to make a more accurate cut. This saw will also cut through the sheet metal quite easily. Since bandsaws cut indiscriminately and quickly, be certain the guard is in place and that your finger stay well away from the blade.
Smooth the edge of the scraper using the general purpose file. Take care to make the edge perfectly smooth. The edge must also be at 90-degrees from the flat surface of the scraper. This step is very important. The usefulness of this tool depends on the entire edge being smooth and flat.
Use the round shaft of the screwdriver to peen over the new smooth edge to complete the wood scraper. Draw or scrape the smoothed edge until a sharp cutting burr can be felt on the flat side of the scraper. First do one side and then the other--and the wood scraper is ready to use.
Scrapers can be resharpened if you peen over the edge once again. If this is not satisfactory, file the edge flat and then peen over the edge.
Tips and warnings
- Be sure to keep the edge of the scraper very smooth or it will not work properly.