Hand Scrappers

//Hand Scrappers
Hand Scrappers 2015-07-02T11:31:22+00:00
  • Creator
    Topic
  • #1992595

    Seth Ruffin
    Participant
    Post count: 62

    Ok. So I finally got to the point in building my coffee table where I get to do some finish work! I bought a card scrapper about a week or two ago and began the search and learning of how to appropriately sharpen a card scrapper. Luckily I have some sources I go to first so I was completely overwhelmed. At the same time there is a LOT of information out there. I combined the information I had learned taking into account what reasons people gave for their practices. Some of the styles out there seem to be purely a, because that always the way I’ve done it.

    A couple places were more helpful than others but two have stood out. One was really just information on the intellectual process. This was an article by Christopher Schwartz. I’m sure its easy enough to find on a search since I found it.

    However, the best aide was Joshua’s video here on Wood and Shop. It is the video with Eli Bizzarri. It really helped me understand why I continued to get only small shaving or dust from my card scrapper despite many attempt and much adjusting in sharpening. For one I learned that I was using the card scrapper at two low of an angle. Second the video helped cement some of the more detailed aspects Christopher had mentioned such as making sure the card scrapper is well honed before barnishing.

    Thanks for the help Joshua.

    I’m curious to: What have others found to be most helpful in learning to sharpen card scrappers?

  • Author
    Replies
  • Bill
    Participant
    Post count: 72

    You know, it’s funny that you posted about those two sources.  I’ve found them, too, and believe they are all one really needs to know about sharpening card scrapers.  I really like the video with Elia on sharpening card scrapers.

    More to the point, I think there is more disinformation about sharpening than there is useful info.  People have made sharpening hand tools into some mystical ritual that requires special grinders, .0001 tolerances, etc.  It’s ridiculous.  Man had been sharpening hand tools with rudimentary implements for 10,000 years.

    I subscribe to the KISS school of sharpening – whether it’s a card scraper, or chisel, or saw, or plane iron.  I’ve been using water stones (250 / 1000 / 4000 / 8000 ).  They work wonderfully – until your kids contaminate them with oil.  Since that unfortunate incident, I’ve decided to go to diamond stones – at least as soon as I get the money.

    Regardless, I sharpen by hand. I don’t use jigs except for plane irons – I use a common side clamp honing guide.  I use Paul Sellers’ methods for sharpening chisels and gouges by hand.

    The point is, people shouldn’t try to church sharpening up.  Sharpening is another part of “working” wood.  It’s not meant to be ruined by western, linear-reductionist thinking to try to take the human skill out of it.  No one cares or will ever know if your edges are 37.259 degrees and have a perfectly polished surface.  Elia’s video and Schwarz’s article are testaments to that.  Simple, quick, effective – no machines required.  That’s my style.

     

  • Seth Ruffin
    Participant
    Post count: 62

    It sounds like we work similarly. I try to have a bit of precision on the first sharpen by using a honing guide. However, when it seems a tool just needs a quick sharpen or tune up I will do it by hand. After about every fifth hand sharpen I go back and use the honing guide. So far this has been an effective compromise for my work to keep me working wood but still have a very well working tool.

    I use water stones as well. I take it the baking and dish washing did not help with the oil in the stones. If you switch to diamond stones I’d love to hear about the experience.

    • Bill
      Participant
      Post count: 72

      The dishsoap and baking helped, but there’s still oil trapped within the stones.  I’m afraid that’s permanent.  They still work – they just leach oil as I sharpen.  I’m definitely going to diamond stones.  I’ll post my thoughts on the difference.  I just don’t know exactly when that will be.

  • manifolded
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    I watched basically every video there was on youtube, tried things 50 different ways, and ultimately just sat down at the bench and tried different things until I finally got something that could give me shavings. It just took a lot of practice, and I definitely got frustrated a few times.

    I think the easiest thing to do is to try sharpening the scraper with just a file (you don’t even burnish it). This can give you shavings in some hardwoods, but won’t be that great, and won’t work for softer woods. From here, it’s easier to figure out how to improve on the quality of the edge, then you figure out how to roll burrs, and then you don’t feel like chucking your sharpening setup across the room.

  • Seth Ruffin
    Participant
    Post count: 62

    Yea. Watching Joshua Farnsworth’s video Eli Bizzarri talks about how after honing the edges you should be able to take a shaving. That was a huge help to me and sounds like it was made a big difference to you.

  • Jonathan Moore
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    Never realized how great card scrapers are until i found one recently someone gave to me. It had never been used so i found a piece of wood in the scrap pile and did some experimenting. I was sold. I pretty sure from now on the sand paper pile will be less used.

  • Seth Ruffin
    Participant
    Post count: 62

    Yea, This one has been my first and I’m astounded about how well it works. I can totally see either trying to find an old saw that can be re-tuned so that I can turn it into multiple card scrappers or just trying to find some more for some cheap prices. It seems like it would be really helpful to have like 6 to end up using then sharpening all at the same time.

  • pmelchman
    Participant
    Post count: 3

    there are plenty of information on how to sharpen card scrappers…I’ve even used then to make custom molding scrappers.

  • barakharlan
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    I recently acquired a card scraper and also had trouble getting good shavings.  Once I finally “got it” it has become much easier.

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