By Alan Noel
Professional Wood Finisher
This simple but very effective "tool" to remove old finishes or just to smooth the wood
is one of the very best tricks I've ever seen or used in the shop.
Back in the eighties I was contacted by a job placement program to see
if I would be willing to hire a furniture refinisher that was trained by the state
while he was incarcerated. I took their number so I could think about it and
get back to them. After giving it some thought I decided to give this person a
job since I could use the help and was happy to participate. I really didnt know
what to expect but after his first day on the job I was glad I hired him.
One of the simplest and best tools in the shop are
. They are very efficient,
and make quick work of removing material while leaving behind a very smooth surface.
While I was sharpening a profile scraper to use on some carvings my new employee suggested I try something he learned while in training which was to break a pain of single strength
glass into pieces and use them as scrapers. He said they would stay sharp for a
long time and would work great on the carvings and moldings.
After breaking some glass he helped me pick out some pieces that would fit the profiles.
Then he wrapped masking tape on an area to create a "handle" to keep me from bleeding
to death. Then he went on to show me how they worked, usually going in the direction of the grain and sometimes the other way depending on the sharpest side of the glass scraper.
While getting used to using this fantastic new tool I replaced the masking tape with leather gloves and this led to even more surfaces/profiles on the glass that I was able to scrape
For flat surfaces I cut the glass into 3 inch squares to create four-sided scrapers. Remember to scrape in both directions to see which side of the glass is sharpest. After the glass dulls, you can just break the squares again for even more profiles.
Just think of all of these wonderful tools being thrown into the trash and, if you are as cheap as me, go to your local glass supplier and look for their trash can...
Safety first….be sure to wear leather gloves and eye protection.
Alan can be reached directly via email c/o Alan Noel Furniture Refinishing at
. You can also visit Alan's website by
Visiting Atlanta? Attend one of Alan's upcoming highly informative Highland Woodworking wood
Apr 8, 2017
Apr 12, 2017
Finishing the Finish
Apr 29-30, 2017