RE: Tuning a new scraper

The Lee Valley site has a PDF available describing in detail the complete process for burnishing, resharpening, jointing and stoning a scraper. It includes pictures as well.
The contents of the PDF are posted below for educational purposes. The complete instructions are available by going to the Lee Valley site and clicking on the "INSTR" link:
Goto,310,41069&ap=1 and click on the "INST" link.
Vertias Tools Inc.:
The cabinet scraper is one of the best and most useful tools you can have in your shop. However, it must be properly sharpened to be used to its full potential. The following steps for sharpening are quite simple and take only a few minutes.
Note: Our super-hard milled scrapers have already been squared to a sharp 90° and do not require initial jointing and stoning. They are ready for fine work and need only to be burnished for heavier duty work.
Step 1: Burnishing If you will be using the scraper for very fine work such as marquetry, it can be used directly after stoning. For most work, however, the edge will have to be burnished. Any burnisher will do, providing it is harder than the scrapers to be burnished and is polished to avoid creating a ragged hook. The Veritas® Tri-Burnisher (05K32.01) is a good choice. This teardrop-shaped burnisher is able to do both straight and curved scrapers. For the ultimate in ease of use and consistency in hook angle, we suggest using the Veritas Variable Burnisher (05K37.01) for all of your straight scrapers. The following instructions for burnishing straight scrapers apply to traditional burnishers, including the Veritas Tri-Burnisher.
Figure 1: Initial Burnishing Burnishing is best done in a vise so that the scraper stands erect. When the scraper has been clamped, draw the burnisher along the flat of the edge with very firm pressure (Fig. 1). After 2 or 3 strokes, a burr is formed. For fine work this may be adequate. Usually you will have to tilt the burnisher a few degrees to get enough hook (Fig. 2). Only for very heavy work (e.g., paint scraping) should the angle be greater than 10°. The amount of hook will depend on the burnishing angle, the pressure used, and the number of strokes.
Figure 2: Burnishing a Hook Step 2: Resharpening An edge can be "picked up" once or twice by running a sharp point along the edge under the hook (Fig. 3). But if there are any nicks in the hook, you should repeat the sharpening process, starting with Step 3: Jointing.
Figure 3: Resharpening Step 3: Jointing Using a mill bastard file, the edge to be used should be squared so that it is a continuous smooth plane without nicks or shear marks. This can be done by holding the scraper against an erect surface such as a bench or, even better, in a vise (Fig. 4). For greater accuracy and a true edge, we suggest using the Veritas Jointer and Edger (05M07.01).
Figure 4: Jointing Step 4: Stoning After filing, the scraper edge will have small serrations that should be removed by stoning. You can do this by first sitting the stone on top of your bench while projecting it a bit over the side; then, while holding the scraper against the front of your bench, slide it back and forth underneath the stone until you have removed any file marks (Fig. 5). If you use a water stone, you should use the edge of it since the scraper will scratch the stone. After the jointed edge has been stoned, the adjoining flats should be lightly stoned to remove any residual burrs. You are then ready to reburnish the scraper.
Figure 5: Stoning By following these steps and with practice, you should be able to obtain a scraper edge that will work quite effectively.
Source: Downloaded on 2 April 2006 from website:,310,41069&ap=1 . Vertias Tools Inc. Canada.
Saint Charles County, MO

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