Friday, January 6, 2017

Glass as a Cabinet Scraper -- Woodworking Tip #19

I first encountered the use of glass as a cabinet scraper in the Chelsea studio of the Greek artist Michael Lekakis. Michael was a brilliant postwar abstract sculptor working primarily in wood, his works shown in preeminent galleries and museums on both sides of the Atlantic. The glass was a surprise to me. Its use often provided the final finish to his wood sculptures as he had an aversion to sandpaper as far as I could tell.

Scraps of glass are plentiful and easy to come by from framers, hardware stores, glass businesses, etc. I use pieces roughly the side of a 3x5 file card, big enough to put two thumbs on without having to worry about the precision placement required by texting. The glass is drawn toward one at roughly a 45ยบ angle give or take. Few furniture makers have the skill to create that perfectly hooked burr on the edge of a metal scraper, but here 8 very sharp edges are immediately available. They make lovely curled little shavings. They do not dull easily, but once they are, toss the scraper into the recycling bin. The photo shows the glass scraper in use to trim the edge of a drawer for a good fit. If using a glass scraper on a large surface the corners will need be rounded, sandpaper works, thus preventing possible scratches.

I have used glass scrapers with great success most all of my career and am hardly the only woodworker to do so, though the practice does not seem widespread, deserving of further dissemination.

Singular wooden ware + hand carved teaspoons at:

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