scrapers revisited

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Forum topic by Jeff82780 posted 08-21-2011 06:41 AM 1919 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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204 posts in 2994 days

08-21-2011 06:41 AM

well i have been really on the hand tool a bandwagon lately and have baught my first to planes scrapers and some water stones and honing leather. Well today i stopped at my local woodcraft and purchased a woodriver 80 cabinet scraper. I’m really trying to get a hang of this thing but just like the hand planes no luck. I did notice that unlike the cardscraper there is a 45 degree bevel. I burnished the bevel, but did not rub on my water stones. should i have done this? I also used a piece of paper on a flat surface so the blade would barely exit. well, when i did this i wasnt scraping anything. so i lowere the blade just a little more and the blade was just sticking in the would along with some tearout. i was going with the grain of the wood, so i know this is not the problem. is the shapening process and burnishing any diffrent since my blade camewith a 45 degree bevel? How much force is needed to get some good scrapings? seems like i am using all of the force and momentum i have and still no shavings. what am i doing wrong with this tool?

Thank you, jeff

5 replies so far

View pmayer's profile


1028 posts in 3065 days

#1 posted 08-21-2011 02:40 PM

I believe that you should hone the edge first, then burnish a hook onto the edge. If you take it into Woodcraft on a weekday when they are not busy, someone will probably help you get it tuned up.

From my perspective, I like using a hand held cabinet scraper much better. Super easy to develop a good scraping edge, fast and easy to use, delivers great results. The main complaint that people have is that it gets hot. This is true, but I use gloves when I use it so it is not a problem.

-- PaulMayer,

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204 posts in 2994 days

#2 posted 08-21-2011 03:56 PM

any idea what angle i would use on my honing guide to hone the bevel?

View hairy's profile


2703 posts in 3532 days

#3 posted 08-21-2011 05:10 PM

I have a Stanley #80, I believe its basically the same.

-- My reality check bounced...

View pmayer's profile


1028 posts in 3065 days

#4 posted 08-21-2011 05:13 PM

Here is an article by Kelly Mehler from Fine Woodworking that should cover what you need…


(See also: Scraper Holders) Scraper planes are a special type of scraper holder which combine the flat sole and fixed cutting angle of a plane with the fine cutting action of a scraper. These planes require a specialized honing/burnishing process, due to the fact that the scraper edge is not square—it is cut at a 45 degree angle. Scraper planes share the same advantages as the simpler scraper holders, i.e. keeping your thumbs from burning/cramping, as well as the additional advantages of maintaining a constant cutting angle and preventing digging in the corner of the scraper. The angled cutting edge also allows a thinner, sharper hook to be turned, allowing the scraper to cut very aggressively. Unfortunately, the disadvantage of the scraper planes over the scraper holder is even more pronounced—there are only two sharpened edges on the scraper instead of four, and the edges are much shorter than on a normal hand scraper. This means resquaring is required much more often, with the corresponding loss in productive time. On the plus side, the thinner hook made possible by the angled edge usually lasts longer between burnishings. Scraper planes come in three basic categories:
Simple gull-winged holders with a fixed angle, as typified by the Stanley #80.

Adjustable pitch models with a T-handle, as typified by the Stanley #12.

Adjustable pitch models with the configuration of a bench plane, as typified by the Stanley #112 and #212.

Each of these types is still in production (Stanley still produces the #80, Kunz makes a #80, #12 and #112 copy, and Lie Nielsen makes a very nice #212 copy), and there are also many of these available on the vintage tool market. 7.1 SCRAPER PLANE EDGE PREPARATION

Edge preparation for a scraper plane is very similar to that of an ordinary rectangular hand scraper. It involves the same three steps of squaring, honing and burnishing, but each step must be done in a slightly different manner due to the fact that the end of the scraper is angled. Click here for a description of the edge preparation process for hand scrapers) The first major difference in edge preparations is how the edge is squared. A mill bastard file is still used to remove the burr, but now the end of the scraper is angled. To accurately file the edge, a jig is an absolute necessity. I use a variation of the simple jig described above, only with a 45 degree bevel where the scraper rests, as such (in profile): As before, the file rests in the rabbet on the top, and the scraper rests against the front (beveled) face. I also like to cut a bit of relief where the file meets the scraper, to give the filings a place to collect. Some woodworkers like to file one edge of their scraper plane slightly convex (new Stanley #80’s come from the factory like this), in order to allow the scraper to take a deeper cut. If you wish to prepare an edge like this, it simply means that the squaring jig will have to move along the curve, just as for a curved hand scraper. Another difference in the squaring of scraper planes is that a greater amount of material will typically need to be removed. The burr is normally much longer on the scraper plane, so it will take a bit more work to remove it. Also, it is very important that the file is only used on the edge—DO NOT FILE THE SCRAPER FACE. It is tempting to save some preparation time by simply filing the burr flat to the face, but this will not leave the edge sharp enough to turn a decent burr. Honing a scraper plane blade is also quite different. In most respects, the honing process for scraper planes is like that used for a plane iron or chisel—both the back of the cutting edge and the bevel are honed through a progressively finer series of stones. Just as with the square edge, it is very important that the edge is not rounded over-the squaring jig above can be used to maintain the proper angle, or one of the commercial chisel honing guides can be used. A microbevel is not needed (and actually may hurt performance) on a scraper plane. Burnishing the scraper plane iron is actually simpler than the burnishing process for a hand scraper. Since the angled edge is already quite sharp, there is no reason to draw a burr-the edge can be turned immediately after honing. Note that the burnishing angle for this type of scraper is measured AWAY from the face, rather than towards the face (as it is with hand scrapers). This means that the angle between the face of the iron and the burnisher should always be greater than 90 degrees, as such: To turn the edge of a scraper plane iron, the iron should be held in a vice with the edge to be burnished up. Run a bead of light oil down the edge to prevent the burnisher from galling. Holding the burnisher at the desired angle, make several passes to turn the hook. Note that heavy pressure is not normally needed for scraper planes-the pointed edge typically deforms more easily. Note that the angle of the burnishing is much more important for a scraper plane than for a hand scraper, especially on the models which do not allow you to adjust the angle of attack for iron (like the #80). A bit of experimentation will be necessary to determine the optimal hook angle you are comfortable with, but 15- 20 degrees is a good starting point. I use 15 degrees for my adjustable scraper, and slightly more for my non-adjustable.

-- PaulMayer,

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 2837 days

#5 posted 08-23-2011 04:42 AM

Learn how to sharpen and the scraper will be worth it’s weight in gold! I bought an old Stanley 80 in a flea market, learned to sharpen it, and refinished an old drop leaf table by scraping off the old finish rather then using chemicals to strip. That’s right, I scraped the old finish off with the Stanley 80 and the project was the best refinishing job I’ve ever done. There was no chemical residue to interfere with the new finish!

But the trick is in sharpening. I’ve learned not to bother weighing in on the method because like building and jointing – there are different methods of accomplishing your task and you need to know what works best for you. Besides the different techniques, you will need your sharpening system, time, and patience. It’s well worth the effort! In a forum, I answered a question about your workshop’s most valuable asset – I answered my scrapers. They have notched up my skill level from “handyman” to “craftsman”. Good luck!

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

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