Hand Tools Archive

Scraper metal properties?

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
I enjoy sharpening conventional scrapers even less than plane blades. Could what Derek demonstrated minimize my scraper annoyance? I intend to try this idea, but the details?

How important is the thickness of the metal? Its hardness? Old plane blades are readily available in similar hardness and a variety of thicknesses. Is there a minimum thickness for optimum scraper preparation by simply grinding? Is a 90 degree grind better than an angle grind? Is an old Stanley plane blade an effective option?

Floor scraping. I scraped a floor some years ago. The scraper was a metal plate simply ground at about 45 degrees with no post grinding burr applied. I fabricated the scraper blades from a saw mill band saw blade. When I got it right it would roll off 3" wide oak shavings like a plane. During leveling 250 sqft of floor I got good at sharpening these blades (6" belt sander, 220 grit)

A red devil paint scraper simply filed at an angle will also peel off shavings like a plane.

It would seem that lots of metal formats will scrape wood. The obvious variables are metal hardness, edge angle, thickness, refinement of edge, other? Edge life and ease of preparation are properties to improve. Nothing beats the speed of what Derek demonstrated. Is the hardness and/ or thickness of this scraper critical? Is 90 degrees optimum.

Since first working CPM 3V I thought its tenacious burr would make it a dandy scraper metal.

I wonder if the relatively soft plate scrapers we typically use are a historical result of scraping with a piece of scrap saw blade, an idea developed in 1680 with no thought of improving since. Today we have grinders and cheap harder "scrap" steel in the form of plane blades. Should we be using scrap plane blades instead? Scrapers could be David's next research project. ;)

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