How to make a Scratch Stock

Hi All;

The subject came up of how to make a scratch stock, so I decided that would make a good post!

Scratch stocks have been used for a very long time. Indeed scratching and scraping to make things from wood has been a technique forever.

You can search the interwebs and find all sorts of fancy ones. sometimes I think people invent fancy ones just to put something in a magazine that doesn’t look like junk you should toss in the fire.

here are some of mine:


They pretty much all look like something that should be tossed. BUT they all work just as well as any that anyone else has ever made… and they are simple and easy and fast to make. Having a bandsaw and a drill press will make this faster but are NOT necessary to make a good one.

I make 2 types: one made from one piece of wood. and one made from 2 pieces of wood.

the one piece type: take any scrap, 3/4″ or thicker.  1 1/2″ wide more or less, 4″ or 6″ long or somewhere in there. (I hope you are getting the idea that none of the measurements are important)

Layout something like this….

scatch stocks 1

Stand it up on edge and saw the line up the edge first. you can use a handsaw or a band saw. doesn’t matter to me.

Then saw the other two lines and end up with something that looks like this:

scatch stocks 4

take a bit of old scrap steel from any sawblade (handsaw,  hacksaw, bandsaw, I use a broken 1″ bandsaw blade for stock because when you have such a blade you have a lot of stock for these and other scrapers),and cut out and file a blade to the molding profile you want to make. Make sure that the profile is made/filed clean and square with very sharp corners, any rounding of the edge and it will not cut.

Insert it into the slot that is the first saw kerf. position it @ where you want it. you will be using the face of the step as a guide fence.

scatch stocks 7

and insert a screw or two if necessary. (at least one is usually necessary).

You are ready to go!

The other way I make them is a bit more complex, and it helps to have a drill press but that is not vital…

Take 2 pieces of any stuff (I usually use 1/2″ stuff for this) and clamp them together, face to face. Drill 3 holes to pound 1/4″ dowels into.

scatch stocks 2

Pound the dowels in, you want a tight fit. no glue! use a hand plane to dress up the outer edges if they are not lined up.

Saw out a step like you see in the sketch, just like the other ones. Do not take the 2 pieces apart to saw out the step, just saw right through both at once.

Add the cutter (you’ll need to use a chisel to pry the two parts open a little), add screws just like before.

scatch stocks 8

And again! You are good to go!

scatch stocks 10

have fun, be well

count your fingers!