Hand scraping has always been an alternative to other methods
of final wood-surface preparation, prior to the application
of some type of finish.
Its popularity declined with the abundant and cheap paper-based
abrasives early in the 20th century. The availability of the
power sander also relegated the scraping process into the wings,
so to speak. However, for certain types of work, scraping remains
a most efficient and cost-effective way to give a product a
Joseph T. Boufford of Linwood, County of Worcester, State of
Massachusetts, made application #717,319 for a patent on May
18, 1899. On July 25, 1899, he was granted Patent # 629,487
for a scraper.
No model was provided. The patent claim was that the tool improved
the methods used in scraping floors and other hardwood surfaces
needing refinishing or preparation for varnishing, waxing or
polishing. It would seem that the patent was really for a blade
holder, not a scraper blade, although the blade is described
as "a spring-steel plate".
does not have to tell any woodworker about the heat generated
and the subsequent discomfort in using a traditional cabinet
scraper steel without some type of holder. Boufford sought to
eliminate this direct heat transfer by adding a handle and knob,
allowing for a more comfortable position when working, and giving
the operator much more control.
Boufford also claimed that one could prepare the blade for both
coarse and fine work by having one side with a curved edge for
rough work and a straight edge for the final finishing.