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  1. #1
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    Default Skarsten scrapers - vintage tools for vintage woodies

    The Skarsten is a damn handy scraper employing a maintainable and replaceable hooked edge in a holder. I've used them for decades to remove old paint or furniture finishes. You pull them, and by altering the angle can change how aggressive the action is. The two-handed version allows quite fine control.

    The business end is a slightly convex steel hook that can easily be stoned or filed to restore the edge. In time they have to be replaced. The hooks came in both straight and corrugated versions.

    And yes they're no longer made. This is my story about getting my two worn-past-using back on the road.

    There is a German knock-off, the Pajarito. An Australian ebayer advertised those blades as Skarsten-compatible so I bought a bunch. No, no go.

    UK ebay advertised old stock replacement blades recently. No postage was quoted but how dear could it be I thought. Well, $30 for <100 grams so no, no go either.

    Another batch came up on Aus ebay. They looked like the corrugated ones so I asked about that and the seller thought not. So I stumped up again, and no, no go - corrugated they were. OK for old exterior paint work but not for fine work.

    So in cleaning out the dusty draw in which my scrapers live I found two old blades with enough meat on them to be going on with. Woohoo! They'll probably see me out.

    P1010640.JPGP1010643.JPG
    Cheers, Ern

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    McBride BC Canada
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    Default

    Nice to see the old-fashioned ones.
    Home Hardware Canada sells 14 different models of steel-edged paint scrapers and also packs of blade replacements.
    I'll agree: there are many days and many times when such a tool is the exact weapon needed.

  4. #3
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    The Faithfull wood scraper is the closest I've found to the Skarsten.

    The design is slightly different, not as rigid, but I'll test one and see.

    https://www.faithfulltools.com/c/c/Scrapers
    Cheers, Ern

  5. #4
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    Ern, have you got or ever had a #80? Sounds like you use the Skarsten much the same way I use my 80. Actually, I tend to use it more for coarse work now I have the Lee Valley knockoff of the 112, but it's certainly capable of fine work. I once used my 80 to scrape the N.G. Rosewood counter-tops for a large kitchen. It did a great job, but that was probably what prompted me to invest in the 112!

    Of course, it can't get right into a corner the way your Skarsten can, and you'd have to learn to push instead of pulling, which may be too big an ask of a man of your venerable years. A friend once tried to convince me to switch to Japanese saws. I tried, I really did, but just couldn't get comfy with that pull stroke....

    Cheers,
    IW

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    brisbane
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    Default

    I too have a skarsten and cannot find replacement blades anywhere so using it with a blunt blade is still my best option!

  7. #6
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    Jun 2003
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    I bought some replaceable blades for my 2 Skarsten scrapers which I inherited from my Father-in-law. I presume it was the same ebay seller in NSW that Ern tried.
    The 32 mm blades fitted my scraper OK and I have been using it. I have not tried to put the larger ones in the other scraper as yet but they appear as though they will fit.
    Tom

    "It's good enough" is low aim

  8. #7
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    Thanks for the tip Ian.

    Haven't used either actually. Have recently played with bare cabinet scrapers for the first time, which I liked, the fact that it's a bit involved, but the paws didn't.

    A lot of the use now is on a ladder doing external fascia boards and window trim, and the two handed Skarsten is nearly perfect for that. It means I can avoid using a ROS and all its ugliness.


    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post
    Ern, have you got or ever had a #80? Sounds like you use the Skarsten much the same way I use my 80. Actually, I tend to use it more for coarse work now I have the Lee Valley knockoff of the 112, but it's certainly capable of fine work. I once used my 80 to scrape the N.G. Rosewood counter-tops for a large kitchen. It did a great job, but that was probably what prompted me to invest in the 112!

    Of course, it can't get right into a corner the way your Skarsten can, and you'd have to learn to push instead of pulling, which may be too big an ask of a man of your venerable years. A friend once tried to convince me to switch to Japanese saws. I tried, I really did, but just couldn't get comfy with that pull stroke....

    Cheers,
    Cheers, Ern

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by brit View Post
    I too have a skarsten and cannot find replacement blades anywhere so using it with a blunt blade is still my best option!
    Yeah, they do come up from time to time on eBay as do complete scrapers - though the seller in this case needs to be able to assess the state of the blade.

