How to make and use a scraper on epoxy

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When you’ve spent time carefully building or renovating your boat, it seems a shame not to be as diligent with the final steps of giving your boat the perfect finish, smoothing edges and removing unwanted irregularities. A cabinet scraper will remove any trace of irregularities from the surface of an epoxy coating, making it the perfect tool for the job. Not only is it quick and relatively easy to make but it’s also a great tool for a range of other tasks.

Firstly, you will need to choose a material to make the scraper out of. A cabinet scraper can be made from a range of materials, from wooden chisels to high carbon steel handsaws, or even old plane blades.

A cabinet scraper can be made from a range of materials, from wooden chisels to high carbon steel handsaws, or even old plane blades.

Once you’ve chosen your material, use a bench grinder to grind an 80 degree bevel onto it, making sure to hold the handle close to the surface of the grinding wheel. Push it forwards to smoothen rough edges, and there you have it: you have effectively made your own bull-nose scraper.

Customising your scraper

If you want, you can customise the scraper to create hooks on the edge which can be really useful for scraping wood. To do this, just heat along the side of the scraper until the material flares or turns to form a slight hook on each side.

Once you have created the shape you want, the scraper can then be sharpened by placing it perpendicular to the grinding wheel. It’s important that you don’t overheat the material as this can damage the scraper’s usage life between sharpening, by softening the steel.

Getting rid of drips

As an extra tip: if you are trying to remove cured drips of epoxy, use a flat, flexible cabinet scraper. If, for example, the drip is half an inch wide, leave an inch in the middle free of the scraper and tape either side. Place the scraper directly over the drip, making sure the blade is perpendicular and push the scraper along the length of it. Each time you do this, it will neatly remove a thin ribbon of epoxy leaving the wood surface satisfyingly smooth.

Another positive of this is that scrapers tend to create fine ribbons of epoxy that do not become airborne as the particles do when sanding the surface. Therefore, scraping away irregularities from epoxy surfaces also reduces your exposure to harmful particles.

To see a range of tools and accessories that you don’t have to build yourself, click here.

Image credit: www.startwoodworking.com

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