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Using the Scraper Tools

The following technique applies to both the Traviscraper and the spokescraper:

  • Bring the brass nose, in front of the blade, into contact with the wood to be smoothed. Then rotate the tool backwards until you feel the blade touch the wood. This is the ideal orientation, with both the nose and blade in contact. The amount of cut can be adjusted by altering the pressure on the blade.
  • When the ideal position has been found push forward in a fairly slow and steady way. This should give a continuous shaving. This is much better than using a fast backwards and forwards motion, where contact is made with the wood when the tool is already moving. The slow and steady approach makes the most of the control that these tools gives.

Cleaning up a chair seat with the Traviscraper

Use a travisher in the usual way, to produce a reasonable surface. Then use a curved card scraper briefly to remove the worst of any blemishes. Take the seat to raking light (sun if it is out!) and use a pencil to mark all high points and indentations. Mark the high points and put pencil lead into the low points. Then use the Traviscraper to remove all the pencil marks and the surface should then require minimal sanding.

The spokescraper can be used in a similar way for all the remaining convex and flat surfaces.


If you are already familiar with sharpening a card scraper, then use the same system for sharpening the blade in the Traviscraper and spokescraper.

In my experience one can create a burr on the blade three times between grinding the edge. You will find a laminated template with the Traviscraper, which will help you to create the correct curve on the blade, when you regrind it.

I will soon be adding videos of how I perform this task, but in the meantime below, you will find an excellent video from Caleb James on Instagram, who shows how he does this. Although I do not do it in exactly the same way, this looks good.

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