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Tool Tweaks #1: Better Scraper Tuning

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Blog entry by Dorje posted 12-30-2007 07:57 AM 3909 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Tool Tweaks series Part 2: Learning to Sharpen Saws »

Just responded to a post with the following, but thought I’d add it to my blog too:

I finally got great results out of my scrapers – for fine work…

Even though I was honing up to 6000 (waterstones) on the sides and edges of my scrapers, I was burnishing with a HSS round stock turning gouge that seemed pretty hard and smooth to me…(I’ve been too cheap to buy a “real” burnisher).

Well, it had been tearing the softer steel that I had honed fine, and resulted in a scrappy burnished hook. It worked great, but was about as rough as if I had burnished following the file.

I’ve since corrected this by buying and using a burnishing rod, which is polished and should be maintained polished. A little camelia oil and the polished burnisher on my newly honed scrapers and wowzers…gossamer shavings, around .001”

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA



17 comments so far

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2619 days


#1 posted 12-30-2007 12:36 PM

I have a burnisher, but I hadn’t thought about the camelia oil. I have some of that, too, so I’ll fix that today. Thanks Dorje.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2844 days


#2 posted 12-30-2007 02:24 PM

I seem to peel off a nice curl and I don’t use anything but the file.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4438 posts in 2707 days


#3 posted 12-30-2007 03:04 PM

I just use a file and a burnisher. I did make a file holder from a piece of plywood with a table saw kerf in it. That arrangement works well to joint the edge of laminate as well.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3971 posts in 2808 days


#4 posted 12-30-2007 03:12 PM

In a pinch, rubbing the side of your nose/cheek and then the edge to be burnished provides just enough skin oil to help prevent galling the hook as you burnish. Not as nice as Camelia oil, though.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6698 posts in 2724 days


#5 posted 12-30-2007 04:58 PM

Hello all;

Another thing to make the scraper more user friendly is to place one of those magnetic business cards on the “thumb” side of the scraper when using it.

It will prevent the heat build up from burning your thumbs while using it.

It also provides a little cushion for those of us that are sensitive.

And we all know how women feel about sensitive men.

Or do we?

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3971 posts in 2808 days


#6 posted 12-30-2007 05:43 PM

Wouldn’t want to be holding hands with the love of your life while you have a big ole angry scraper thumb. No, sir.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View DocK16's profile

DocK16

1140 posts in 2831 days


#7 posted 12-30-2007 07:24 PM

Sounds like a fine finish, have you thrown away the sandpaper yet?

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View Blake's profile

Blake

3439 posts in 2619 days


#8 posted 12-30-2007 07:53 PM

Thanks for the info, Dorje! I am new to scrapers but they seem like such a great tool. I have been using them more and more.

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 2741 days


#9 posted 12-30-2007 07:58 PM

That’s what I’m trying to work toward…no sandpaper; or, if any…start with 220 or 320 and call it good before the finish goes on…then finish the finish.

If you only use the file on the scraper, it works great to peel off shavings, but the surface you get is equivalent to the coarseness of the scraper’s edge and of course requires more sanding.

Basically, I have my cabinet scraper set up to do the heavier work and may follow that with the finely honed hand scrapers. I’ve experimented with honing the cabinet scraper to 6000 and can get a pretty burnished surface on the wood after scraping and rubbing the surface with the shavings.

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Karson's profile

Karson

34912 posts in 3145 days


#10 posted 12-30-2007 08:38 PM

Some of the reading that I’ve done states that going from scraper to stain is not good. You need the fine scratches for the stain to apply correctly.

But thanks for the tip.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 2741 days


#11 posted 12-30-2007 09:06 PM

Not planning on staining…

Mainly oil-based finishes…

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2844 days


#12 posted 12-31-2007 06:14 AM

I use the scraper to remove the excess or glue squeeze out and then send it through the drum sander. I finish with a once-over with the RO sander to get the track lines out and it is good to go.

I use the card scraper all the time. I use a chisel pulled backwards for the same effect in a more concentrated area. I also use razor blades with a little camber in them for small, fine scraping. I use my hand planes so little that I did not even bring them to Ohio with me.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Karson's profile

Karson

34912 posts in 3145 days


#13 posted 12-31-2007 06:21 AM

I’m with you Todd.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 2741 days


#14 posted 12-31-2007 06:33 AM

We all have our methods – as a home (small) shop guy – with no drum sander, no plan to get one, no dust collection (plan on setting some kind of dust collection up at some point), I’m looking for ways to cut down on dust and ways to improve and increase my use of hand tools. I don’t personally enjoy using a sander, but I do enjoy smoothing surfaces with cutting tools. That said, I’m happy to sand when I need to…

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View grovemadman's profile

grovemadman

556 posts in 2516 days


#15 posted 01-28-2008 11:15 AM

One day an old man with a heavy accent came into my Dad’s glass shop and asked me for some broken glass. I thought this guy was out of his mind wanting to by broken glass. I gave him some cutoffs from the waste bin and he left. Ten minutes later he came back with a piece of an old violin and asked if he could look through the wastebin for the piece that was just right. By now I’m getting curious and I told him to help himself.
He found a piece and proceeded to scrape the surface of this old violin to something much smoother than any sandpaper was capable of!
I was astonished. This guy was no slouch, you could tell he was a master craftsman by the way he worked the wood. He knew exactly what he wanted and never once broke a piece of scrap glass… Maybe this trick will help some of you? I used a straight cut piece of single strength glass on some Purpleheart that had beautiful grain going in all directions. I finished the job with Watco satin wax and wet sanded it with 320 wet or dry, re-applied another coat and did the same with finer grades of sandpaper until I was satisfied. I still have that frame and it still as smooth as a baby’s bottom!
NOTE* single strength glass seems to work the best for scraping/smoothing. I recommend gloves too!
Chuck

-- --Chuck

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