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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been toying with a card scraper I recently picked up. So far I've been able to only get a marginal bur on it. What I am about to say may also make some of you cry, and I am sorry for that. I currently only have access to 1200 grit wet/dry paper and don't have a burnish rod (I think that's the name, to set the bur?). So I've taken it to 1200 and so far just been trying to set a bur with the hilt of a file/rasp (the rounded part near the handle without any teeth).

Do I need to get to more than 1200 to get decent performance or is my main issue that I'm not really using the proper tool to set the edge...?:sad:
 

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Are you implying the 1200 is too fine or too coarse? My guess is that's it's the burnisher. A lot of guys go straight from using a file to a burnisher and get good burrs, I use scary sharp and seldom go beyond 800 grit of so and get good results. Try using the shank of a large phillips (round) screwdriver. I used one of them before I got a burnisher and it seemed to work fairly well.
 

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The edge is not sharpened per se, it is deformed to create a burr.

Take a look at this Lee Valley instruction for one of their burnishers to give you a better idea.

http://www.leevalley.com/US/shopping/Instructions.aspx?p=41666

As Fred mentioned some folks use a file or a round shafted screwdriver, or a dedicated burnisher.

You need to get the edge deformation. If you do not feel a burr the scraper will not work as desired.
 

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Depending on the scraper, you may be able to use a screwdriver as a burnisher. I have card scrapers from Veritas, and I've been able to turn an edge with a screwdriver shaft. It's one of those cheesy 6-in-1 screwdrivers from Home Depot, too. I suspect it would be easier and more reliable with an actual carbide burnisher, but I don't have one, and this works, so...

You don't need to get the edge perfectly smooth ahead of time. I generally touch up the edge with a coarse DMT stone, since it's what I have at my bench, then clamp it in the vise and use the screwdriver to turn a burr. Once I can feel the burr, I stop. I did try with a file, but I didn't see any difference.
 

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I got a round kitchen knife hone in a box of misc. at a yard sale. Seems to work fine as a burnisher. Plus, it has a cool antler handle.:thumbsup:
Using a bastard file works to flatten the edge. I never even considered running it across my scary sharp paper or a stone. Does that really make a big difference?
 

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I got a round kitchen knife hone in a box of misc. at a yard sale. Seems to work fine as a burnisher. Plus, it has a cool antler handle.:thumbsup:
Using a bastard file works to flatten the edge. I never even considered running it across my scary sharp paper or a stone. Does that really make a big difference?
Speaking for me: I don't know for sure, I can't tell. I suspect it does not and the file by itself is good enough. I'm not a real heavy scraper user, I was I'd probably work on the difference a little more.
 

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I make little scrapers from that really hard, 1.25" lumber strapping steel. Been using the tail of a file to try to set the burr. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don't. Have been reading that a valve stem out of an engine makes a very good burnisher.
 

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There a million how-tos on youtube about sharpening card scrapers, some using files, some waterstones, etc etc. They all boil down to the same principle.

I've recently begun getting really sharp burs on my scrapers that I couldn't before. It seems to be like sharpening chisels and plane blades; once you have your technique down, it's not too difficult, just takes a while to learn which way is easiest to do (and remember).
 

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I use the shaft of an old phillips screwdriver to burnish my card scraper. Works fine, and the handle is comfortable to hold. Seems like everybody is trying to sell a better mousetrap but all you need is a steel rod that's harder than the card material.
 

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Seems like everybody is trying to sell a better mousetrap but all you need is a steel rod that's harder than the card material.
Agree. Another potential option is if you have a broken or bent drill bit. Embed this in a piece of scrap, and if you have a lathe turned round. Use the non-fluted end. This is likely to be the hardest steel in the shop.
 

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I took a 6" piece of scrap 2x4 and drilled a hole across the grain to fit my burnisher in snugly (at about a 10 degree angle). Put the burnisher in then hold the scraper flat on the 2x4 and make a few passes on each side. Works for me! You can drill the hole to the size of whatever you're using to burnish with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I took a 6" piece of scrap 2x4 and drilled a hole across the grain to fit my burnisher in snugly (at about a 10 degree angle). Put the burnisher in then hold the scraper flat on the 2x4 and make a few passes on each side. Works for me! You can drill the hole to the size of whatever you're using to burnish with.
Oh nice! That's a good tip I'm gonna try that one for sure!

I'm finally getting a decent burr on my edge. Took it to my glued up table top today and worked like a dream. For some reason though I wasn't getting a good burr in the middle of the scraper but the outside 1/3rds were great. Which was okay for what I was doing.

Thanks for ya'lls help.
 
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