When it comes to learning woodworking, there are no shortages of things to learn. There are the various techniques to learn as well as the use of the different types of equipment. Even something as simple as a cabinet scraper demands its own techniques. Too many novice woodworkers consider the scraper only good for removing old paint but it does have some other very valuable uses.
The scraper itself is no magical piece of equipment it is just a simple piece of rectangular flat high carbon steel. The very edge is rounded in the form of a hook and this is what is pulled across the wood to remove any fine shavings. You will find that when you go to purchase your cabinet scraper you may become a bit mesmerized by the number of choices you will have. They come in various shapes and sizes as well as choice of curves such as French for example. These are to be used on projects that are specifically different such as bowls.
Another thing you must be aware of as well is that you don't just bring the cabinet scraper home and start using it. There are some things to you must do to prepare it. You may find the edges on the scrapper are ragged and you must join these with a metal file. Clamp the edge of the scraper to a small piece of wood because you want to be sure the file you use is going to be perpendicular to the scraper. Now from this point you may not have to do any more adjustments to the scrapper depending on its intended use. If it's just for scraping old paint and finishes then it needs no more adjustments.
If you are going to be using your cabinet scraper for finishing work then you must continue preparing it for this use. This means those edges you just filed have to be now made smooth and you can accomplish this by doing it on a bench sharpening stone. Use the edge of the stone for this. Simply place the stone flat on the bench top. Now all you have to do is rub the scraper along the edge of the stone.
This is enough for light scraping but if you want to be more intense, you will need to make a burr on the scraper edge. You use a burnisher to do this.
Using the scraper itself is not all that difficult. Remember to work with the grain and then the scrapper won't grab or gouge the wood. Another helpful tip is to bend the scraper a little bit in the middle.
The best advice of all is to take your time learning how to use your scraper. Make sure you keep it protected when not in use. When you see it becoming dull then make sure you sharpen it. If you follow these simple steps, you should not run into any difficulties using your cabinet scraper. The key to getting the most from your equipment is to learn how to use it properly.