The tools that I use at my workbench are mostly things that I have made to suit my own purposes, such as this scraper. The stock is a piece of Mexican rosewood culled by a xylophone maker years ago, the blade was cut from an old handsaw. I have a personal affinity for slotted oval-head screws…So, five easy pieces…and I only paid money for the screws.
The inspiration for this was a chair maker’s devil that I bought at an antique tool show, a lovely piece of lignum vitae with a brass wear plate, shaped to scrap a chair rung round after the spokeshave had done its work. This one has a flat (or nearly flat…there may be a bit of brass or boxwood there in the future) sole, with a slight crown in the blade. My sharpening methods vary with the tool and my mood and whatever comes to hand, this one usually gets a quick touch with a file and a burnishing over a hard Arkansas stone. All it needs is a fine burr.
I despise using sandpaper, and will go to great lengths to avoid it. When I have managed to more-or-less flatten a surface with hand planes, but there are still a few nagging rough spots around the knots, this little fellow puts the final polish on.