card scaper frustration

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Jeff82780 posted 08-17-2011 07:05 AM 1825 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jeff82780's profile


204 posts in 2992 days

08-17-2011 07:05 AM

Just bought a card scraper and have never used one before. i’ve watched videos on sharpening them with stones and then burnishing them and i saw a few videos where that all they do is file the edge. Well, none of these techniques are working for me. I feel that i may have a small burr, but i cannot get the scraper sharp. how sharp is sharp. If i run my finger across the scraper would i cut myself? Because if so, my card scraper is not even close to that sharp. Sure i do remove very little material, but barely any. I am getting no shavings just saw dust. So if anyone has any ideas that will help me with a scraper that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, JEFF

12 replies so far

View ksSlim's profile


1276 posts in 2888 days

#1 posted 08-17-2011 07:22 AM

After sharpening and drawing the bur with a burnisher, experiment with the angle that you hold the scraper relative the the material. Dust can be an indicator of improper angle, bad or rolled bur, or just plain dull.
Many first-timers tend to turn the bur too much. Keep trying, its virtually impossible to ruin a scraper.
You should be able to feel the bur with your fingernail. Drag your fingernail accross the metal toward the edge.
Your fingernail should catch the slighest of bur.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View KnickKnack's profile (online now)


1089 posts in 3564 days

#2 posted 08-17-2011 08:34 AM

I found it very hard to get going scrapering too – which is frustrating since it looks so easy.

Todd A. Clippinger blog here was very useful.

It also seemed to me that, out of the packet, it was a while before I managed to get it to scrape anything at all. Then another while before I could get more than dust. Now I use it so often I don’t know how I lived without it – I even managed, once, to scape some end grain nicely. I think it takes a while to get beyond the manufactured edge, which is not an edge at all, to an edge that would sharpen.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View BarneyTomB's profile


28 posts in 2516 days

#3 posted 08-17-2011 11:02 AM

The secret I found is the angle that you burnish the edge. You only need a slight angle. If you burnish it too deeply you roll the edge too far for it to cut. Try using a slighter angle with the burnisher after sharpening.

-- Profanity; The last refuge of the limited intellect.

View glue4you's profile


162 posts in 2478 days

#4 posted 08-17-2011 11:25 AM

Hi Jeff,
you may have seen this video: woodwhisperer ???

In the end it’s simple: Long bur means weak edge. All you need is a sharp edge not a long one. Look how the guy does it in one easy stroke.

Hope that helps!

-- Alex ----- Bavaria in Germany

View Jeff82780's profile


204 posts in 2992 days

#5 posted 08-17-2011 01:09 PM

How do you guys get the edge razor sharp? Or is razor not what you need? I am using water stones to sharpen, but the scraper doesnt seem to get that sharp?

View chrisstef's profile


17385 posts in 3004 days

#6 posted 08-17-2011 02:32 PM

I dont think that it needs to be razor sharp. Personally i just run it back and forth over a mill file clamped in my vise until i hear a particular sound, id try to imitate it but you couldnt hear me. Keep playing with the angle youre scraping, i tend to be around 50 degrees id bet.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View bhack's profile


349 posts in 3718 days

#7 posted 08-17-2011 03:28 PM

I use the method that Todd A. Clippinger uses. Works great for me.

-- Bill - If I knew GRANDKIDS were so much fun I would have had them first.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4216 days

#8 posted 08-17-2011 03:48 PM

Yu don’t really “sharpen” a scraper. The edge you are using should not be any thinner than the rest of the scraper. The filing is just to get it flat, then the burr, which is just a slight mushrooming of the edge, is what does the cutting. If you are trying to sharpen the edge the same way you would sharpen a knife, that’s part of the problem.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3661 days

#9 posted 08-17-2011 04:37 PM

This is one of those things that I think most of us tend to over-think and over-act on.

When I got my first set of scrapers and my burnisher, I worked real hard to try to get it just so … abject failure!

Then I happened across Todd Clippinger’s video, gave his technique a try, and have been a happy camper ever since.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2688 days

#10 posted 08-18-2011 04:10 AM

I too use the Klippinger method to sharpen my scrapers [Shop made from an old handsaw] but I made holders for the scrapers as my 62 year old hands dont like holding the curve in the scrapers. I like and use my card scrapers a lot more since I made the holders.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Jeff82780's profile


204 posts in 2992 days

#11 posted 08-19-2011 05:14 AM

thanks for all the great advice everyone! I finally got a good burr and the scraper works amazing! they they get hot after a while and are tiring on the hands. how are the card holders? i also was wondering how often do u guys run the scraper on a stone after it dulls a little? I have just been re-burnishing the scraper when it becomes dull, not shaerpening it

thanks, jeff

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3049 days

#12 posted 08-19-2011 05:19 AM

The burr is what does the cutting. If you think of the edge of the scraper the same as you do a chisel or plane edge, you’re looking in the wrong place. All you want to do is flatten the scraper and square the edge. You then draw the burr by clamping the scraper in a vise, edge up, and drawing a burnisher 9old round screwdriver shank or round chisel shank will do) at about a 45* angle for a few firm strokes. The burr that is thus rolled does the cutting. Watch some of the videos recommended above closely and you’ll see what we mean.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics