Well, the office work has slowed some lately and I’m enjoying being back in the shop a bit more … Today, there was a desk top fresh out of the planer and everyone else was working away so I got out my trusty Stanley #81, spent 5 or 10 minutes tuning it up and had at it. It’s been a while since I have actually been the one scraping a table top and I want to say, I forgot what a NICE thing it is to do. The quiet, sliding, cutting, whisper sounding action is just a fine experience. Planing’s nice too, but if you haven’t tried one of these two handled scrapers, push one around your next curly maple or figured cherry or birch top and you’ll wonder where you’ve been. They are tricky to sharpen, but worth the effort. Fine woodworking has some stuff on line to help you tune one up and a quick search of the tool catalogs makes me think Stanley has maybe discontinued them, so, check your antique tool dealers or your local flea markets. Or you can probably talk a friend into giving you his if he’s never taken the time to figure it out … It’s worth the effort … Click the photos to enlarge them ….

1 thought on “

  1. Josh Metcalf

    I used to use one of these a lot, Dan. Now my affections have turned to another form of the same thing–can’t remember the number on it, and don’t feel like walking down to the shop–that looks like a regular hand plane, with adjustable stops that raise and lower the blade by tilting it. You can actually make your own version of the same thing by re-grinding the angle on a smoothing plane, and burnishing a hook on it.

    A great way to deal with tough grain, and not so tough on your lungs!


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