Introduction: Wooden Kitchen Scraper...why Not?
A wooden what now??...My thoughts exactly. When my wife requested I make her one of these I thought she was making it up (can you tell I don't spend much time cooking). Then, she went on pinterest and proceeded to show me pages upon pages of kitchen scrapers. She wasn't making it up.
Once I realized this was a pretty functional utensil...and a decent excuse to stretch my hand tool woodworking skills, I got right to it! After after a few hours of planing, shaping, and sanding I had a sweet little scraper!
So, follow along on this magical journey of crafting and wonderment...or do what most of us do when we see a new instructable: scan through all the steps as fast as possible stopping momentarily to glance at the pretty pictures.
Either way, enjoy!
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Pretty basic stuff here. I wanted to go the hand tool route as much as I could, but feel free to bust out the bandsaw and belt sander to shave some time off this fun little project (see what i did there??...shave...get it??...no? whatever.)
- RIP SAW
- CROSSCUT SAW
- COPING SAW
- PENCIL OR MARKING KNIFE
- BLOCK PLANE
- COMBO SQUARE
- SAND PAPER
- WALNUT OIL
Step 2: From Humble Beginnings
Start with, you guessed it, a piece of wood. The size will vary depending on what you want, I went with roughly 6" x "5 by a little under 3/4" at it's thickest end. Feel free to start with a 1x board since this will already measure 3/4" thick.
I, of course, chose to do things the hard way. I had 1' block of sycamore about 5"x4" so I took a 1" slice out of it. My goal was to incorporate a little bit of the live edge it had into the handle of the scraper.
Once you have your rough dimensioned block to start with, trace a gentle slope from the handle side down to the opposite edge. This should resemble an airplane wing. If you want, you can make a wedge shape and have both sides come to a point, but that's twice as much work...and nobody wants that.
Whatever you decide to go with, trace it on the edge of your piece, secure it so that an entire face is exposed and get ready to start shaping!
Step 3: Shaping the Scraper
Now it's time to do what woodworkers do best: take large pieces of wood and make them into smaller pieces of wood.
Try to saw away as much of the waste as possible before you start shaping. I neglected to do this and ended up wasting a lot of time planing down to my line. Once you rough out your shape, take your block plane and start working from one side to the other, making sure your surface stays flat. Pause often and feel the face of the scraper to check for any bumps or angle changes.
Also, make sure to leave about 1/16"-3/32" at the thin edge. You can refine that later, but while you're doing the rough shaping you don't want to risk breaking it, so leave it a bit thicker.
Step 4: Final Shaping
Now that you have a rough shape, trim/round the sides to give it a gentler appearance and make it more comfortable to hold.
A coping saw helps to follow the curve of the sides. The block plane and spoke shave can easily round over the edges. At this point, carefully use a spoke shave to give your scraper a sharp edge. Make sure the edge tapers very abruptly so that you have a lot of wood behind it to support it.
After you're happy with the edges and over all shape, sand the whole thing up to 320 grit.
Step 5: A Natural Food Safe Finish
Most people go straight for butcher block oil, or mineral oil. While I don't doubt it's ability to help seal and protect the wood, I have to question how "food safe" a "distillate of petroleum" can really be!
A relatively inexpensive and completely food safe alternative, is using walnut oil to soak in and help seal the wood, and beeswax to protect it and give a nice sheen. (not to mention it smells like honey and feels like silk!)
Simply rub a liberal amount of oil onto the wood, let it soak in and wipe of the excess. Let it dry for a day or two and repeat the process.
Once the oil has been absorbed by the wood, take about an ounce of beeswax and melt it using a pot of hot water. Rub a liberal amount onto the wood (be careful with hot wax!!!!). Let this dry and get kind of "milky" looking. With a rag, vigorously buff off the excess until you have a silky smooth finish with a nice light sheen.
Now, get to scrapin'!!