Monday, September 22, 2014

Stanley No 70 Box Scraper late 1800's

Stanley Rule & Level Co.
I picked this up a few years ago and played with it some without doing much to sharpen it. This weekend, I decided to sharpen and hone the blade and see what I could do with it.

It wasn't terribly expensive, I think I paid $15 for it. It was cool and unique, so I grabbed it.

It's pretty beat up, but fully functional. Dating it to 1874-1884 due to the logo on the blade, "Stanley Rule & Level Co." The handle is tight, as is the ferrule. A little worse for wear, but still good.

So what is a box scraper? Prior to corrugated boxes, foam peanuts, etc, items used to ship in wooden crates, and often the crates were reused. A box scraper was used to quickly remove any labels or markings from the wood. Especially if you didn't want to ship your widgit in a competitor's crate. So it used a curved iron and sole to allow for wood that isn't flat, and remove just the necessary surface markings.

I pulled the iron and flattened it. The iron was very bent so it took some doing. The edge was badly chewed up, so I reground it with its characteristic curve then honed. 

The back of the iron is interesting. It's got a folding pattern in the steel. 

Obviously, I doubt that it's truly folded steel. Cast on sand? No idea. If anybody has some info, post it in the comments.

The sole was pretty beat up. I smoothed down the burrs and worst scratches with some 600 grit paper followed by 1000 grit, then waxed. It pulls smooth and clean, and the iron cuts great.

But what can it be used for? Since its original use is now obsolete, why would I want one? Well, I started playing with it to clean up the wood top of my lathe stand. Since I use lots of water when finishing and polishing on the lathe, the wood looks pretty nasty. A few quick pulls with this scraper cleaned it right up. I can use a smoothing plane or a sander to get it flat and smooth. Or even leave it as is. It's got a nice hand scraped texture when done.

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