Have you made your own card scraper?

After way too long, I decided to "sacrifice" an old saw that I had and made a scraper out of it. Actually made two. It was a small saw. I read a couple of articles about sharpening and followed them closely, but was disappointed with the results until I read that you can forget about using scrapers on soft wood (I was using some old construction pine that was laying around. After I got an old piece of red oak from my scrap heap did I realize that maybe I didn't do such a bad job after all. :-)
But I did a little reading and see that some people recommend using steel that is about 3/64" to 1/16" thick to make scrapers. My old saw was only 1/32" and seems plenty thick to me, but then what do I know? I have another old saw waiting in the wings, but it is much thinner, and of course, more flexible steel which started me wondering.
So the questions are:
1. What have you used to make your own scrapers? I have heard people using old saws and circular saw blades. 2. How thick is the metal? 3. What size? 4. Just how rigid should the metal be? The circular saw blades seem like they would be too rigid. 5. What do you use for a burnisher? I use the shaft from an old shock absorber and it seems to work great. 6. Any other advice for me?
TIA,
Wayne
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Yep. They're so cheap, why bother? I have flexible thin ones that will scrape spindles and some that are nearly an eighth inch thick. Heavier and rougher the work, heavier the metal seems to be a good idea.
Hardened chrome steel is good for a burnisher, but after a while I bought the Veritas variable burnisher http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p2633&cat=1,310,41070 and inked the burnished angle on the scrapers so I can select the one most suitable more easily.
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circular saw blades, random bits of hard springy steel, dead chisels, you name it.

depends on the use.

see #2.

too rigid for a card scraper you are going to want to bow in your hands, yes. not too rigid for a scraper plane blade though.

high speed steel drill rod.

a saw filing vise is perfect for holding a scraper to stone and burnish it.
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Thank you! Great idea. Why didn't I think of that? I think I have one up in the attic someplace.
Pete Stanaitis --------------------------

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NoOne N Particular wrote:

Hi Wayne,
I've made a bunch of scrapers, although my main set came from Lee Valley. Those are the 3x5 in various thicknesses and one that is a French curve.
I've used a saw blade from an old hand saw, and one from a saber saw blade. The other ones are from crappy hacksaw blades. All work and in my case it's been a case of trial and error.

As above.. Never tried a circ. saw blade. That sounds like it might work too.

Whatever I have on hand.

The ones I've made have been special shapes, so I go with what's on hand, and that tends to be pretty small.

They might be. Or not. Depends on what you're doing. Give it a try and see. Once you have the method down for burnishing, it's pretty easy to make a slew of them. Rigidity tends to be a personal preference, but you should be able to arch the blade as you're scraping.

If that works, keep using it. My burnisher is 20 years old and I got it somewhere ........can't remember where. It was sold specifically as a burnisher, but I'm not sure I'd repeat that.

I think the biggest pitfall that frustrates users of scrapers is not getting the edge properly and then producing a bunch of sawdust. You should always be producing shavings, although they're not like the shavings I get from my planes - much thinner.
Also, this: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p2669&cat=1,310 is REALLY handy. It forces the blade into the aforementioned arch and relieves the pressure on your thumbs and wrist. It can be a bit of a learning curve to use in order to find the "sweet spot", but once you've used it, you'll have trouble going back to scraping with blade alone. YMMV

--
Tanus

www.home.mycybernet.net/~waugh/shop/
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Mon, Feb 11, 2008, 10:34pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@pacbell.net (NoOneNParticular) doth post some stuff that I snipped.
At this time I do nothing that requires a scraper. On those very rare occassions I do desire a scraper, I use a piece of glass. However, if I DID start using a scraper, I would make one or more, and not be picky about thickness. Next time just make one, use it, and don't worry about it unless it doesn't work.
JOAT 10 Out Of 10 Terrorists Prefer Hillary For President - Bumper Sticker I do not have a problem with a woman president - except for Hillary.
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J T wrote:

because of some of the things that I read about making a "card" scraper. One article said 1/16" to 3/32" thick and that just seemed a little too thick. The saw that laid down it's life to make my scrapers was only 1/32" thick and it seemed PLENTY rigid to me. I have seen videos of people using scrapers and they always flex the scraper. If the metal was thicker and more rigid than what I have, it seems like it would just be too tiring to use.
I also have another old saw that got left out in a few rains that I was going to use for more of them if these turned out ok, but the metal is even thinner and is quite easy to bend. This one just seems too thin and flexible which reminds me. Just how do you bend your glass scrapers without breaking them? :-)
Wayne

but will settle for Hilliary

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Youre thinking inside the box. The purpose of flexing the scraper blade, other than to conform to a shape, is to provide a skewing cut. Run your straight scraper at a skew angle and you'll do just fine. Note how well it works for your planes.
Save the thick ones toscrape glue lines.
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Tue, Feb 12, 2008, 4:57pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@pacbell.net (NoOneNParticular) doth expertly mumble: <snip>One article said 1/16" to 3/32" thick and that just seemed alittle too thick. The saw that laid down it's life to make my scrapers was only 1/32" thick and it seemed PLENTY rigid to me. I have seen videos of people using scrapers and they always flex the scraper. <snip> Just how do you bend your glass scrapers without breaking them? :-)
So? I saw on TV where Bill Clinton said his lawyers told him he didn't have sex with that woman. Which only proves you don't need to believe lawyers, politicians, or everything you read. .
If it takes a scraper that flexes to make you happy, them make or buy one. Does it "need" to flex? Of course not. Me, I'd have no problems with making a scraper out of an old tablesaw blade, or whatever scrap metal is available. I'd also make some with different contours, if needed. Try glass before you knock it. The answers aren't always in books.
JOAT 10 Out Of 10 Terrorists Prefer Hillary For President - Bumper Sticker I do not have a problem with a woman president - except for Hillary.
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Try glass before you knock it. The answers aren't always in books.
JOAT
I knew a man in his 90"s that used broken glass to finish wood. He didn't have any modern tools. His lathe was foot powered. I have 2 chairs that he made over 70 years ago and they are as tight as the day they were made. The seats are made of split hickory bark. He would slip the bark off the tree in the spring when the sap was rising. The bark was placed in a tub of water a few days to soften then woven to form the seat No fastners were used in the seat. Probably a lost art..
Virgle
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Hello Wayne, You mention that "It didn't do such a bad job after all". I recommend having someone knowledgeable show you how to sharpen a scraper. When it is done right, it will put a smile on your fact that will last for a month. I tried to follow directions in many books for years to mediocre success. Once shown how to do it, it clicked and I find the scrapers among the most valuable tools in the shop. Dave
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Dave W wrote:

Aside from the usual uses on hardwoods... Nothing fixes a drip or run in a finish better than a sharp card scraper.
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