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Restoring an Old Scraper Knife

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Forum topic by TexasGator posted 04-16-2020 11:45 PM 379 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TexasGator

5 posts in 112 days


04-16-2020 11:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: restoration scales brass wood species scraper vintage old antique

Hello everyone, I have some questions about restoring an old scraper.

This scraper belonged to my late father-in-law and was passed on to me upon his passing. I’d like to be able to restore it for one to honor him and second because I use it all the time.

Unfortunately the handle broke on it and am looking for some advice on how to restore it.

I am going to order some scales and was wondering if anyone could identify the species? I think it’s cherry but not certain(please see attached pics).

In addition it has a fluted pin on the bottom to hang it, does anyone know if this comes out and can be reinserted? As it looks to be countersunk into the wood.

And last, would I be able to save/conserve the top brass pin? It has the marking “Made in the USA” and I think it’d be nice to keep that element.

Thank you all in advance for your help.


15 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5803 posts in 3153 days


#1 posted 04-17-2020 01:02 AM

It looks like rosewood, many of the higher quality old putty knives had rosewood handles.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3330 posts in 2296 days


#2 posted 04-17-2020 01:43 AM

+1 Old scraper could be rosewood.

FWIW –
The mfg process for those pins is simple, but hard to repair and save the pin?

They’re inserted from one side, the brass was pressed to make a head into the countersink hole in the wood using a press die and support to prevent splitting the wood. If needed, everything sanded off flat. Any markings where then stamped into the soft brass after sanding, and before finishing.
Same process is used on knife scales if want to look for examples online.

Might be able to save one side of the stamped pin? Drill out the opposite side with small bit for central hole. Drill a larger hole to remove the head of rivet. For replacement, need to make a brass rivet with shaft to fit hole, and head slightly smaller than countersink. Since likely never repair/restore it again and want to preserve the stamped letters, could use epoxy to bond the 2 brass pins together.

The hexagon pin is installed same way. The counter sink you mentioned is formed with pressure on soft brass hex shaft. Likely be really hard to save the old one, unless you can re-form the countersink to be straight and press it out? The challenge is that brass becomes harder after being formed like that. Tends to crack/break when bent a 2nd/3rd time.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

5922 posts in 1376 days


#3 posted 04-17-2020 04:58 AM

For giggles take off the scale that is broken, and run it on a sander for a second or 3. If it has a nice flowery scent, like a “rose” then you have answered the what is it question. Rosewood, at least Brazilian, smells like roses when you work it.

For a scraper though, any good strong hardwood would work as a handle, as long as you don’t use it as a hammer.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Don W's profile

Don W

19647 posts in 3370 days


#4 posted 04-17-2020 11:22 AM

I agree it’s going to be somewhat difficult to save the pins. To try, I’d drill the holes at the largest diameter, and epoxy it all back together.

A better option may be to replace the pins and just make a false plate out of the “made in USA” piece

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View TexasGator's profile

TexasGator

5 posts in 112 days


#5 posted 04-17-2020 01:13 PM



It looks like rosewood, many of the higher quality old putty knives had rosewood handles.

- bondogaposis

Wow, that’d be spectacular if it was indeed rosewood. I will look into rosewod scales. Thank you.

View TexasGator's profile

TexasGator

5 posts in 112 days


#6 posted 04-17-2020 01:15 PM



+1 Old scraper could be rosewood.

FWIW –
The mfg process for those pins is simple, but hard to repair and save the pin?

They re inserted from one side, the brass was pressed to make a head into the countersink hole in the wood using a press die and support to prevent splitting the wood. If needed, everything sanded off flat. Any markings where then stamped into the soft brass after sanding, and before finishing.
Same process is used on knife scales if want to look for examples online.

Might be able to save one side of the stamped pin? Drill out the opposite side with small bit for central hole. Drill a larger hole to remove the head of rivet. For replacement, need to make a brass rivet with shaft to fit hole, and head slightly smaller than countersink. Since likely never repair/restore it again and want to preserve the stamped letters, could use epoxy to bond the 2 brass pins together.

The hexagon pin is installed same way. The counter sink you mentioned is formed with pressure on soft brass hex shaft. Likely be really hard to save the old one, unless you can re-form the countersink to be straight and press it out? The challenge is that brass becomes harder after being formed like that. Tends to crack/break when bent a 2nd/3rd time.

