Sharpen a Card Scraper

February 26, 2012 Comments Off on Sharpen a Card Scraper

There are lots of ways to sharpen a card scraper. The video below shows the method Gary Rogowski developed years ago, and he hasn’t looked back. It is very easy and efficient. The one part he glosses over is on polishing the edges. The second video from Chris Schwarz covers that part.

Gary employs the same principles as everyone else, he just uses a slightly different method. Instead of bringing the file to the scraper, he brings the scraper to the file. The pictures below show the same steps as I went through them. The first picture shows the scaper, right out of the box, producing only saw dust. This is the tell-tale sign that you need to sharpen your scraper. In using the new and improved ruler trick that Chris demonstrates, I added an adhesive-backed high friction sheet from Lee Valley to the underside of the wood block to help grip the scraper. