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I think sharpening scrapers is like French Polishing. Read all you want, but until you get down and start doing it, your understanding will be very limited.

I think sharpening has been covered in past threads. But ..

...prepare the edges square and smooth

(smoothness in proportion to fineness of the shaving--for heavy coarse shavings, a filed edge can work, but for finish shavings the edge should be honed like an edge tool)

Draw a burr using a burnisher--any hard steel rod, a chisel shaft can work--on the flat side of the scraper.

Turn the burr by burnishing the edge of the scraper at 90 degrees to the flat side.

Feel the burr. If it is there you can feel it. Test it on some wood. You should get a shaving, not dust. If you didn't get a good edge, start again. Sometimes you can redo the burr without squaring the edge again, but only a couple of times in my experience.

I'm still not very good with scrapers on spruce, but I can get good results on the maple.

Here are some links:




Good luck.

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Here's a really good video tip at Fine Woodworking's website. He shows you how tune up square scrapers. The same theory applies to curved. I was certainly no good at sharpening scrapers, but improved after seeing this video. I think the emphasis on starting with a very square edge is most important. Then, it takes hardly any pressure at all to turn the burr.


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I'm still not very good at sharpening scrapers, and have asked this question myself on Maestronet before, with many good replies. I've had the best success since reading Michael Darnton's description. He doesn't use a square edge. He puts a 45 degree angle on the edge and hones it sharp enough to cut your finger even without a burr. Then lightly draw the burr. I've tried it this way and it worked pretty well.

A big problem, for me, is doing all this on a curved edge.

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Quote: "Here's a little tip. Get one of those magnetic business cards and stick it on the thumb side of the scraper, it'll cushion your thumbs and protect them from the heat of the scraper."

And here I am wondering what to do because I still have about 450 (of 500) 2004 magnetic calanders....about business card size.


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I've been trying to get my gouges scary sharp for years without success until I found an inexpensive gizmo at a woodworking store. It's a hand-held adjustable jig that allows you to "rock/drag" the blade across the stone at a fixed angle. Finally, scary sharp! I can't remember the manufacturer name but if you want I'll get it. I highly recommend it.

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I had some good success using a platform for the Tormek that I could lay the scraper on and rock it from side to side on the stone. This worked pretty well, but then to hone the edge further on a fine waterstone, that's the challenge. It's possible with experimentation I could use the Tormek stone and then the leather buffing wheel and not require the services of a fine waterstone at all, I just didn't get there yet.

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