Making a Spokeshave Scraper.


Or Chairmaker's Scraper. Or Gunstock Scraper. Or... well, there's apparently a million names for one simple tool, take you pick. I've been wanting to make one for simply ages, ever since I saw one in Classic Hand Tools and more especially Brian Buckner's example. Mine isn't as elegant as I'd have liked, but it does work and I thought I might as well do my usual over-blown step-by-step account of the process in the hopes that someone might find it useful.


The beauty of this is you use such small pieces of wood you can go to town on the exotics without breaking the bank. So why I just fished out what was handy in the off-cuts box is anyone's guess... Anyway, a piece of something very hard, tight-grained and definitely exotic (and predictably unidentified) 19mm (3/4") square and about 355mm (14") long provided the body, with a scrap of maple for contrast to make the blade clamp/toe. Really a bit of boxwood or bone would be better still, 'cos that bit gets a lot of wear, but I didn't have anything harder handy - or pale enough. Yeah, aesthetics played their part, I'm ashamed to say. Incidentally the finished body length will end up about 305mm (12") long; you'll see the reason for the extra length in a mo'.

Working on the same principle as the spokeshave kits I started by marking a line round the middle of the body.
Then I marked off lines a set distance from either side of that centre line. Now here's where you can start to do as you fancy straight away. This is going to end up as the area where the toe goes, so it needs to be wide enough to take two screws plus the width of the blade plus some spare at the ends so the toe piece will still be structurally strong enough. Sounds too complicated? Just do what I did then and measure off 35mm (1 3/8") each side...
Now I used the extra length to bore a couple of screw holes so I could fasten the body to my simple T-shaped jig. A more galootish way would involve saw, chisel etc, but I have the jig from the spokeshave making and this is the kind of thing the 'Rat's so good at. If it helps I split my pencil lines by eye and didn't use any stops. Okay, don't throw things at me...
And the finished erm, notch? Housing? Wear? I dunno. Finished anyway; 6mm (1/4") deep.
So now the toe piece/blade clamp. Rather thicker than it'll end up eventually, but sawn more or less to length. But woe is me, it doesn't fit.
Times like this I feel really sorry for woodworkers who don't understand how useful planes can be. I dread to think what the Normite solution to this is, but mine is, naturally, a shooting board. The key is not to enjoy yourself too much and make it too sloppy a fit. DAMHIKT...
A couple of goes of offering it up, going back to the shooting board and taking another one or two shavings, offering it up again, and a perfect fit. I love it when a plan comes together (tm The A Team)
Right, orf to the drill press. I use the complicated method of "that looks about right" to decide where to put the holes for the screws. The blade clamp is always going to be the weakest link, so don't be tempted to cut back too much on how much space there is between the hole and the blade clamp ends, or you'll be sari. Er, I mean sorry. Oh all right, the centres are 10mm (3/8") in from the ends and that's for 6.5mm holes. You could probably use M5 machine screws instead of M6 but I think M4 might be just a little too small. Imperial, you're on your own... The snug fit of the blade clamp meant I risked it and didn't tape or clamp it in place - I don't advise you do the same. Erm, "tape removed for clarity"?
The key thing here is to bore through just far enough to make a nice clear mark for the tapping holes, but not too far. It's then very easy to follow up with the right size hole to subsequently tap. Bore them right the way through; there's a reason.
If your timber doesn't lend itself to tapping, threaded inserts can be used instead with no trouble. If you're using the usual flanged Trend ones then silly you; 6mm ones are much, much cheaper from Screwfix. Ha hum, but what I should be saying is: first drill a shallow counter bore for the insert flange, then the right size hole for the body of the insert, then a clearance hole for the rest of the screw (the latter not needed if your machine screws are short). Here's an example just to prove it works.
Well you know me and tapping holes; I see a tool, I tap a hole in it... This particular wood takes a really clean thread which makes tapping an excellent option. This where the through hole comes in too. Unless you're a tapping genius, chances are the first few threads will be less than perfect until you get it all square and flowing nicely, so start from the back and get all that dodgy tapping done where it doesn't have to hold the screw anyway. A light chamfer of the entry and exit holes helps keep things crisp too.

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