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Sharpening a Card Scraper

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Forum topic by Tooch posted 09-24-2013 01:35 AM 1098 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tooch

614 posts in 528 days


09-24-2013 01:35 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question sharpening

I’m looking for advice on sharpening a new card scraper that I just picked up. The guy at Rockler was really helpful in showing me the basics, but when I got home and tried it myself, I just couldn’t seem to get it working. I bought the Card scraper and a barnishing rod, but I can’t get the “hook” on the card.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated- Thanks!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails


13 replies so far

View lew's profile

lew

10027 posts in 2407 days


#1 posted 09-24-2013 01:46 AM

A fellow LJ- http://lumberjocks.com/toddc made a video about this. You might send him a PM.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1676 posts in 1574 days


#2 posted 09-24-2013 02:13 AM

I had the same problem with a Stanley card scraper. It is too hard to burnish so I just ran it up against my belt sander and use it without a “hook” works great now.

-- In God We Trust

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2904 posts in 1139 days


#3 posted 09-24-2013 02:13 AM

Hmmm, one of the greatest scams in the wood working world.

You can make a card scraper out of just about anything from a tin can to a saw blade.

You can’t put the hook on the scraper untill you use your handy file to put the edges on it.

You can use a handy hardened screw driver as the burnisher, or maybe use a concrete nail.

Good luck!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View MarkwithaK's profile

MarkwithaK

370 posts in 1830 days


#4 posted 09-24-2013 02:17 AM

I just run mine on a bastard file….

-- If at first you don't succeed then maybe skydiving isn't for you.

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1504 posts in 924 days


#5 posted 09-24-2013 02:25 AM

Here are 3 Links which may help;

http://woodgears.ca/scraper/index.html#v

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz6EpQu2HRo (from the Wood Whisperer)

http://americanwoodworker.com/blogs/techniques/archive/2009/08/03/foolproof-scraper-sharpening.aspx?utm_source=AWNL&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=AWNL_20121101

Once you get the feel for it you’ll use less sandpaper and sometimes none.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.

Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View KnickKnack's profile

KnickKnack

982 posts in 2218 days


#6 posted 09-24-2013 07:21 AM

I use the “Todd A. Clippinger” technique lew linked you to in the first post – I just hold the file and scraper in my hands when I do it.
It took me a while to get an edge on a new scraper – partly because it was new, and partly because I was new.
I just spent a while messing on some pine – sometimes I’d get an edge, sometimes not. After a while it became more reliable, but I’d keep the pine around to “test” if I had an edge – if my target wood didn’t appear to be scraping I’d test it on the pine – sure enough, most of the time it was a bad or non-edge.
After a few years, now, that is, I get an edge 95% of the time.

It really is a great tool and well worth keeping trying until you can find those sweet spots for you and your setup.

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

View Tooch's profile

Tooch

614 posts in 528 days


#7 posted 09-24-2013 09:46 AM

Thanks guys, I definitely have some good info to go off of now. it will be a long road ahead but something I hope I stick with.

Grandpa Len = I like the idea of using less, if no sandpaper.

Knick Knack- I will keep the pine around to test…. but a few years? really? that seems like so much work- Intimidating!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View mds2's profile

mds2

239 posts in 596 days


#8 posted 09-24-2013 12:40 PM

This is the method I use: http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/scraper-sharpening-w-william-ng/
Fast and it works well, but I’ve found the most valuable thing when it comes to sharpening scrapers is practice.

Sharpen, try it out, flatten the burr, repeat until you get it down pat.

View KnickKnack's profile

KnickKnack

982 posts in 2218 days


#9 posted 09-24-2013 01:11 PM

Knick Knack- I will keep the pine around to test…. but a few years? really? that seems like so much work- Intimidating!

I don’t think I expressed that very well.
I could get a decent edge after a couple of hours practice over a couple of days.
For the couple of weeks after that I could get an edge, but not reliably – sometimes yes, sometimes no, and I went to the pine just to see if if was my carding technique, the wood, or the edge – I knew what a good edge on the pine felt like in use, and looked like in terms of shavings.
After that I just got better and better. Now it’s almost always a good edge, and I can feel it on the scraper with my fingers, so if it’s not good I go again (30 seconds or so) and, chances are, it will be.

Oh, and I say “it” – both sides of the same edge are usable – I personally only use the 2 sides of the one edge.

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

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3447 posts in 2612 days


#10 posted 09-24-2013 02:53 PM

Pine is not a good practice wood for scraping. Too soft, and that won’t give you a real feel for the burr. Try a scrap piece of oak or maple-any hardwood will do.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View KnickKnack's profile

KnickKnack

982 posts in 2218 days


#11 posted 09-24-2013 04:04 PM

Pine is not a good practice wood for scraping. Too soft, and that won’t give you a real feel for the burr. Try a scrap piece of oak or maple-any hardwood will do.

Within the context that I’m not disagreeing, this was my personal odyssey …
I found, when I bought my very very first scraper, I couldn’t get anything off any hardwood – nothing, nada, zip. At this point, I didn’t know if it was my scraping technique, or the lack of an edge. Having 2 possible problems was a problem. I watched videos. I tried again. Nothing.
I nearly gave up.
So I tried on something soft – pine. I could sometimes get something from the pine, so I knew I had some kind of edge. So I moved to hardwood (I used beech) since I knew I had something that would scrape. Sometimes I got nothing on the pine, but I knew my technique was OK on the pine, so therefore I didn’t have an edge – make a new one, repeat.
Went like this for a couple of weeks but, over that time, I’d sussed the technique of scraping, and of making the edge, so I didn’t need the pine anymore to verify I had an edge.

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

View BigMig's profile

BigMig

264 posts in 1265 days


#12 posted 09-24-2013 04:11 PM

For me the WoodWhisperer’s video of Wm Ng is the best – debunks the need for a HUGE burr…but instead a small one that can be readily renewed. Ng’s terrific

Its a great how-to video.

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View bilbaggins's profile

bilbaggins

97 posts in 1101 days


#13 posted 09-29-2013 06:39 AM

Spot on BigMig!

I too recommend the William Ng method (WoodWhisperer’s video – 2nd link above) as the best sharpening method and correct use of the scraper aka finding the “sweet spot”.
I know luthiers who use the same sharpening technique and never use sandpaper; just the cabinet scraper! For those interested see David Antony Reid at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REUIKm15zL4

Personally I struggled with getting a scraper sharp enough to do what I saw online… nice curling shavings every pass!!! The way William does it is foolproof… ahem!

THE SECRET:
Water STONE the scraper dead flat on both sides and the edge at 90º to those sides. Ideally It must be dead true and if it is it will be so sharp you can scrape without a burr.
Don’t use a file on your scrapers… only use stones to prepare it for burring. William works up to as fine as 4000 grit and swears by the polythene stones.

Note in the video; when putting on the burr he does so very lightly with the burnisher at a very low angle—5º and running across the scraper.

When turning the burr, again he uses a very light touch to produce a fine edge.

Test on a piece of wood that you will be using the scraper on so you “tune” it for that type of timber.

Pardon me for the lengthy elaboration but sometimes it’s easy to miss things even when watching closely… :-)

-- bilbaggins says: The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now. ~ Chinese proverb

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