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Home : Tools : Scrapers : StewMac Ultimate Scraper

StewMac Ultimate Scraper

Read 55 Reviews   |   Write a Review

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

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  Item# Description In stock Price Quantity
0631 Original Yes

0632 Mini Yes

0623 NEW! Rectangle/Concave Yes

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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.

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 Ratings and reviews
StewMac Ultimate Scraper
StewMac Ultimate Scraper
5 out of 5 stars
Based on 55 ratings Write a Review
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Displaying 1 – 10 1  2  3  ...  6 >
5 3-28-2014
Not an instrument maker

I don't make instruments but I am a woodworker and am always looking for a better way to do things. When I saw these scrapers, they caught my attention. I got both the original and mini sizes, and I am impressed. I no longer get cramps in my hands from the spring steel scrapers I've used, I don't have to sharpen nearly as much and the flat edge really helps to even out surfaces. Thank you!

Mike S 56  Clinton Township, MI
5 1-24-2014
Seriously impressed - thanks Al

This scraper has become an indispensable tool and easily outperforms and outlasts the edge of a traditional card scraper. I really never use the card scrapers anymore unless I'm doing something rough like a hardened glue - not because they work better, but just to baby my Carruth scraper a bit. That said, I still haven't needed to sharpen it.

Nate Scott  Portland Read my reviews (2)
5 1-12-2014
New scraper

I was very impressed with this scraper having used conventional scrapers for a number of years. Since receiving it, it's been in constant use on a number of various instruments in the workshop. very jolly good. doug wilkes

Wilkes guitars  Keele,england
5 12-29-2013
As good as it gets

The scraper is, as advertised, solid. It looks small, but when you take it to the wood, you confirm that the scraped area is much bigger, in each pass, than regular flexible scrapers'. The curves are also convenient, from 3/4 violins to big archtops. I did not have to sharpen it yet, but there are clear instruction steps for that. Thanks.

Marcio Costa  Brasil Read my reviews (37)
5 11-05-2013
Just buy it

If you are making anything with a carved top, do yourself a favor and just buy this thing. I was having some problems with a slight bump in the recurve and this little honey sorted them all out. I still use the old school scrapers but this little guy is always on my go-to tool magnet. Oh yeah, you can use it one handed too.

Matt @ Texas Toast Guitars  Arvada, CO Read my reviews (3)
5 10-23-2013
Ultimate scraper

I love this thing. Made shaping way faster and easier.

Rob Schnapf  Los angeles Read my reviews (20)
3 9-13-2013
OK But Not Great

The scraper does scrape when very sharp but actually is no better than the thin blade ones in terms of holding an edge and it is more time consuming to refresh the edge. The only application that I have found to be very good is profiling the recurve of mandolins.

The Lefty Luthier  Spring Branch, Texas Read my reviews (40)
5 9-10-2013
Small step for scraper, giant leap for mankind

I was never a friend of traditional thin scrapers and the whole bit about sharpening and turning the burr never appealed to me. The new super scraper is so much easier to use that I'm enjoying scraping bindings now. My entire shop is now covered with the thin, clingy shavings, but my instrument bindings have never looked better! Thanks for a simple way to improve quality.

Roger Hausmann - Bulldog Guitars  Johnson City, TN USA Read my reviews (3)
5 8-21-2013
Stewmac Original scraper

Though long and hard about spending this much on a scraper. Was it worth it? You bet it was. Scraping bindings is very easy with this tool, and shaping maple caps too. I'm sure this tool will last a long time, but I would gladly buy a new one for every build, it IS that good.

Stuart1958  Ipswich U.K.
Customer supplied image for review
4 8-05-2013
Ultimate Scraper

I'd have to think really hard to remember some tool that I bought that did not require a bit of upfront fiddling from me so keep that in mind. I expect everything not to be good right out of the gate. The maker, Al, on the video emphasizes the importance of the flat part of the scraper to be flat. Mine was not. I took it out of it's carefully wrapped package and tried it out....two parallel lines ran down the wood. I shrug my shoulders expecting something like that. It was sharp though and I'm loving it besides that but before I can use I need to fiddle with it. De Rigueur.

SFPaul  San Francisco
Displaying 1 – 10 1  2  3  ...  6 > /\ Top of Reviews

Shown on page 26 of our latest catalog.
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