Great Gear: Surface Prep Superstar

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This article is from Issue 103 of Woodcraft Magazine.

How to use a card scraper in to remove saw marks, glue clean up and taming grain.

Bahco Cabinet Scrapers 2pc, #100102, $21.99

Of the many simple woodworking tools in my shop, one of the most versatile might be a rectangle of steel. The card scraper is inexpensive and easy to use once you get the hang of sharpening it by turning a hook on each edge. Available in a variety of thicknesses and shapes, these humble helpers handle surface refining jobs ranging from removing saw marks, glue clean up, and taming rough grain to flushing surfaces (as shown) and leveling exposed joints. And they do it all without noise, dust, or tearout. 

I like this two-piece, twenty dollar set from Bahco. The larger, thicker card works best for heavy-duty work, while finessing falls to the smaller, thinner one. For instructions on how to sharpen your scraper and put it to proper use, visit and click on onlineEXTRAS. You’ll soon see just how invaluable these unassuming tools really are. 

—Chad McClung


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