    Recently on UK eBay there were a couple of sets of blades for mouldings. I thought I'd seen it all.
    Cheers, Ern

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Darkest NSW
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    Phwoar - a tungsten carbide one. Useful to know these exist


    Quote Originally Posted by rsser View Post
    The Faithfull wood scraper is the closest I've found to the Skarsten.

    The design is slightly different, not as rigid, but I'll test one and see.

    https://www.faithfulltools.com/c/c/Scrapers

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsser View Post
    ......A lot of the use now is on a ladder doing external fascia boards and window trim, and the two handed Skarsten is nearly perfect for that. It means I can avoid using a ROS and all its ugliness.
    Hmmm, no question, the Skarsten style of scraper is the best bet for that job! I was imagining you scraping some fine piece of furniture destined to become an heirloom when I suggested the more 'refined' tools.

    When faced with a similar situation a few years back, I bought a large, plastic-handled thing with a reversible u-shaped blade from one of the hardware chains, but can't remember which one. You could rip off multiple layers of paint (& any soft wood underneath!) with that thing. Delicate it certainly wasn't.

    Yuk! the one thing I hates more than painting houses is the preparation, so I'm glad it's you & not me...

    Cheers,
    IW

  12. #11
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    Feels like the Harbour bridge job .... finish the work and restart at the other end.

    No, the only fine work I've done since quitting turning was to cut my own pattern in a pair of skis for cross-country use.

    I've taken up bird photography, which also makes high demands on technique, persistence and gear - and throws in luck.

    ----------

    So this morning I had a play with the Faithfull wood scraper and it isn't bad, at least for rough work. The blade has more of a curve than is needed and there's never going to be a fine burr, but there's four edges to dull before a pit stop.

    Mr Brush, I'm not sure about a TCT edge - hitting a nail in paint prep may do harm and refreshing the edge wouldn't be a trivial matter.
    Cheers, Ern

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsser View Post
    ......I've taken up bird photography, which also makes high demands on technique, persistence and gear - and throws in luck......
    Ern, I was a keen twitcher & photographer in my salad days, but birding didn't go well with a bunch of loud, hyperactive kids at foot, so I had a long spell out of it. The acquisition of a DLSR and a trip to Africa got me motivated again, but how I miss that 20/20 vision I took for granted back then!

    Cheers,
    IW

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post
    Ern, I was a keen twitcher & photographer in my salad days, but birding didn't go well with a bunch of loud, hyperactive kids at foot, so I had a long spell out of it. The acquisition of a DLSR and a trip to Africa got me motivated again, but how I miss that 20/20 vision I took for granted back then!

    Cheers,
    Ooh, where'd you'd go, what did you go to see?

    Well, I still have the vision but my partner has the hearing and when we go bush and try to spot the birds, guess who does better?
    Cheers, Ern

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsser View Post
    Ooh, where'd you'd go, what did you go to see?...
    Kenya. The other half had to do a job in Nairobi, so I went along as her bag carrier. We only had a short window available & it's unlikely we'll ever get back, so picked as much low-hanging fruit as I could. Two days each at Amboseli, Masai Mara & Samburu. Got 127 new birds despite being being dragged around in groups of non-birders who only wanted to see stupid big cats (which sleep 22 hours out of every 24).

    Quote Originally Posted by rsser View Post
    ...Well, I still have the vision but my partner has the hearing and when we go bush and try to spot the birds, guess who does better?
    Yeah, hearing & recognising calls is a huge help! My other half has a severe hearing problem, and never owned a pair of binoculars 'til we met, which is probably why I've never been able to get her as enthusiastic as myself.....

    It's a fun hobby, & you can enjoy it anywhere you find yourself with binos in hand and a few quiet minutes to yourself - no greens fees, no expensive infrastructure needed, just a bit of potential bird habitat...

    (I should apologise for the thread hijack, but it's your thread, & you asked the question...... )

    Cheers
    IW

  16. #15
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    I think I hijacked my own thread but we'd scraped the bottom of the barrel anyway.

    Well, I'm a bird photographer more than a twitcher but yes, there's always something to please even from a shoot in the suburbs.

    Cost on the other hand .... when you've developed a taste for crisp contrasty images, oh dear.
    Cheers, Ern

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