There’s no shortage of scraper-sharpening videos available on the web. Heck, even our site has two of them: Scraper Sharpening with William Ng and How to Sharpen a Card Scraper. But even after you gain confidence in your ability to sharpen a regular card scraper, you might balk at the challenge of sharpening a curved or gooseneck scraper. The good news is it’s really no different. In this video, I show you the method I use to get a nice burnished hook on my curved and gooseneck scrapers.
Square it Up
tThe first step is to square up and hone the edge. Even though the shape of the scraper is curved, this can still be done using a file (when necessary) and sharpening stones. As usual, I use a block of wood to help me keep the scraper perpendicular to the surface. Once the edge is honed up to 1000-1200 grit, I start working on the faces. The end result is a nice square edge with two sharp corners. Sharpening a scraper is a lot like sharpening a chisel, though I don’t feel it’s necessary to hone it to extremely high grits. In my experience, there’s a diminishing return once you go over 1000 grit.
Once you have a sharp corner to work with, you can begin to mold the steel into a hook. This is done via a 2-step process involving a burnisher, which is a simple metal rod that’s made of a harder steel than the scraper itself. First, place the scraper flat on the workbench right near the edge. Run the burnisher just a few degrees off-horizontal along the edge. You need to apply a good amount of pressure but don’t “white knuckle” it. Unlike a square scraper, this isn’t just a matter of 2-3 strokes and you’re done. You’ll need to work a small section of the scraper at a time, rotating it around after every 2-3 strokes and following the curved shape around the perimeter.
Once you see a nice even burnishing line at the edge, place the scrape in a vise for the second part of the burnishing process: folding the metal into a hook. With the burnisher a couple of degrees off-perpindicular, run it along the edge of the scraper. Once again 2-3 strokes will do the trick. Reposition the scraper in the vise as needed. And if you can’t comfortably reach certain parts of the scraper, don’t worry. Those are the areas you probably won’t ever use anyway.
Looking for a decent scraper set? Try this one from Crown. it includes three basic scarpers and a burnisher.
Note: Those of you who saw TWW Live 11 might recall this demo. I decided to re-record it for additional clarity so it might be worth re-watching.