How to hand scrape and distress hard maple

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Forum topic by austin350s10 posted 08-15-2018 01:24 PM 717 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 1279 days

08-15-2018 01:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: maple carving tool finishing carving rustic question

I’m working on some hard maple stair treads that I’d like match to the flooring. The flooring is lightly distressed, but heavily scraped. So I guess my questing is a two parter:

1. to get the hand scraped look I’m after I’m assuming I need to use a heavy duty scraper with a carbide blade and a long handle. If I’m correct can someone recommend a brand/model that is reputable? If not, is there a technique I should conciser?

2. the light distressing I’m talking about is occasional saw swirl marks. Almost like what rough lumber looks like after a light pass on a planner. The problem I have is the material I’m working on is already planned down and perfectly smooth. Can anyone give me some advise on how to replicate the swirl marks?

The flooring I’m trying to replicate looks exactly like this:

6 replies so far

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7530 posts in 1479 days

#1 posted 08-15-2018 01:31 PM

you could do saw swirl marks with a big hand grinder
maybe some ice breaker scraper

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View austin350s10's profile


12 posts in 1279 days

#2 posted 08-15-2018 01:33 PM

I never thought of using a ice scraper but that’s a great idea. Thanks!!!

View Lazyman's profile


5374 posts in 2154 days

#3 posted 08-15-2018 02:17 PM

To get the swirl marks, you might just get a sanding disc for an angle grinder with 60 grit paper and see if that will give you the look you want. I suppose an other option would be to get the crappiest non-carbide saw blade you can find for your table saw, and sort of resaw the boards prior to installation just barely skimming the surface with the crappy blade. If you can ever so slightly bend a couple of teeth you can create your own crappy blade. If you raise the blade part way or possibly tilt the blade away from the fence you might be able to get a little less regular pattern.

As for the scraper itself, I have not done it myself but when they hand scrape or sculpture a floor, I think that they normally use a curved blade but that might not be the look you are going for based upon the pictures.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Don W

19615 posts in 3334 days

#4 posted 08-15-2018 11:26 PM

I think that’s meant to look like skip planning. I’m not sure how I’d simulate it other than get some rough sawn and skip plane it.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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Shaun Ragland

14 posts in 1123 days

#5 posted 08-16-2018 12:09 AM

The guys we use for distress jobs have all kinds of weird homemade tools in their ditty bags !

I’ve seen them have hand held power plane blades curved by the sharpener and it makes quick work of the hand scraped look, especially on a wood as hard as white maple.

They use every shape and brand of hand scrapers you can imagine from HHS to carbide.

They take a thick wire and string on a bunch of steel nuts and then make a loop handle on the end and twist the wires together. They have several of these with different sizes of nuts that they bang on the wood.

I’ve seen wooden handles with 8 to 10 inches of pretty thick chain bolted to the handle that they hit the wood with.

Ice picks, screwdrivers, pieces of hand saw blades, hacksaw blades and different hammers are some of the other things I’ve seen them use !

Hope this helps

-- Shaun Ragland

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1335 posts in 1743 days

#6 posted 08-16-2018 01:34 AM

That’s a confusing term around here “hand scraped finish” when I hear hand scraped I think of a glass smooth finish from a card scraper

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