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Scratch stocks are great for adding delicate details to your furniture. I often make my own by filing an old bandsaw blade and then mounting it in a simple wooden holder. But finding the right steel—both durable and easy to shape—is a problem for many hobbyists. Now Hock Tools has introduced its own take on this age-old tool, offering spring-steel blanks at an affordable price.
The material is significantly thicker than my normal bandsaw blade stock, which means that the Hock steel can be shaped into finer details and still be robust enough to handle the stress of use. The bluing on the steel works great for layout when scratched with an awl. To shape the profile, I used a series of fine chainsaw files, and was pleasantly surprised by the ease with which the files cut.
You can also purchase a bamboo holder for $30, which includes a blade blank and one blade with a bead profile. The bamboo body has an excellent fit and finish, but I found it hard to control along curves and was unable to keep the cutter perpendicular to the surface, which is necessary to make a consistent-size bead.
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