View Full Version : A Homemade Scratchboard Tool!!!!

09-30-2006, 11:59 AM
Just made this morning!!! It works incredibly well:
I took a piece of wood 1/2" thick and 3 1/2" long.
Got a nail and hammered it into one end. Removed the nail.
Then took the largest sewing needle I could find and put it into the hole as far as it could go till it was firmly set in.
Tried it out on Black Claybord! What a handy gizmo for fine lines and the needle stays pretty sharp!:thumbsup:

Mary Woodul
09-30-2006, 12:28 PM
I'll have to start learning about all of these tips, Burt. It also sound like a good tool to draw into texture.;)

09-30-2006, 04:09 PM
Yes, I think it will be really good for textural effects!!! Looking forward to using it on my next scratchboard. Can't wait for the new Scratchboard Art SubForum to start. Wonder when they'll attach it to this forum????

09-30-2006, 06:26 PM
I take a straight pin and cut the head off, then place it an xacto knife holder.


09-30-2006, 07:10 PM
That sounds great!!:thumbsup:
ps: Just cut a pinhead off and it fits right into the xacto holder and works
beautifully! Thanks Bob, its a fine tool!

09-30-2006, 08:38 PM

I keep a small wetstone near by and every few minutes I put a few turns of the pin on the stone to get it back sharp. I will use the pin till its a nub, then replace.

I like the way it works too!!


09-30-2006, 10:36 PM
Hey Bob:
Hurrah for whoever invented the good old straight pin!:clap:

10-01-2006, 12:50 AM
You need to start selling these great ideas to the people that make the tools for the scratchbords. :thumbsup:

10-01-2006, 10:00 AM
The tool makers might not make any $ at it since all scratchboarders need is some straight pins & needles for the homemade stuff!:lol:

10-01-2006, 05:35 PM
Just to add a little to this. Just as Bob uses a exacto knife holder to hold a pin with it's head cut off, you can also use a 0.7 mechanical pencil holder the same way.
That way (for me anway) it is easier to hold a wider barrel pencil than the smaller exacto holders!


10-01-2006, 06:12 PM
Sounds good! Will have to try that!!
Went to one of those Dollar stores today and picked up an
8 piece Hobby Knife set for $1, it had 2 holders and several points and cutters. Worked like gangbusters on Scratchboard I'm doing now!!!:clap:

10-01-2006, 06:57 PM
wow...thnaks for all the cool tips...i think i'll be trying some of this stuff and maybe even think in terms of 'what else would work"...thnaks to everyone....Rod-Man

Diana Lee
10-01-2006, 11:36 PM
Here's two I thought of. I may have posted these before, but for those who may have missed them. First take the eraser out of a #2 yellow pencil. Make sure you get it all out , a little wiggling and a gentle pull should do it. Then take a wad of fine grade steel wool rolled up tightly to the size of a cherry pit and put it inside the cavity the eraser occupied. It works great on scratchboard, but be careful of the edge of the metal that held the eraser as the steel wool wears down. Replace as needed.
The second one also involves a #2 yellow pencil. Using a paper hole punch punch out some holes from a fine grade sandpaper. Take the tiny circles you punched out and with a tiny piece of poster putty stick it to the end of a NEW eraser on a #2 yellow pencil. This works well for small detail work with sandpaper on scratchboard.


10-02-2006, 04:54 AM
Sounds great! The second one with the hole punch and sandpaper is one I'm going to try out today!!!! I can tell that one is going to work as well as the steel wool/#2 yellow pencil!!! I tried that one!!:thumbsup:

10-20-2006, 05:45 PM
The fun part of scratching is the constant search for home made tools , however there comes a time that technology wins out. In the case of a tool to make super fine lines, this is where a surgical scalple which was recommended to me by Lorna and it works great. ( #11 blade )

11-07-2006, 08:37 PM
I feel bad- I told someone along time ago (on WC) that I used a needle but never thought to tell how I used it- I have mine in a dowel. But I want to try the pencil thing- that one sounds great to me. Also the sandpaper thing. Do you use special steel wool or can I just use the 0000 from the hardware store?

Diana Lee
02-27-2007, 12:41 PM
Terri, I dug this Thread up from several months ago.


02-27-2007, 03:32 PM
<snip> Do you use special steel wool or can I just use the 0000 from the hardware store?

It's best to buy your steel wool from a craft or art store, usually they have it in the woodwork, sculpting or clay section.

Almost all steel wool bought from the hardware store will have oil on it (to reduce friction and, therefore, the fire hazard when using it for it's original purpose - as a way to abrade another metal surface). This oil will ruin the surface of Claybord.

- Tania

03-01-2007, 10:08 AM
I have used hardware store steel wool but, i washed it in alcohol VERY WELL before using..

Pierre St. Marie
03-03-2007, 12:07 PM
Believe it or not, there actually were tools made for Scraperboard renderings. I have a set at the studio in town and I'll get my son to take a picture for me on monday. They were made in Germany in the 50's and I discovered how they made the specialized tool allowing the artist to do clouds, skies and multilined areas depending on how the tool is held. I'll post pictures with descriptions on moday since verbal descriptions of this particular tool are difficult.


Pierre St. Marie
03-03-2007, 01:53 PM
So you don't misunderstand, I meant solid steel tools, not like the Blick tools at all.


03-06-2007, 12:29 PM
I'm having so much fun with the tool threads! Thanks all. The needle in the holder works great, but how do I cut the head off a straight pin?
My contribution isn't a tool, but makes holding the exacto knives much easier. A library patron hand surgeon told me rather than use tape or those soft spongey cushie type holders around my pens to buy the triangular solid pencil holders for an easier grip on arthritic fingers. They really are much better, but sometimes hard to find. When you can buy a bunch for they are cheap and seem to disappear in my house along with scotch tape and remote controls.:) Terri

Diana Lee
03-06-2007, 02:28 PM
Terri, Other disappearing items are pencils and back in the olden days of my younger years I would have added bobby pins to your list of missing items. Try looking in your couch.


Pierre St. Marie
03-06-2007, 03:18 PM
I'll come back later or in the morning at the latest and give you some illustrations of how to form your own very controllable Scraperboard tips. Its easy to do.