Shop Tips » Stitch & Glue Boatbuilding Tips
Cabinet Scrapers for Boatbuilding
Boatbuilders seeking to ease the tedium of sanding have latched onto a very old-fashioned tool to deal with a high-tech problem: cabinet scrapers to smooth cured epoxy.
Cabinet scrapers are hardened steel rectangles that, if kept sharp and held properly, can smooth epoxy and wood surfaces very quickly---with no noisy whine of a power sander. Since they have to be sharpened every few minutes of hard use, you’d best to learn how to do this correctly from the start.
- First, clamp the scraper in a vise and use a metal file to square up the working edge of the scraper.
- "Burnish" the edge, creating a tiny overhanging "burr" of metal, which does the cutting of the wood or epoxy when you scrape. There are specialty burnishing tools sold for this purpose, but we just use the blunt handle of the metal file to create the "burr." The drawing is greatly enlarged for clarity.
- How to use a scraper: Hold the scraper in both hands and induce a slight bend in the scraper. Be careful not to catch the sharp corners of the rectangular scrapers in the work.
A set of Super-hard Milled Scrapers is available from CLC. Four thicknesses are included in the set for differing surfaces, and all come with edge guards. Super-hard Milled Scrapers is available from CLC. Four thicknesses are included in the set for differing surfaces, and all come with edge guards.