Flat file for sharpening Cabinet Scrapers Recommendations - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 01-23-2016, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Question Flat file for sharpening Cabinet Scrapers Recommendations

I have a drawer full of files, but it appears that my flat files are maybe too course for sharpening Cabinet Scrapers.
So anyway I want to buy a new file just for my scrapers and I’m not even sure if it has to be fine for something so thin.
Is there something specific I should be looking for?

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post #2 of 21 Old 01-23-2016, 03:38 PM
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I use a 4" smooth cut mill
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post #3 of 21 Old 01-23-2016, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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I use a 4" smooth cut mill
thanks, I've forgotten names of files over the years. The only one I can remember anymore is the bastard file, LOL

Anyway that makes it so much easier to look up.

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post #4 of 21 Old 01-23-2016, 03:56 PM
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According to Leonard Lee (The Complete Guide To Sharpening,) there are two ways to do it. First, square the edge with a mill file. I find that works OK for what little I do. The next step is to form a burr along one edge, there are tools sold for that. I've just dragged the tang of the file, HARD, along the edge. That seems to work OK. (LL has high mag pictures to show.)
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post #5 of 21 Old 01-23-2016, 04:46 PM
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In another life ....

As a clay modeler/sculptor at GM Design we need razor sharp edges on our clay scrapers. The old Masters had a fixture to hold a long mill file, either 12" or 14" for sharpening our scrapers that were usually about 12" long or so. You would need all that length, but it would hurt either. Looks like this:



This fixture insured that you always has a good 90 degree edge on the scraper. Hand holding a short file won't do that and you may develop hollows in the scraper unless you do the entire edge all at once..... we worked to within 1/2 a millimeter or less sometimes and needed a precise tool to remove a small amount of clay from the surface.

A very good article here:
http://www.timberframe-tools.com/too...-card-scraper/

Here's how it's used:

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 01-23-2016 at 04:53 PM.
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post #6 of 21 Old 01-23-2016, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, Bill I like that and I am going to make one of those. Thanks

I watched a couple of videos on YouTube on sharping and they would start with the file. Then they moved to diamond sharpening stones and finishing it off with a burnisher. I already have a set of DMT diamond sharpening stones and I just bought a Crown Burnisher from ebay just needed a file to make a kit for my scrapers. Iím not going to include my DMT stones because I already have them included in a sharping kit for chisel and plane blades.

I like Kits because I donít like looking for stuff and with kit, I only need to find the kit and everything is there already. If I find some small cheap diamond sharpening stones, my buy it just for my scraper kit.

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post #7 of 21 Old 01-24-2016, 09:37 AM
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Since the aim of sharpening a cabinet scraper is to give yourself a smooth flat edge with well defined corners,from which you produce the burr that cuts,you can use almost any file to remove the big blemishes and worn corners.A single cut file is better than a double cut as you don't leave grooves from the tips of the teeth.The easy way to improve the edge is to use the edge of an oilstone and to press lightly down with the lid of the oilstone box to keep the scraper square to the surface.Then all that remains is to flatten any burr and turn a new edge.The traditional tool for turning the edge is the back of a gouge,but I find the upper edge of a chisel works really well.You will struggle to turn the edge with anything softer than the scraper itself.You can buy a burnishing tool if you like buying stuff,but a gouge or chisel works just as well.
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-24-2016, 09:42 AM
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The Timber Frame article I posted ....

The link to the Timber Frame article has this great illustration of the burr edge:

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #9 of 21 Old 01-24-2016, 10:21 AM
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Normally, a scraper is sharpened by "draw filing". It's done with an 8" mill bastard. This means the file is held perpendicular to the scraper, not straight in line, only 2 or 3 strokes are needed. If you take more strokes, there is the possibility of not keeping the edge straight. You only file straight in line if the scraper gets out of straight.

Using stones is a waste of time with a card scraper and often counter productive. The burnisher does all the necessary work but you need a real burnisher that is hardened and polished smooth. Pieces of hard metal that some like to use will not do the job correctly.

The key to scraper sharpening is drawing the burr, then turning it. Drawing is done by laying the scraper flat on a surface, then working the burnisher on the flat sides of the scraper, not on the edge. This mushes the metal ever so slightly and gives you the compressed, sharp edge that will then be turned into the cutting burr. Files and stones leave striations on the edge of the scraper, the burnisher smooths these out when drawing, similar to the way a chef uses a steel on knives. A butcher's steel doesn't remove metal, it burnishes it. You can reform the draw and turn a new edge several times before needing to re-sharpen.
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post #10 of 21 Old 01-24-2016, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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.......You can buy a burnishing tool if you like buying stuff,but a gouge or chisel works just as well.
Thanks I found out too late that there were other methods of burnishing like in that article Bill linked to. They used a router bit embedded in a block of wood.
I did see something about using a screwdriver and I tried that before but wasnít impressed so I decided to buy the burnisher tool. It wasnít exactly what I was expecting, but then I didnít really know what it was supposed to look like.

