American Woodworker

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No. 81 Scraper 2


Picking up where I left off, the next step in tuning up the No. 81 is to flatten its sole.

This particular tool still had its original rosewood sole, which was in very good condition. Flattening it was quite easy, using a full sheet of 120 grit sandpaper taped down to the cast iron wing of my tablesaw.

Flattening a No. 80 scraper, by contrast, is much more work, as it has a cast-iron sole and body. The soles of No. 80s, old or new, are notorious for being slightly twisted or convex, and universally require lapping on sandpaper.

Scrapers are meant to take off very fine shavings, perhaps as little as .002" thick, and if their soles are out of flat by that amount or more, the tool won't work. So having a rosewood sole is a real luxury.

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