Wooden Kitchen Scraper...why Not?




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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.)




  • WOOD

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'!!



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    11 Discussions


    2 years ago

    It is not for cleaning pots and pans, and becoming adept with it is an art form. They don't fit in a round pan anyway - they are much too wide. It is used to scrape bread dough from a cutting board while it is being shaped, primarily, and they are also used to divide the dough into portions for rolls, or smaller loaves of bread. Some refer to them as a bench knife. The scraping edge can have a bit of a bevel to it, but it isn't meant to be really sharp. You can scrape up pie pastry, and vegetables that you've just chopped, and the broad surface will hold them for you like a tray while you transport them to a cooking pot or skillet. Doughs are sticky; you can't always just pick them up. Pie crusts are delicate and break easily, so a scraper supports it as you lift it into a pie pan. Think of it as a dustpan for your large cutting board!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    So this is a bench scraper made out of wood?

    I have two made of metal, but it never occurred to me to make one out of wood to help in situations where the metal would be abrasive.

    Very clear instructions. Thanks for posting!

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Not exactly...it is a scraper, but not meant for shaving wood. This is specifically a kitchen aid, meant to help clean off counter tops and cutting boards, and to gather ingredients/dough.

    Thanks for checking it out!


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I'm sorry for being unclear. A bench scraper in kitchen terms is generally a metal, rectangular spatula type object, but the handle is at the top. It's used for cutting dough, easily moving chopped food from point a to b, etc. I've just never seen one made from wood, therefore never would have thought to use it as a cutting board or counter top cleaner. The model below is one of the ones I have. I use it all the time and now I really want to make a wooden one for the jobs this guys too hardcore for, haha. Great 'ible!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Doing this with an exotic wood would be really cool....purple heart, or ebony...or zebrawood...I made a humidor out of zebrawood and it looks really nice, and this scraper would also look nice too.

    1 reply

    4 years ago on Introduction

    I don't blame you, if you don't spend a lot of time cooking/baking you will probably never see these. They're used to scrape dough together, clean off cutting boards and countertops, and gather ingredients. I'm sure there's other uses for them but that's all I know about them.

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    To warehouse32:

    Obviously there are other reasons for making one that I had never considered. Since I do a little cooking & baking, I am going to make one. I have some nice Black Walnut heartwood that would make a good one. Thanks for posting it.


    4 years ago

    still don't know what this tool is or the usefulness.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    It is used to scrape stuck food particles off of skillets, pans, etc without scratching them as a metal tool would.

    Nice job