Simple but useful scraper "jig"...

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Forum topic by ben posted 07-21-2008 04:00 AM 4231 views 15 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ben's profile


158 posts in 3834 days

07-21-2008 04:00 AM

Topic tags/keywords: card scaper scraper burnisher

Previously, when tuning my card scrapers, I have basically followed the wood whisperer’s method, and gotten good results. But recently, for reasons still unknown to me, it completely failed to produce a burr. So I went back, and watched the video. Then I watched the Brian Boggs video that he suggested, and after watching that, decided to try his method instead.

So I now use Marc’s slotted file holder to file the card square, and Brian’s slotted card holder to clean the edge on the stone. Brian mentions using a carbide router bit shank in a block of wood as a burnisher, and I thought about it for a minute, and made the best version I could think up. And I must say, kudos to Brian, because it worked like a charm. From scrap cherry, the scraper jig for the lazy perfectionist:

Note that the burnisher and the card slot are at appropriate angles, so I literally just put the rod in, and slide the card in the direction of the arrow. Too easy. Thinking not required.

And of course, the results (which are the best I’ve seen in quite a while):

Making it was fairly trivial. First, figure out which drill bit will allow you slide your burnisher in, but with enough tightness that it will stay put. Then drill an angled hole, 10-15 degrees. (This taken from Boggs and other various sources.) After that, figure out which way is most comfortable for you to hold your jig while handling the scraper (push or pull). Then cut an angle so that the burr you’re creating will not “crimp”—ie, the angle is not acute. I did this by roughing a 45 angle, then eyeballing it on my bandsaw table and cutting to depth to match the burnishing hole. Finally, draw an arrow to remind yourself which direction to go in.

Note—I’m not explaining the crimping thing very well, but think of it this way: if you are burnishing the burr, you could be “squishing” it by making a V between the rod and the card, or going perpendicular, or going with a wide angle (obtuse?), so that the pressure “trails” the burr. You want the latter.

Second note—I don’t think the above explanation is any better, but if somebody wiser than me comes along, I will happily integrate all improved descriptions of this :)

Anywaiz, just thought somebody else might benefit from my 5 minutes of work. I sure did.


11 replies so far

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3651 days

#1 posted 07-21-2008 04:12 AM

I will attempt to do this as I have just acquired my first set of scrapers and once the factory burr is gone , I will have at it : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4057 days

#2 posted 07-21-2008 05:42 AM

This is pretty slick ben. I’m going to try this because I have a few challenges with the burs too. Thanks for the idea.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3859 days

#3 posted 07-21-2008 03:27 PM

That’s an interesting method. Just goes to show that there is more than one way to get things done.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Chardt's profile


169 posts in 3565 days

#4 posted 07-21-2008 05:13 PM

good idea!

-- When my wife ask's what I have to show for my wood working hobby, I just show her the splinters.

View Grumpy's profile


23838 posts in 3814 days

#5 posted 07-24-2008 11:26 AM

Thanks Ben.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3902 days

#6 posted 07-24-2008 12:30 PM

Well with that set up I may have to pull my scrapers out again and give them another try. Good idea.

-- Working at Woodworking

View dsb1829's profile


367 posts in 3591 days

#7 posted 08-02-2008 02:20 PM

Good stuff, I may just give that a try. I have been learning with whatever I can find around the shop. I think a fixture like this that ensures consistent edge will yield far superior results. I would like to see shavings like you got there, but for now mine are coming of as a mix of shaving and dust. I did actually break down and buy a burnisher, so I imagine that alone will help some. Thanks for posting up your pictures.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View SteveKorz's profile


2134 posts in 3677 days

#8 posted 08-02-2008 06:28 PM

I’m not sure how I missed this, but I’m going to try it. I have a terrible time sharpening my scrapers.

Thanks for the post!!!

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 3955 days

#9 posted 08-02-2008 07:57 PM

Thanks for the post Ben… It looks pretty simple.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View daveintexas's profile


365 posts in 3839 days

#10 posted 08-04-2008 07:54 PM

Ben- very nice idea, simple, yet effective.
Now if you can figure out how to reduce the heat produced when scraping, it would be more enjoyable.

Thanks for posting

View ben's profile


158 posts in 3834 days

#11 posted 08-04-2008 08:07 PM


Many people use business-card fridge-magnets to insulate fingers from the heat. I have 4 of them for this purpose, all from my dentist. It doesn’t prevent the heat, but lets you work one side longer.

Also, as you get more consistent with the burring process, you can pretty quickly just change sides/edges frequently without much loss in time. That’s usually what I do, and that seems to be enough for smaller scraping jobs.


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