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Do-It-Yourself Plastic Scraper Sharpeners

Mon, Feb  10, 2003 - By Dan Johnson

Nat Brown (The Complete Guide to Cross-Country Ski Preparation) and others have always touted the necessity of a sharp plastic scraper for scraping the wax off your skis. Dan has a couple great ideas for making your own sharpeners instead of going out and buying the expensive Swix, Toko, or Holmenkol models. - Mike

I have a little hand held Holmenkol sharpener with ceramic cutting surfaces which really puts a sharp edge on the scraper. But as others have pointed out, scraper becomes non-flat after a while. Damn spendy too!

Here's a couple of low tech solutions which seem to work very well for making a *flat*, *square* edge on a Plexiglas scraper.

"The DJ Clipboard Jig" 
(my invention, at least I haven't seen it before):


A normal clipboard, regular or legal size. The stouter the better.
Find a piece wood about as long as the clipboard and as thick as the clip will hold (maybe about 3/4 inch thick) - like a 10 - 12 inch piece of 1 X 1 or better yet, I now use a piece of 2 X 2 chiseled down at one end to about 3/4 inch thick so it will fit under the clip. 
A full sheet of sandpaper - maybe 150 grit give or take (experiment, I can't remember off hand what I'm using).


1. Put sandpaper on the clipboard and clip it in place with the stick of wood on top of it - in any position.
2. The wood now serves (a) to hold the sandpaper in place and (b) as a perpendicular guide for the scraper as you rub it lengthwise on the sandpaper to sharpen it. Move the stick to another place on the sandpaper to get at fresh grit.
3. The clipboard serves as an always ready-to-go flat space (see below).
4. The trick, as in all scraper sharpening, is to make sure that the scraper is flat when rubbed along the sandpaper to avoid convexity.

This jig holds all your materials (sandpaper, perpendicular guide and flat surface) at the ready and can be hung up on a hook or pegboard. It is kind of self cleaning in that the sandpaper grit loses a lot of the Plexiglas residue as it hangs.

I hope this makes sense. If it doesn't, here's an even simpler way:

"The Normal Old Sandpaper With 2X4 Method"
(taught to me by a friend, probably a common method)


Clear, *smooth*, flat surface (this is my problem during ski season - no clear space without lumpy waxy residue! - and why I came up with the clipboard method)
Full sheet of sandpaper as above
Something to use as a perpendicular guide - the edge of a small carpenter's level laid flat is great if your clear space is that big or a 12 inch or so piece of 2X4 will work


1. Put the sandpaper flat and place the "guide" over it.
2. Rub the edge of the scraper lengthwise on the sandpaper, along the guide, to sand it sharp.
3. Change position on sandpaper to expose clean grit.

Both of these methods work very well for making a flat, square edge on the scraper.