Scrapers are an often overlooked tool. In a lot of cases they can significantly speed up sanding time, and very often completely eliminate the need for sanding. Similar to a hand plane they shear wood fibers, producing shavings and not fine dust — which means that you reduce the amount of airborne dust particles in your shop. And unlike sandpaper, which you toss out after it becomes dull, scrapers are reusable. Sure, it takes practice to get the knack of sharpening and burnishing a scraper, but that’s part of woodworking after all. If you’ve not used a scraper before, read If you need more information check out Bill Perry’s article on using a scraper.
For me, the biggest payoff is that scrapers are fast to use, highly effective at producing smooth finishes, and very economical when compared to using sandpaper. You can control the aggressiveness of the cutting action of a scraper by varying the angle (the burr) you create on its edge.
Card scrapers — rectangular in shape — are what you’ll use for flat or gently curved stock. For beads, flutes, and various convex or concave shaped mouldings, you’ll need specialty shapers, like these Lynx Quadrant Scrapers.
For those of you not familiar with the Lynx brand of hand tools, it was acquired by the British firm of Thomas Flinn in 1999 when they purchased the Garlick Saw Company (founded 1858). Along with scrapers, Thomas Flinn still manufactures the Lynx range of premium hand saws.
The Lynx quadrant scraper set are essentially standard card scrapers with quadrants cut out on the four corners. One scraper has 1/8″, 3/16″, 1/4″, and 5/16″ quadrants, while the other has 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, and 5/8″ quadrants. The scrapers measure 2-1/2″ by 5″, and are made from 1/32″ thick CS80 high carbon spring steel, hardened to 44-46 Rockwell.
You can use the quadrants to smooth curved stock from 1/8″ to 5/8″, the corners of the quadrants to work into hard to reach corners, and the long edges on flat surfaces, just as you would a card scraper.
The quadrants and edges on the scrapers are milled square, with a very slight burr formed on one side. I found they cut smoothly, producing fine shavings. Because of the thickness (1/32″) they don’t flex much in use — though this isn’t an issue when you’re using the quadrants.
These Lynx Quadrant Scrapers make it quick and easy to smooth convex shapes in common profiles from 1/8″ to 5/8″. Plus, you can use the long sides for smoothing flat surfaces.