Introduction: Sharpening a Card Scraper

Remember how well your card scraper worked when it was new?

The key to having it always work like that, or better, is to regularly sharpen it between use, and I'll show you how

Step 1: Watch It First, Then Read All the Detail

Step 2: If It's Really Been Abused, Bring in the Big Gun

A card scraper needs a straight, continuous edge, at ninety degrees to it's flat side (or face) to work well. So if yours has nicks, scores, or other edge damage, or is badly rounded over, then get out a sharp, flat file.

Lay the file on the workbench with it's handle facing you, and, holding the card perpendicular to and on top of it, draw the card towards yourself. This removes metal from the edge, and you simply keep going until the edge has a continuous flat surface, reaching to both faces and the ends of the card.

Repeat for the other edge, and the ends too if you use them.

Step 3: Smooth the Edge

Once you start sharpening regularly, this is the stage you would normally start at.

Begin smoothing the edge by drawing it along a coarse diamond plate (or oil stone, water stone, etc.). remember to keep it perpendicular. Three to six strokes should get you the consistent surface texture you're looking for.

(If you don't have a diamond plate, or sharpening stones, you can use 120grit sandpaper held down on a flat surface like a piece of float glass)

Step 4: Keep Smoothing

Keep smoothing the edge by drawing it along a medium diamond plate (or oil stone, water stone, etc.). As before, keep it perpendicular.

Three to four strokes should get you the dull gray surface you're looking for. If your eyesight is like mine, you won't be able to see the fine scratches that are still there!

(If you don't have a diamond plate, or sharpening stones, you can use 240grit sandpaper held down on a flat surface like a piece of float glass)

Step 5: Remove the Rough Burr

All the flattening and smoothing will have produced a rough burr, hanging where the edge meets the face.

Draw the card, face down and flat to the medium diamond plate (or oil stone, water stone, etc.). As you draw the card along the plate with one hand, progressively move a finger of the other hand from one end to the other, applying downward pressure beside the edge.

Two or three strokes should get rid of the burr, whilst maintaining the ninety degree angle.
you're looking for. If your eyesight is like mine, you won't be able to see the fine scratches that are still there!

(If you don't have a diamond plate, or sharpening stones, you can use 240grit sandpaper held down on a flat surface like a piece of float glass)

Step 6: Finish Smoothing on a Fine Stone for Good Results

Repeat the smoothing process using a fine diamond plate, or fine India stone as I do, (or a fine water stone, etc.), and once again remove the burr.

You're ready to take shavings again!

Step 7: Go the Extra Mile for a Smoother Finish

I finish my smoothing and burr removal using honing paste spread on a flat piece of MDF.

With this, you can achieve a mirror finish to the edge and face.

Step 8: Test the Card Without a Burr

Try your card scraper without a burr.

You should get very fine shavings

Step 9: For a More Agressive Cut, Add a Burr

Holding the card on a block, or in a vice, apply pressure to the edge, with a burnisher held perpendicular to the face, in three or four continuous strokes.

Now angle the burnisher at between eighty and eighty five degrees to the face, and give three or four more strokes.

Flip the card over, and repeat the angled strokes, to prepare the other side of the edge.

Step 10: Congratulations!

You now know a simple method to keep your card scrapers ready for action.

Thanks for tuning in.

Be sure to like and comment if you found this informative.

Comments

author
aebe (author)2015-10-05

Scrapers beat the heck out of sandpaper , much less dust and you can get a finished surface with one . As the price of a factory made scraper can put you off , find yard sale handsaws and make your own ( circular saw blades will yield heavy duty scrapers and plane irons ) .

author
BeachsideHank (author)2015-06-05

I get my card scraper stock from old handsaws, they're very cheap at yard sales, just score with a carbide too and snap, sharpen as you show and go!

author
WOmadeOD (author)BeachsideHank2015-06-05

That's a great tip, thanks for sharing

author
BeachsideHank (author)WOmadeOD2015-06-06

I found that a broken saw's blade can come in handy also, when I restored a vintage radial arm saw, scroll down to "Houston We Have A Problem":

http://people.delphiforums.com/perristalsis/Sweeth...

author
BrettHacks (author)2015-06-05

Excellent video. I tend to forget how well a properly prepared scraper works.

author
WOmadeOD (author)BrettHacks2015-06-05

Indeed, thanks for your comments.

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