More fun with scrapers

Been working on a shallow (~1/2" deep) hand-carved walnut tray as an anniversary gift for SWMBO. It was going along fine, as I got a nice uniform depth to the center, with minimal tearout. I then took a card scraper to clean up the bottom of the tray and it was looking great. The trick was getting a nice little radius where the side walls meet the bottom. I tried various chisels and gouges and nothing was able to handle the long grain without risking some pretty ugly tearout.
I was getting pretty frustrated when I had a Homer moment. I don't know why it took me so long, as I use various scrapers when doing bowls. So I checked the various curved scrapers I have, looking for one that approximated the radius I wanted. Nope, nothing quite right.
While I was debating re-grinding the edge on one of my full-size scrapers, I remembered the pack of miniature scrapers I had picked up from LV as a throw-in when redeeming a gift certificate. They are 2" x 1" and cost about $3 for a pack of three.
I grabbed one of them and a file and about five minutes later I had just the radius I was looking for. Took the scraper to my SS setup and lapped the faces and polished the edges, took my Hock burnisher and turned a hook and I was in bidness.
A few minutes with that scraper and I had a seamless transition/radius with absolutely no tearout.
Now I just need to find a way to do the same on the ends of the tray. I can't see a scraper handling that endgrain as well.
Chuck Vance Just say (tmPL) Sometimes the simplest technique is the best.
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It will. That's what scrapers exist for really. The grain a hand plane (which gives a better finish) can't handle. Just take very light swipes; I find short strokes work best on grain like that.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (DarylRos) wrote in message

I'll try it again, but the last time I tried to use a scraper on the inside endgrain on a bowl, it just sort of skittered along. It was great on the transition area where the grain starts to turn into long-grain, but not on the endgrain itself.
I dunno ... it could be that I was trying to remove too much stock with the thing.
Chuck Vance
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On 2 Mar 2004 04:47:58 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@swt.edu (Conan the Librarian) wrote:

very sharp scraper. very light touch.
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http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?page2641&category=1,310,41069&abspage=1&ccurrency=2&SID With appropriate cut/paste warning. Awesome little beast for almost any cove. I know of a dozen or so purchased because I used them at carving classes.
Little damp on the endgrain, and some skew on the scraper will really slick it down, as well as leave it a touch compressed to reject stain and darkening, if you're doing a project like that.

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Yes, this little Lee Valley scraper has to be the best bargain in shop! Dave

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> http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?page2641&category=1,310,41069&abspage=1&ccurrency=2&SID>

Hey, I've got one of those things. :-) It was another "throw-in" when I was redeeming a gift certificate. (Sometimes it seems like my whole order is composed of nothing but cute little gadgets. :-)
I haven't used it for much, as I never found what it seems best suited for. How do you sharpen yours? Do you aim for a true bevel on it? Do you use a hook like a regular scraper?
Anyhow, thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to dig it out and give it a whirl.
Chuck Vance
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I run the existing bevel with a stone and use the sharp edge for scraping spoon bowls, the nubs off the bottom of parted turnings (after trimming with a curved knife), the burn off of carelessly routed cherry coves... you name it.
For relief carvings, it'll clean up the grounding, for tray-cutting bits, the rough edges.
They're not gadgets. They're specialized tools. We both have, I'm sure, all the general ones....

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