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  1. #1

    Default The best wooden boat scraper

    Hi, this forum is a good initiative, so I'll give you the best scraper for wooden boats:

    1) Go to a steel workshop and get one of the worn out blades used for cutting steel.
    2) Cut a pieces of this to make the blade for your scraper, I generally make 2 different sizes: 30 mm and 50 mm wide. Make sure the distance between the edge and the handle is minimum 15-20 mm, to avoid the scraper is clogged.
    3) I'm making ash handles. Round but with a square head, the cut for holding the blade is given a 5-10 degree slant away from the handle.
    4) The edge should also be given a slight slant (same as for the blade), and also have a slight "belly" (the edge being a bit higher on the middle).

    The best way to sharpen it is using a diamond file, because the steel is very hard, but it is also possible to use a oilstone ...

    These scrapers will hold its edge better than any commercial ones, and if you've got the right files they will be VERY sharp, and will give a better surface than any sanding tools.



  2. #2

    Default so what\'s wrong with a pair of

    Old files with the end bend over? You must have to say you can use one to sharpen the other.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Colwell Bay

    Default skarsten

    I find the skarsten scraper range the best.


    ....specialising in over budget, late delivery project management...

  4. #4

    Default Re: The best wooden boat scraper

    This is a great subject! - I bet there are a thousand views on how to renew varnish and paint.

    I like the idea of making blades from the large hacksaw blades used on mechanical hacksaws. The steel is a high carbon variety that should keep its edge for a good period. I suspect that a good way to sharpen them is on an off hand grinder if it is available. The angle of grinding is important and the direction - any scraper seems to work best when the edge is burred, a burr is produced when a file is used across the edge. The use of an oil stone makes the edge too smooth and less effective!

    For what its worth my method is to use either a 2inch or 1 inch wide scraper from the cheap shop called Wilkinson( I think they are nationwide) The spare blades are available and readily sharpenen with a hand file. The scrapers have got quite large handles so are good for two handed scraping of stubborn varnish (some of the Skarstens are only suitable for single hand!) For any work involving burning off I use a tungsten carbide scraper with a metal handle available from professional decorators outlets. The tungsten blades are available as spares but are too expensive so I only have one! It is difficult to sharpen tungsten blades without the correct equipment so I only use it with the hot air gun or blowlamp as it does not melt or catch fire like my old Skarsten!

    I am now off to try the hacksaw blade method in tungsten holder as I think this might work well.

    I am sorry if I appear to have turned scraping into a science but I have got acres of varnish so I have tried all sorts of methods!! Anybody got any more, or have you all fallen asleep with the foregoing?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Colwell Bay

    Default Fallen asleep.

    No, not really, I dont have 'acres of varnish', but I certainly have a lot.

    Incidently, all my skarstens came from the car boot sale for about 10 pence each, bought anopther last weekend and got half a pack of new blades with it for 50p, the blades were the serrated edge type, very good for removing varnish thats loose and flakey.

    Previous owner had the boat just ova a yr and did zero maintenance, so I have been catching up since Ibought her late last year.

    All you all asleep yet or do I need to go ?

    ....specialising in over budget, late delivery project management...

  6. #6

    Default Not fallen a sleep, but have to do a bit of...


    1) Agree on the oilstone, hence the diamond file. I'm using an angle grinder to shape the blades, but it's not accurate enough for making the edge. The oilstone is nice enough for the last finish...

    2) The general problems I've found with the commercial ones is:
    - The distance between the edge and the handle is far to short, varnish et Al. tends to clog it...
    - Even though you buy the blades cheap (Burgundyben, Re:Fallen asleep) they get blunt to soon, and I want to get the job done, so I choose to sharpen my 3 scrapers ONCE, and I get my complete 23 feet clinker done....

    Plus I do not need to replace blades, and the blade is firmly fixed in the handle....

    Good luck, but I recommend putting some effort in the scraper, it makes having a wooden boat much more fun and easier... My scrapers are so sharp that they are making the most smooooth surface, and requires only 180 grade sanding paper and above to get the oilbased varnish stick...



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Re: The best wooden boat scraper

    I've just been going over my spars, and a gaff ketch has plenty of spars to go over! I have been having good success with a simple hacksaw blade, [after all I have plenty of broken ones]. I sharpen up the back edge of the blade on my bench grinder, and holding an end in each hand, off I go! I like the flexibility of the thin blade, as it will bend around curved surfaces to a degree. If it seems to be going dull, a quick lick over the bench grinder fixes the problem again.


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