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post #11 of 21 Old 01-24-2016, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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.....
Using stones is a waste of time with a card scraper and often counter productive. The burnisher does all the necessary work but you need a real burnisher that is hardened and polished smooth. Pieces of hard metal that some like to use will not do the job correctly.
Thanks, I didn't want to do that anyway because it just seems like too much work. I've never had the patience to sharpen tools anyway and just want to get the job done.

I don't know how often I have to sharpen the scrapers, but when I needed to use the scraper last week I couldn't believe how bad it was. I didn't have the time or tool to burnish it so I just hit it with a mill file out of my drawer of files. One of of my files has a smooth rounded edge on one side which I assume is a burnisher so I ran it over that although I didn't fell like it was doing anything.

The scraper was working for what I needed after I sharpened it, but I want to feel and see the difference between what I have and a really sharp one.

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post #12 of 21 Old 01-24-2016, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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The link to the Timber Frame article has this great illustration of the burr edge:
You know Bill this photo scares the hell out of me because there is no way that I can see that thin edge to know what I have.

I guess I could feel burr turned, but that burr drawn is something that will never happen here unless I have a machine to do it for me.

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post #13 of 21 Old 01-24-2016, 12:21 PM
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It's an exaggeration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper View Post
You know Bill this photo scares the hell out of me because there is no way that I can see that thin edge to know what I have.

I guess I could feel burr turned, but that burr drawn is something that will never happen here unless I have a machine to do it for me.
The drawing is emphasized to illustrate the turned up material. It won't be exactly like that in actuality. In fact, sometimes I use a scraper just with the square edge. It depends on what I'm doing.... just scraping or shaving off material.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #14 of 21 Old 01-24-2016, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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The drawing is emphasized to illustrate the turned up material. It won't be exactly like that in actuality. In fact, sometimes I use a scraper just with the square edge. It depends on what I'm doing.... just scraping or shaving off material.
Thanks, I watched the sharpening video at the timberframe-tools link you provided and I now have a much better understanding of how it's done.

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post #15 of 21 Old 01-24-2016, 04:21 PM
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I made some from the old-fashioned hardsteel lumber strapping. 3" x 1.25", filed one edge and tested in birch. At first thought it was dust but 10X magnifier and I could see the most amazing curly shavings!

To me, they mean that I can smooth hardwood carvings without the dull appearance from sanding.
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post #16 of 21 Old 01-25-2016, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
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thanks, I've forgotten names of files over the years. The only one I can remember anymore is the bastard file, LOL

Anyway that makes it so much easier to look up.
correction 8", i measured it yesterday.
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post #17 of 21 Old 01-25-2016, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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I found this file in my file drawer and I have no idea of where it came from. It doesnít appear to have been used and it is 8 in long. One side is double cut and the other side is single cut.

So since it doesnít fit in with any of my other files, Iím going to use it in my Card Scraper sharpener kit.


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post #18 of 21 Old 01-28-2016, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fareastern View Post
The traditional tool for turning the edge is the back of a gouge,but I find the upper edge of a chisel works really well.You will struggle to turn the edge with anything softer than the scraper itself.You can buy a burnishing tool if you like buying stuff,but a gouge or chisel works just as well.
That depends how hard your scraper is. I've got one that marked the shank of my screwdriver, and apparently fought to a draw with the back of a chisel. The cheap burnisher I picked up did the job quickly and easily.
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post #19 of 21 Old 01-28-2016, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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I bought a cheap set made in China years ago and I did not realize it at the time, but after working with the set this past week I think it might have been a mistake. I might buy a single rectangle scraper of higher quality instead of a set just to see the difference. The one I have doesnít hold its edge for very long.

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post #20 of 21 Old 01-29-2016, 01:23 AM
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The tang of a mill file is good enough for my scrapers.
I made a dozen or more from lumberstrapping steel. 3" long, each. Numbered them. Now, I don't care how long each one lasts. They are all bound to wear out, no matter who makes the metal. Use one until it doesn't cut, grab another. They were free. I enjoyed the careful effort to make them, to get them to work.
Why? Because they trump sandpaper, even on curved carving surfaces.
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