Many woodworkers agree that the secret weapon of smoothness is the card scraper. But there are many different opinions on the best way to store a set of card scrapers. (If you’re unfamiliar with this tool, it looks too simple to work: a thin plate of tool steel whose edge has been rolled over into a microscopic hook which serves as a fragile but effective cutting edge.) I’m not here to get into an argument, but to share an effective way to store your card scrapers.
Nearly a decade ago, I acquired my first set of four card scrapers. To keep them together, I sewed a little wallet for them out of some canvas scraps.
It took me perhaps an hour to put the whole thing together. As sewing projects go, it was pretty straightforward, requiring only three pieces of cloth, some thread, and a sewing machine.
I’ve acquired a few more card scraper since then. The fabric is a little grimy now, but it holds and organizes the scrapers as conveniently as ever.
It folds right up into a tidy package that fits neatly into any corner of my tool chest.
The advantages of card scrapers are that they are cheap, effective, and easy to use.
When the edge is prepared correctly, they will produce beautiful shavings and leave a finish-ready surface on dry hardwood.
But the downside is that the cutting edge is fragile and deteriorates quickly in use. So it’s best to have several scrapers prepared all at once for big scraping jobs, like the fireplace mantle I’m working on above. It’s also best to store all the scrapers in one place where the edges won’t get damaged by bumping up against other tools, and where they won’t be exposed to excess dust and humidity, which is a main cause of rust.
My scraper wallet answers all those requirements. It contains several scrapers (20+ at the moment!) all in the same place. It keeps the dust off of them, and it puts the cutting edges out of harm’s way. After years of working out of this scraper wallet, I couldn’t think of a way it could be improved.
Except that maybe I could have made it bigger, so as to hold even more card scrapers….