The Straightedge (video) #3: Not Another Video on Card Scrapers

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Blog entry by Brian Havens posted 03-18-2010 06:36 PM 2334 reads 12 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Router Inlay Basics Part 3 of The Straightedge (video) series Part 4: Turning Urban Lumber »

Some time ago, 105 days ago to be precise, I posted a forum question asking woodworkers who do not use card scrapers “why not?”. The intention was to get information which would help me make a video. As life has a way of getting in the way of plans, it took some time before I could make the video, but it has finally arrived.

I look forward to your feedback.

Here is the link to the video and the writeup from my video page:

If you have been getting less than satisfactory results with your card scraper, then perhaps this video is for you. Often it may seem that the process of preparing a card scraper is downright mystical, and that those can do it have some sort of magic. However I do not like mysticism and magic, and I find more often than not, that there is simply a single link missing in the chain that keeps woodworkers from getting shavings out of their card scrapers. Hopefully this video will help you flush out whatever is keeping you from getting those sought after shavings, and send you on your way to scraping utopia.

P.S. I noticed, this morning, that in IE7 the tabs on my website are a little funky, but that everything otherwise functions OK. I am looking into this issue and should have it fixed shortly.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

16 comments so far

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4064 days

#1 posted 03-18-2010 06:48 PM

Brian – You put together one of the most comprehensive videos I have seen to date. The way you laid out the various types of sharpening and acknowledge the value of each was great.

I think that this is an important thing to note, in woodworking there is always more than one way to do something.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Garry's profile


64 posts in 4216 days

#2 posted 03-18-2010 07:46 PM

Nice job on the video Brian and thanks, I gained some needed information.


-- Garry, Engadine, Michigan (Upper Peninsula)

View BOB67CAM's profile


269 posts in 3036 days

#3 posted 03-18-2010 07:53 PM

i agree with todd
1 think i cant seem to get my brain bent around tho is u use a file then that gives you the burr
but then you seem to hone it down, and ok it wont take as much off near as fast as a file and maybe thats the point, but then here comes the burnisher which also would be pulling the burr towards the edge of the scraper, then u flip and run the burnisher to pull it back 90 degrees of the scraper
it could just be me since im so new to this stuff, but it realy is baffling too me
unless like i mentioned before that the file is really ruff and you are doing less and less along the way, which im kinda suspecting but then id be confused but it really is dumbfounding to me as far as the burnishing steps…i realize the video is done and im sure editing would be the last thing u would want to do so u can explain it

-- if you dont have it, build it, especially when its a stupid idea

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

196 posts in 3071 days

#4 posted 03-18-2010 08:14 PM

That is correct, Bob, the burr created by the file is rather rough and a bit jagged (and does not last very long). I use this sort of burr, for instance, when cleaning up old boards, since I do not care about the rough surface and since scraping old finish and paint wears down the burr pretty quickly anyway.

By honing the edge and sides, you are getting rid if the rough burr in preparation for creating a new, finer burr. As far as the drawing out step, with the scraper flat on the bench, this does seem a little strange, but my understanding of what it does is that it (microscopically) pushes some metal over the side, which makes it easier to then turn the burr over. Many people skip this step with good results. I do it because 1) it does seem to make it easier to turn the burr over, and 2) I have to do this step anyway when re-turning the burr (without re-honing), in order to straiten out the existing burr.

No worries about the video being “done”. I was just discussing with Todd this morning that this form of video can be revised, the way books come out with second and third editions. That is why I value the feedback so much. I collect it for the next revision.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3299 days

#5 posted 03-18-2010 09:08 PM

This was a great video Brian. I especially liked that you covered different methods for different needs. This was a valuable addition to Todd’s video which I also found very useful. I have been using my card scrapers for many years and I have read a lot of articles on preparing them, but none as good as your video. It seems that we can always learn something new about every tool in the shop. The card scraper is very useful and I appreciate the extra knowledge you have given us and thank you very much for going to the trouble to make the video and share your skills with us.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 3707 days

#6 posted 03-19-2010 12:40 AM

Many thanks Brian

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 3596 days

#7 posted 03-19-2010 06:43 AM

Wow Brian, this is by far the best instructional video on card scrapers I’ve ever seen !

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

196 posts in 3071 days

#8 posted 03-19-2010 07:30 AM

Hmm… The funny thing about the oil on the burnisher, Brian, is that I forgot all about it. Now you have me wondering how I get away without using it. I do have a habit of wiping the burnisher off with my bare hand before using it, in order to make sure it is clean. Perhaps the oil from my skin is adequate, like the whole ‘oil from behind the ear’ trick that many old timers do. Or perhaps it has to do with the pulling the burr out. I’ll have to figure that one out.

Good catch though, since woodworkers new to turning a burr should use a little oil on the burnisher. (Any kind of non-drying oil should do.) I shall add a note on the video page, and put this on the “second edition” list.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

View obi999's profile


213 posts in 3372 days

#9 posted 03-19-2010 10:11 AM

Thank you very much, a very useful video with simple, fast an effective methods. Very professional! I had to try these methods.
And I’am sure you could earn a lot of money for a big house with a great woodshop.

-- *** the german lumberjock ***

View 559dustdesigns's profile


633 posts in 3133 days

#10 posted 03-19-2010 11:48 AM

Brian, I very much enjoy and appreciate your videos, their content, and your efforts in producing all your how to lessons. Your web site quickly became a bookmarked link I regularly view. Keep the video’s and interesting lessons rolling.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2781 posts in 3402 days

#11 posted 03-19-2010 01:21 PM

This and your other videos are extremely well done both in content and the filming. Thanks.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3251 days

#12 posted 03-19-2010 08:02 PM

Brian, Wonderful job on the video. Great presentation and information.

Thanks for sharing


View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

196 posts in 3071 days

#13 posted 03-20-2010 01:08 AM

Thanks for the support and feedback. I do enjoy making the videos. It is like an obsession within an obsession.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3638 days

#14 posted 03-20-2010 04:28 PM

Brian, thanks for the video.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3080 days

#15 posted 03-20-2010 08:16 PM

thank´s for making such an impressive vidio
I realy learned a lot
I hope many other see this
thank´s once more for taking your time to do it


showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

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