Trade Secrets: TRADE SECRET: How to make and use a scraper on epoxy resin
Smoothing edges and removing unwanted irregularities are the final steps to giving your boat a perfect finish. A cabinet scraper is the perfect tool for the job, as it will remove all traces of irregularities from the surface of an epoxy resin coating. What’s more, a cabinet scraper is quick and relatively simple to make and is a handy tool for a range of other tasks.
Cabinet scrapers can be made from a range of materials – from wooden chisels to high carbon steel handsaws, or even old plane blades.
Using a bench grinder, grind an 80 degree bevel on to your chosen material. Make sure you hold the handle close to the surface of the grinding wheel and carefully push it forwards to smooth up rough edges. Once completed you will have effectively created your very own bull-nose scraper.
You can customise the scraper by creating hooks on the edge, which are really useful for scraping wood. Heat along the side of the scraper, until the material turns or flares to form a slight hook on each side.
After you have created the shape, the scraper can be sharpened by placing it perpendicular to the grinding wheel. Make sure you don’t overheat it as this can soften the steel and damage the scraper’s usage life between sharpening. In fact, it is a good idea to make sure you have a container of water handy to dip the scraper in to keep it cool.
As an extra tip, if you need 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. Making sure the blade is perpendicular, place the scraper directly over the drip and push the scraper along the length of it several times. Each scrape will neatly remove a thin ribbon of epoxy, leaving the wood satisfyingly smooth.
Scraping away irregularities from epoxy surfaces also reduces your exposure to harmful particles. Scrapers tend to create fine ribbons of epoxy that do not become airborne as the particles do when sanding the surface.
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