Scraper shaves my way #1: The family portrait...

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Blog entry by mafe posted 05-05-2011 01:10 PM 9335 reads 36 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Scraper shaves my way series Part 2: Shape up the body »

Scraper shaves my way
making a bunch of scraper shaves

Lately I have been making quite a few new handles for old hammers and axes, and the finish has been made with a card scraper.
This tool, the scraper starts to show its face to me more and more – when a large burr it can produce shavings, and with a fine burr it can make dust. But most of all it brings a finish that you can never get with sandpaper, it brings out the life of the wood.

So when I lately saw several people here on LJ making scraper shaves from an article in a magazine called ShopNotes I had to try this and this is where my journey begins few days ago, and I’m still on the go. (ShopNotes No112 July-August 2010).

Karsons go on it was the drop that made me think I can do this so thank you Karson.

I read the article and went to the workshop full of inspiration and started on the project, following no plan, no measures and no idea of anything but the goal!
This might not be the cleverest way to approach this, but I’m on a journey of learning and here I did learn some lessons.

First step was to find some wood.
So an old table leg was chosen, made of beautiful mahogany, perhaps a little soft for the purpose, but they might end up beautiful this way, and I will give them a harder throat then. The wood I choose for the throat was really hard, I think it is a white Oak since it smells a little pee when cut.

You can see I put up several options for the throats, but I like the idea of white with the mahogany.

A bunch of brass bolts knobs from my favorite store in Paris (BHV).
I have bought two sizes, then we will see.

Cutting up the table leg to make it in to useable wood.

Planning it one side.

Then this side is used against the fence to cut it in even thickness.

Now I draw a straight curve on one side .

And decide to let me inspire by the old English spoke shaves for the shape.
Only I want to reverse the shape to give a good strong grip, and then play with the shaping as I go along

Four pieces ready.

Cutting that straight curve on one side.

On my computer I have made some patterns that fit my taste, these are printed and I tape them on the wood.
Here is a link for my patterns in PDF format.

Then cut after the pattern.

Like so.
Why do I get so much burn there?

Four of them – this is going to be fun.

Now I tape the front pattern to them.

And cut.

Here we are.

Time for a good espresso and some tobacco.
While I drink this I decide I will make four more, but these in 60 percent scale… Don’t drink coffee.
So I find a piece of a garden parasol I saved from trash, some fine dark hardwood.

More scrapers coming up!

Better way to tape.



So so…

Four small scrapers body ready.

The family portrait.

This is where we stop for now, with this wonderful family portrait leaving us with plenty of imagination.

I hope this could inspire others to make their own scraper shaves, I’m having a wonderful time here,

Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

22 comments so far

View Sodabowski's profile


2402 posts in 4170 days

#1 posted 05-05-2011 01:22 PM

Wow, the wood is beautiful. Particularly that parasol piece. Will you be making the scraping cards out of recycled metal panels from a thrashed oven? ;)

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View Brit's profile


8463 posts in 4179 days

#2 posted 05-05-2011 01:42 PM

I just thought I’d check LJs at lunchtime and I see you’ve been busy again. The scraper shave family are looking mighty fine Mads. I can already tell that by the end of this masterclass you will have me wanting to make a set for myself. I can’t wait for the next installment.

Take care,


-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4678 days

#3 posted 05-05-2011 01:47 PM

as always
getting out of bed
is worth the effort
always something new
something useful
and inspiring


-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 4396 days

#4 posted 05-05-2011 01:51 PM


Now you definitely have my attention. We need to get you a good video camera so you can post these things as videos. You are an excellent teacher and I love your blogs, but it would really be cool to see you in action via video.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 3975 days

#5 posted 05-05-2011 01:54 PM

Mads, you are totally amazing!! Can’t wait to see the rest of this tooltorial.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4413 days

#6 posted 05-05-2011 02:24 PM

Oh and now I got the bug to look into these too…. Thanks a lot Mads!

As always a very cool and informative blog you have here my friend. Looking forward to catching part two of this. Well done bud!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Bluepine38's profile


3393 posts in 4422 days

#7 posted 05-05-2011 03:35 PM

Looks like you are still busy having fun in the shop, Mafe. I like this new family you have started, since I do
not even have one spokeshave, I guess I will have to take your approach and just do it and find out what
the result is. Thank you for sharing your workshop and your amazing sense of inventiveness and humor
with us.

-- As ever, Gus-the 83 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 4623 days

#8 posted 05-05-2011 03:38 PM

Great information Mads

Thanks for sharing


View Dez's profile


1176 posts in 5414 days

#9 posted 05-05-2011 06:36 PM

Wow Mads, you are really moving! Looks like a fun and worthwhile project!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 4271 days

#10 posted 05-05-2011 08:00 PM

Thanks Mads.

I have the article and I thought it woul be usefull to make those but never did.
I can see beautifull shaves in your near future.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4452 days

#11 posted 05-05-2011 10:34 PM

thank´s Mads I just got home and checked My mails with a mug of chocolate beside me :-)
before turning directly in to bed after 17 hours on the road ….not funny
and just had to see what you had come up with this time :-)
another fantastic picturetoturial on something thats looking real good sofare
but you are way out of your usual leauge here this is massproduction not oneoff
as we are used to see from your creative mind :-)

take care

View mafe's profile


13683 posts in 4426 days

#12 posted 05-06-2011 08:39 PM

Hello LJ’s,
Hi Dennis, good with chocolate, good with a bed. No, no mass production – not two are the same, but it’s a Mads production!
Ian, then you has no excuse… I will be happy to see some in your future also.
Dez, yes I smile as I build.
Kent, ;-)
Gus, I believe Veritas has a spoke shave build set. But you can start with these this is great fun. Since I bought some spoke shaves I must admit I love to use them, they provide you with a kind of freedom to use the wood as clay (does that make any sense…). Humor? I’m dead serious!
Dan, I’m happy to get you hooked! And to have you around, you know the mail.
saddletramp, tooltorial – I love that one – it’s a real MaFe! ;-)
Doc, you make me laugh – no way no video here! You will have to do with the tutorials. I talk too much so to build a project like this would take a week on recording. I used to teach constructing architects, so perhaps this is where I learned – thank you.
David, happy to get you out of bed, and always happy to see your face.
Andy, I’m happy to have you on the boat, this is a project where you have plenty of use for all kind of skills, and a chance to do all with hand tools (maybe not eight…), so I can highly recommend you to go for it. Just do not use one of your wonderful vintage saws.
Thomas, no oven plates here the email is too thick… yes the parasol piece is wonderful, but the deepness in the color of that mahogany is amazing, I can’t wait give it oil.
Thank you all, to know you are hooked makes me even more hooked,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 4193 days

#13 posted 05-06-2011 08:44 PM

Wow Mads,
I nearly missed all this
I’ve been in the shop solid til late.

Doing Scraping of Beech tops :)


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View mafe's profile


13683 posts in 4426 days

#14 posted 05-06-2011 09:00 PM

Jamie my dear friend glad to have you on board here.
Big smile and a sunray for you,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4671 days

#15 posted 05-07-2011 10:08 PM

Great tutorial Mads. As you can see, I’m still catching up. I’m so glad you made these from old furniture because it reminded me that I just happen to have a lot of Beech (Bøk) furniture parts that I cut up from some chairs a long time ago and it is perfect for this project. Thanks for posting this.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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