With all deference to Tage Frid, I never thought much of his advice to
use a chisel for this purpose! Just what you want; applying a lot of
pressure to a scraper edge with a chisel. If it should slip for some
reason, you have potential for serious damage to your hand.
I have gone through a number of incarnations of scraper burnishers
over the years, including the old Ulmia wheel burnishers, which still
do an admirable job. In my toolbox, however, the weapon of choice is a
homemade burnisher made from a triangular file. If you want to go this
route, it is advisable to take the temper out of the file before
grinding the old teeth away. Heat to cherry and let cool to room
temperature, then grind away to heart's content. Put a slight radius
on the edges. I have a rubberized abrasive wheel on the other wheel
of my bench grinder which did a great job of working to a smooth
mirror finish. Then harden by heating to cherry again and quenching in
oil. Don't bother with tempering because, the harder, the better as
far as burnishers are concerned. I doubt it'll be so brittle as to
break unless you're opening paint cans with it... :-)...
Regarding the applied pressure, I recall a discussion during which a
metallurgist/woodworker said that excess pressure induced 'work hardening'
that actually makes the job more difficult.
I suppose that finding the ideal pressure is a matter of trial and error
(chiefly the latter of course), but I suspect that the diameter of the
burnisher might affect the intensity of the pressure and guess that the
polished back of say a 5/8in gouge might be about right.
Also, is a bit of lubrication a good idea or not?
Jeff, from his office chair.
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
email : Username is amgron
On Thu, 03 Dec 2009 09:05:58 -0800, the infamous Jim Weisgram
Ayup. Done wrong, sharpening a scraper can slit your wrist DEEPLY!
Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas
to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label
of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem
important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
-- Thomas J. Watson
I think the real issue is can you control the angle of the burnisher
in a consistant manner, and put enough pressure to form the hook?
As I said, the Tage Frid book (Vol. 1) has a section on the scraper,
and he uses the shank of a small chisel (AIR).
Clamp it in a vise, and bear down, maintaining the angle during the
My trouble is, I am not sure if I am forming a 5 degree hook
consistently. I can do it once, but if I come back months later, and
want to touch it up, can I duplicate the same angle? Is it 5 degrees?
You may wish to consiter the Veritas variable burnisher.
This lets you set the degree of a hook you want. That way you can
have scrapers, with light, medium, and and heavy degrees of hoo -
I just received one of these in the mail today. It's the first
time I've ever been able to get a proper edge on my scraper.
Maybe I'm a dumbass but no amount of effort resulted in the
edge I was looking for.
I pulled this out of the packaging and about 5 minutes later I
had the best edge on my scraper that it's ever had. I would
highly recommend as I would just about everything they sell.
Never purchased a bad product from them yet.
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