StewMac Ultimate Scraper

  • 57 Reviews
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It's the best scraper we've ever used!
Revolutionary tools, unsurpassed for smoothing wood surfaces, arched instrument tops, bindings and more.

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StewMac Ultimate Scraper Original


Item # 0631
In stock, ready to ship!


StewMac Ultimate Scraper Mini


Item # 0632
In stock, ready to ship!


StewMac Ultimate Scraper Rectangle/Concave


Item # 0623
In stock, ready to ship!


Total: $0.00
Quantity: 20


StewMac Ultimate Scraper

Al Carruth shows how to use and sharpen the Ultimate Scraper.

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It's the best scraper we've ever used!
Revolutionary tools, unsurpassed for smoothing wood surfaces, arched instrument tops, bindings and more.

For an ultra-smooth wood surface, nothing beats a good sharp scraper. Veteran luthier Al Carruth has given the simple scraper a revolutionary makeover, with practical improvements for stringed instrument work: the original Ultimate Scraper. We added a second mini version that's popular for working in tighter areas.

Go for the rectangle/concave scraper when you need to keep a good, tight, square corner in binding channels and neck pockets. Also great for smoothing bindings and many steps of making a new neck. Thanks to renowned bass luthier Michael Tobias for suggesting this new shape!

  • Refined shapes are superior for arched tops and flat or curved surfaces.
  • 1/8" thickness adds stiffness and greatly reduces chatter.
  • Two working edges for scraping with both pull and push strokes.
  • Durable tempered steel edges, for smoothing harder woods.

At 1/8" thick, Ultimate scrapers are much beefier than standard scraper blades. Two cutting edges let the tool work in both directions, without flexing and with less chattering. That saves a lot of time and effort! The tempered tool steel holds a more durable edge, too. The shapes are specially refined for hand-contouring and graduating arched instrument tops and backs, as well as smoothing bindings and flat surfaces.

#0631 Original: 3-3/4" x 1-11/16" (95.25mm x 42.86mm)
#0632 Mini: 2-1/2" x 1-1/2" (63mm x 38mm)
#0623 Rectangle/Concave: 3-7/16" x 1-13/16" (87.31mm x 46.04mm); three straight edges plus 20"-radius concave edge

From luthier Al Carruth:
"In Il Segreti di Stradivari, violin maker Simone Sacconi wrote 'scrapers were made from blades of sabers. Since they were of very hard steel one could not turn the edge and therefore they were used like a knife.' When I began working with violin maker Carleen Hutchins she used such a scraper. This is, in my estimation, the best possible scraper for builders of arched instruments.

"It works on the same principle as scraping with a broken piece of glass; a common technique among carpenters. A very hard material can take an exceedingly keen edge and when it is perpendicular, as it is in broken glass, it can last for a long time even if the material is brittle. This tool has the advantage over glass of having a shape that is well defined and re-sharpenable."

How Al sharpens his scraper:
Sharpen the Carruth Ultimate Scraper on a grinding wheel"I find it easiest to hollow grind the edge perpendicular to the centerline of the scraper. Simply set the tool rest on your grinder perpendicular to the wheel and grind all around. Use as fine a wheel as possible and don't apply too much pressure. If desired, the edge can be further dressed on a fine stone with or without a guide block.

"In use, this scraper will give an extremely smooth cut even on soft or highly figured wood. It has little tendency to chatter due to its weight and does not heat up. It is much easier on the thumbs than a "normal" scraper as it is not "sprung" in use. To re-sharpen simply lap the surface on a fine stone and re-grind the edge."

Watch the video! Al Carruth shows how to use and sharpen the Ultimate Scraper. Watching Al, you'll see how easy this is.

Product Instructions

StewMac Ultimate Scraper Instructions

Scraping and sharpening instructions.

Ratings & Reviews

StewMac Ultimate Scraper

  • Based on 57 Reviews
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Great tool!

By Bob Gramann from Fredericksburg, VA
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, July 15, 2012

Since this arrived, I haven't used my card scraper. This scraper is much easier to control and more efficient than a standard card scraper. I love it.

Toolman Tim would be proud

By Steve Barkman from New Zealand
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, June 17, 2012

A wonderful, versatile, easy to hold ( much easier on arthritic fingers ) scraper.

Perfect scraper

By Bob Lester from Australia
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, June 14, 2012

I was sceptical, I've always be a flexible scraper kinda guy - but this thing is amazing! It is far and away the best scraper I've used to smooth out the scoop at the back of violin family fingerboards. Its mass seems to assist in achieving outstanding results whether it be spruce, cedar or rosewood, it even butters toast!

Very cool scraper!

By Ayers Guitar Co. from Phoenix, AZ
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, June 09, 2012

So far this thing rocks. Cuts in both directions very well. The weight seems to really help it cut fast. I'm quite happy so far.

This Scraper Is A Performer!

By Palen Archtops from Beloit, KS
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, June 04, 2012

I made a similar scraper out of 01 tool steel a couple years ago following Al Caruth's article. It has become a mainstay in my tool arsenal. I also purchased this scraper from StewMac recently and it definitely delivers the goods. The D2 tool steel is the best that money can buy for this application, in my opinion. It definitely holds the edge and removes even difficult material very quickly.

Great Scraper

By Middleton Guitars from Southern California
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This chunk of steel holds an edge for a long time! It does everything the advertisements say!

Definitely worth the money!

By Tom R. from Wayne, NJ
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, May 15, 2012

This scraper is worth the money. I'm a amateur violin maker, so I have a large collection of scrapers of all shapes and sizes and this scraper has replaced many of them. I was a bit skeptical at first but after using it for a week I'm very pleased with. The burr lasts a lot longer than a traditional scraper so I can't comment on the sharpening process yet, but when it comes to performance it is superior to traditional scrapers. I wish I had purchased it years ago.

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