One dollar burnisher

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Blog entry by Sergeich posted 02-07-2016 06:27 PM 859 reads 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I used to sharpen my card scraper with a screwdriver. But I was not satisfied with results. A good manufactured burnisher costs in my place about $40. Thats too much for me. But what is a burnisher? It is a rod of polished hard steel and some handle. No more. It reminded me a HSS drill bit shaft. So I made my DIY burnisher from 8 mm HSS drill bit, gluing it to self made handle from beech with epoxy glue.

Sharpening my card scraper on a water stone:

Here I use wooden block to keep card scraper vertical while sharpening:

Trimming the flat side of the card scraper with the burnisher:

Trimming the edge of the card scraper:

Test on a pine board:

I am pretty satisfied with result. That was my best try on card scraper sharpening.

However after writing this post I went to LJ search typing “burnisher” and found a couple of projects almost identical to mine. So I will not get a patent for my invention.

6 comments so far

View firefighterontheside's profile (online now)


13075 posts in 1277 days

#1 posted 02-07-2016 07:03 PM

It’s a good idea nonetheless and one that I mean to copy. I have used a screwdriver for a burnisher as well and it never felt hard enough. I have at least one drill bit that’s broken at the tip.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Grumpymike's profile


1896 posts in 1736 days

#2 posted 02-07-2016 09:00 PM

I’ve used a screwdriver, drill bit, worn out router bit stem and got some results on the scraper … But then one day I bought, on Amazon, a real burnisher … As it arrived I took it out into the shop, wondering why I’d spent $19 for the same thing a screwdriver would do.
As with any new tool ‘ya just gotta’ try it out. So out came one of the scrapers, a file and a stone. After prepping the scraper I put it into the vise and gave it a few strokes, felt the burr and gave it a few more strokes, hit the wood with it and again, just dust.
After the catatonia subsided, I went back and again for the 110th time read the instructions on how to sharpen a scraper … There it was right on the page leaping out at me, “A few light strokes with the burnisher” ... could it be that easy??
I re prepped the scraper, and again in the vise, and three light strokes (No body weight here, just gentle pressure.) on each side ,,, Now to the wood block … In my amazement there were micro curls! (fanfare here)
At the age of 71, I finally learned how to sharpen a scraper.
There, is a lesson in “the right tool for the right job”, and “let the tool do the work”. And most of all don’t over sharpen a scraper.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View CFrye's profile


8575 posts in 1261 days

#3 posted 02-08-2016 12:41 AM

Even though you won’t patent it, I’m betting you will use it, a lot! Great looking shavings are very rewarding for your efforts and new tool, Sergeich. Thanks for sharing.
Mike, there’s hope for you, yet! Heeheehee Please, tell your wife I said Hello!

-- God bless, Candy

View Sergeich's profile


102 posts in 1218 days

#4 posted 02-08-2016 05:11 AM

firefighterontheside, Candy – thank you!
Grumpymike – thank you very much for such a good story. Of course you are right – a tool must not be chip. It must be excellent and, yes, expensive. And I will play a little with my selfmade burnisher and will buy a real one. Someday. You say light strokes? Hmm… I must try it.

View yuridichesky's profile


622 posts in 1385 days

#5 posted 02-08-2016 06:17 PM


I guess I know where my next turned handle will go to. :)

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View Sergeich's profile


102 posts in 1218 days

#6 posted 02-09-2016 05:11 AM

Thanks Yuri! Turned handles is a good thing. As well as many other turned things. So I am going to buy a lathe this year.

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