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Question on Kunz #80 Cabinet Scraper

For more information on the #80 Scraper, see our beginner site Common Woodworking.

Question:

HI! Paul, Happy New Year!

DSC_0192Not to beat a dead horse, but I received a Kunz 80 for Christmas. I was pleased to find that the blade had one side beveled to 45 degrees. That was the only good thing I could find. The sole was very roughly ground and does indeed mar the surface. This will require some work. The blade falls through its slot with the clamping bar screwed down tightly. There is a 1/16 inch gap. I understand that I can file the two mating areas under the bar clamp to fix this. I also found that the adjustment screw hits the bar clamp on the bottom edge of the bar. with 1/3 the diameter of the screw. The clamping bar is quite robust and wide, and I was wondering if I filed the bottom edge of the bar, so the screw clears it would allow the scraper to function. I am also wondering how much clearance is necessary? I hope you can shed some light on this.

Thanks for being such a mentor. Best wishes to you and yours.

D K

Answer:

Well, as often happens, I give a fairly positive report on a tool hoping for the best but being truthful about my thoughts at the same time and then things go wrong.  I wanted to give you a good report on KUNZ and they let me down. Sometimes I get it in the neck but there you go. They have a good product UK makers abandoned that cost them zero in design and product development yet they cannot get the simplest solutions right. DSC_0197One quality control person resolves issues like this with the tweak of thumbscrew. My recommendation is to buy from a reputable maker and as far as I know there is but one in the whole wide world and that is Veritas. I  tried, everybody. Faithful UK repro-models are pretty bad now they never resolved any of the issues I highlighted two years ago.

OK, in answer to this dilemma. Of course you should send it back but that negates the gift giving and takes as long as it does to fettle it. Remove the bar that (should) clamps the blade to the body and where the two half moons are ate each end mark where they meet the indent and add 1/8″ inside the recess. Take a flat file and file down the half moons to form a recess at either end, both to the same side of the bar. You can take it down as much as you like but 1/32″ should do it. Now the bar should clamp solidly.

In the overall of things the final voice says consider carefully before you buy.

Best regards,

Paul

10 Comments

  1. ant11sam on 4 January 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Happy Birthday Mr Paul Sellers!



  2. Scott Chensoda on 4 January 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Thought he was born on 25th Dec?



  3. Garnett on 4 January 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Happy Birthday, Paul!!



  4. Kerry Jordan on 4 January 2016 at 10:23 pm

    Many happy returns!!



  5. Kingsley Sumner on 4 January 2016 at 10:31 pm

    To an extraordinary man of grace, charm and passion … thank you for your inspirational words and all that you’ve done and continue to do to keep the flame of working wood with hand tools bright and ever burning. Wishing you the happiest of birthdays!



  6. Rex Wenger on 4 January 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Thank you for your honest answers using facts available. Your inspirations and teaching skills are very refreshing.



  7. Frank Manello on 5 January 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Sounds like the Kunz is more of a kit than a tool. Nice simple solution Paul.



  8. Brian Lowery on 7 January 2016 at 1:58 am

    Looks like Kunz is satisfied being at the low end in hand tools, and as a result is making them as cheap as they can to maximize their profits. Sadly, they are not alone. Many of the former well regarded brand names have taken the same route.
    You gave some examples, like the Nicholson files, that no longer can last a reasonable time.
    Of course there are some surprises, like the Aldi chisels.
    I think the best plan is to look on ebay for some of the older pre-world war II tools. It has worked for me.



    • Joystick on 8 January 2016 at 8:24 pm

      Ebay prices for any 2nd hand tools recommended by Paul seem to be going up and up. They are approaching the cost of brand new (if not original quality) tools. I am looking for a Record 53E and they don’t seem to be too many currently on the Bay. One just sold for £137 and would have cost another £24.28 shipping. Soon I suspect they will cost more than the new (lower quality) ones. Supply and demand, market forces etc I suppose. So far I’ve bought a couple No4 planes from ebay and a Record 52 vice (missing the quick release mechanism) from Done Deal (Ireland). Both bench planes have required fettling/setting up as per Paul’s instructions despite being advertised as “ready for use” or words to that effect. They cost (winning bid) £47 and £52 respectively (plus shipping to Ireland which wasn’t cheap at around £24 per plane!) The vice is awaiting my attempt at completing a version of Pauls joiner’s bench where it is destined as a tail vice. It needs de-rusting and cleaning up/lubricating in the mean time which to be fair was made clear in the advert. That cost me €60 (Approx £45) including shipping. My search for a 53E continues but I know it will cost me a fair bit north of £100 and I’m afraid if I delay for any length of time the price will soar even more.
      I think if I eventually decide to purchase a cabinet scraper it won’t be the Kunz but the brand new Veritas one that I’ll be looking for based on Paul’s recommendation.
      Happy woodworking.



  9. Keith Clague on 31 January 2016 at 12:54 am

    I purchased a Faithfull cabinet scraper in September and had to return it due to a cracked casting. The replacement had the clamping bar askew and the blade would not seat in the casting as the mouth was too tight. The sole appeared flat, but required a lot of work to make it so. Just when I got it functional, I dropped it and the casting broke. Dropped from bench height onto a plastic workshop tiled floor. Poor quality grey cast iron.
    I’m glad I’ve now read your posts and will now buy one of those nice malleable iron ones that are made in Canada.
    Thanks for the advice Paul.



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