Best Luck.

- CaptainKlutz

Great advice, thank you. Now I’m thinking to replace the lanyard pin with new tubing. I’m wondering if I could shear off the one side of the pin as you suggested and braze it back together?

View TexasGator's profile

TexasGator

5 posts in 112 days


#7 posted 04-17-2020 01:16 PM



For giggles take off the scale that is broken, and run it on a sander for a second or 3. If it has a nice flowery scent, like a “rose” then you have answered the what is it question. Rosewood, at least Brazilian, smells like roses when you work it.

For a scraper though, any good strong hardwood would work as a handle, as long as you don t use it as a hammer.

- therealSteveN

Excellent advice will do! Thank you!

View TexasGator's profile

TexasGator

5 posts in 112 days


#8 posted 04-17-2020 01:18 PM



I agree it s going to be somewhat difficult to save the pins. To try, I d drill the holes at the largest diameter, and epoxy it all back together.

A better option may be to replace the pins and just make a false plate out of the “made in USA” piece

- Don W

Yes I agree, may be easier just to slice off the top portion where the stamp is, wondering if I could braze it onto a new pin?

View mpounders's profile

mpounders

967 posts in 3697 days


#9 posted 04-17-2020 04:21 PM

I wouldn’t worry about brazing it to a new pin. The front pin doesn’t have to go all the way through on that side; just epoxy the stamped portion in a recess like a decorative cap. i would epoxy the new scales on in any case.

-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mikepounders.weebly.com

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

5636 posts in 2189 days


#10 posted 04-17-2020 04:31 PM

I don’t suppose you kept the piece that broke off? My first attempt, if the piece isn’t shattered, would be to try to simply glue that piece back on and try to fill any gaps.

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

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

1073 posts in 705 days


#11 posted 04-17-2020 04:36 PM

No one has mentioned the import restrictions on rosewood. You may not be able to buy Brazilian Rosewood. n

Correction – a quick search shows Bolivian Rosewood available from several sources.

This comment has to do with CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) which limits the import of certain woods and/or requires documents confirming they were harvested legally.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

1208 posts in 1353 days


#12 posted 04-17-2020 04:50 PM

I can’t imagine it would b rosewood but mayb you’ll get lucky but it wood to light to me. Actually looks more like mahogany to me but only way to b sure is sand it down and post pics
I’d cut the top of that brass pin off and just use it as a insert instead of a pin on the new handle with new pins in the place of the old ones

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View Johnny7's profile

Johnny7

500 posts in 1892 days


#13 posted 04-17-2020 05:27 PM



I can’t imagine it would b rosewood but mayb you’ll get lucky
- JCamp

I have rosewood handled scrapers and putty knives from several different mfrs.
Here is an early ‘50s Red Devil catalog excerpt:

View Don W's profile

Don W

19647 posts in 3370 days


#14 posted 04-17-2020 09:37 PM


I agree it s going to be somewhat difficult to save the pins. To try, I d drill the holes at the largest diameter, and epoxy it all back together.

A better option may be to replace the pins and just make a false plate out of the “made in USA” piece

- Don W

Yes I agree, may be easier just to slice off the top portion where the stamp is, wondering if I could braze it onto a new pin?

- TexasGator

I have saved saw medallions buy threading them and making another split nut for it.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

526 posts in 189 days


#15 posted 04-17-2020 10:06 PM


No one has mentioned the import restrictions on rosewood. You may not be able to buy Brazilian Rosewood. n

Correction – a quick search shows Bolivian Rosewood available from several sources.

This comment has to do with CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) which limits the import of certain woods and/or requires documents confirming they were harvested legally.

- Phil32


Bolivian Rosewood (Pau Ferro) is not a true rosewood (Dalbergia) but does look similar with similar characteristics. Indian rosewood (Dalbergia) is readily available and isn’t on the CITES list yet. Cocobolo (Dalbergia) would be another option. I believe it’s on the CITES list but is much more readily available then Brazilian.

Edit: Looks like the majority of Dalbergia species are on the CITES Appendix 2 list. Brazilian is on the Appendix 1 list. https://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/rosewoods-bubinga-really-banned-cites/

-- Darrel

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