More simple tools : profile / beading scraper or "scratch stock" - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-09-2010, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Default More simple tools : profile / beading scraper or "scratch stock"

More simple tools. There are times when you need to add a profile or decorative element, especially small ones, when a router won't work as well or you can't find the right profile.

Easy solution is to MAKE the profile on a scratch stock and scrape it into the wood. The profile is cut into a scrap piece of card scraper or hacksaw blade (anneal the hacksaw blade to make shaping easier). Then you use a holder with an integral fence to run down the edge of your workpiece, scraping away until the wood matches the profile.

This one is meant for straight runs and gentle curves as it has a flat fence. If the fence were shaped more like a "V" with the point facing out, it could ride a tighter curve.

This scratch stock is made from white oak (left overs from another project) about 7" long and 2-1/2" wide, each piece is a little more than 3/4" thick. The bolts, while over-kill, were some 1/4-20's I had lying about the shop. On the back side they mate into some T-nuts. A zero dollar investment as all parts are leftovers from other projects and experiments. Rather industrial looking but it felt fine in my hands as I made some test cuts.

To create the profile on the scraper blades I paint them with Dyechem then start using circle templates and rulers with a metal scribe to scratch the outline I want. Next come the files, round ones, triangular ones, flat mill files all work great. Especially the various sizes of round chainsaw files.

A little filing to the line then use an oilstone/waterstone/sandpaper-on-glass to smooth the faces, removing the filing burr. Done! The scraper blade is square on its sides, no complicated sharpening required.

Another use is to create a square "tooth" cutter and then you can cut in grooves for stringing, such as you see in Federal style pieces. A slightly different type of scraper holder is used to help size the stringing to fit the groove. Those holders often have a fixed fence and a sliding fence that you set to the depth of the stringing. Then by pulling the stringing over little bit of flat scraper exposed between the two fences you can ease it to the exact width you need.

One more trick you can do with a scratch stock that a router can't do, it can cut the profile to a stopped line without the sort of curved entry/exit points that a spinning router bit would create. Clamp down some stop blocks and just scrape until you hit the stop. This is one way of creating a profile on a drawer front or leg that turns a right angle or transitions into a curve.
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Last edited by rwyoung; 05-09-2010 at 10:00 PM. Reason: Grammar
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 06:39 AM
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I've used many a scratch stock in my day, and yes they are the cat's pajamas. I like the fine detail one can produce& that it looks handmade...no screaming router. Good tool!

Last edited by gal turner; 05-10-2010 at 06:40 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 07:34 AM
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I my self have never used one but have known of their use, with this intro and info perhaps I should look into it..I can already see some uses for the tool already. thanks
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gal turner View Post
I've used many a scratch stock in my day, and yes they are the cat's pajamas. I like the fine detail one can produce& that it looks handmade...no screaming router. Good tool!
Easier to make the scratch stock than to fit pajamas on a cat.

Another side benefit of the scratch stock is there is little to no sanding required on the finished profile. No chatter marks from a spinning bit/blade to remove. In some woods, a quick dab with denatured alcohol to soften the fibers for the last pass or two may be necessary. However woods like cherry, walnut and mahogany (even the faux mahoganies) take a scraped profile very well.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 11:45 AM
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Great idea Rob! Much more economical then the ones from Lee Valley.

EGO postulo , EGO venalicium , EGO incidere.
I measured, I marked, I cut.
Latin instructions for firewood.

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