Hand Tools Archive

more buffer bull-stuff - scrapers

David Weaver
I suspect that there are a lot of uses for the buffer for the lazy, and not posting out of anything other than curiosity.

I scrape some. Not much compared to someone who scrapes everything, and a lot compared to someone who sands everything. Early on, it was necessary to spend some time over a day or two figuring out how to make scraper preparation easy with a burr because a burr on a scraper means longevity and control of how much the scraper is taking in a pass.

If you prepare a few edges on a card scraper, you can generally keep yourself busy for a while with nothing more than a burnisher.

I like the washita - it removes file marks fast, isn't threatened by scraper hardness and it leaves a reasonably fine edge on a scraper (and even when you wipe the swarf off, the oil is already there). One stone, you can do it freehand all the way. File two edges, clean them up and roll a burr in two minutes for the dullest of scrapers.

BUT, aside from the orientation of the burr, nothing else on the scraper is that critical.

I so i filed the top edge of my scraper off about 20 degrees (it's essentially a one-side scraper) and made one pass across the deburr wheel and one pass across the buff wheel (five seconds combined for both - I tried deburr only, etc).

A light pass across the corner of the buff to keep the front side of this steep bevel clean, both sides are polished.

You can scrape with the thing straight away, but the buffer removes the hook - it's short lived. with the burnisher in hand, one stroke across the face of the scraper and then one perpendicular to the top (since we've re-oriented the bevel a little bit) and the action of the scraper is sublime.

You can do it many times before the burr becomes ratty, and then five seconds on the deburring wheel and the buff again. If the geometry ever gets wonky, just refile the edge and restart.

These are direct links so you can see the pictures full size. The wood is english sycamore. The shavings are plentiful and have no hard bits in them, so they make a great burnisher. This camera has an anti reflection control in it, but the shine on the wood is good enough that I can get partially past it.


I've got a few curved scrapers that aren't necessarily that difficult to care for, but this will make those even easier.

© 1998 - 2017 by Ellis Walentine. All rights reserved.
No parts of this web site may be reproduced in any form or by
any means without the written permission of the publisher.