I am sometimes told by this owner of a bevel-up plane or that owner of a bevel-downer, the york-pitch advocate and the scraper plane expert that this or that plane takes care of this and that grain, wood type and so it goes. There are moderate differences between planes but the range of plane type is quite large and only the rich will have access to all of them. That being so, there is no other tool for solving the vast mix of grain and wood types that we encounter in the day-to-day of woodworking that’s better than the ultimate negotiator, #80 Cabinet Scraper.
The fact is, a #4 and a cabinet scraper will resolve every and all issues in all grains and all wood types bar none. Hence, our promoting the perpetual use of the #80 Cabinet Scraper and its inclusion in all of my work and my book, Essential Woodworking Hand Tools is the only book that gives over 20 pages dedicated to the setup, sharpening and use of cabinet and card scrapers. For removing heavy swipes or finessing the smallest region and the slightest of depths of wood surfaces, this tool knows no equal. Combining the #80 with the card scraper, a single steel plate, you can readily refine the awkward grains with successes that equal the best of the rest.
This weekend Natalie posted a video on YouTube she and I put together as a new video on sharpening and setting up the #80 Cabinet Scraper. We did it because it was a much-needed explanation to counter so many negative views people had about the tool. What they cited as the results they got from trying one obviated their utter and complete misunderstanding of the tool that should be life-changing when they encounter wild grain, knots and knot surrounds, burrs and burly grain, etc. What was designed as one of the most amazing and unique woodworking tools often ended up being maligned as a useless spokeshave rather than the solution they were truly seeking. Not really knowing what it was more used for nor how it was sharpened, set up and how it was used only served to add to the confusion. We hoped that the video would translate into a few hundred thousand woodworkers getting the light-bulb moment of revelation. If you too are one of them then let us know how you get on after watching the video.
Here are some pages photographed from my book surrounding the scraper family I feel well worthy of merit. I am trying more and more to encourage everyone to own my book because much of the information is what was handed down from man to boy in their apprenticeships. Those days are now well gone.
The only place you can order my book is from Rokesmith Ltd and we distribute and ship worldwide. Here is the link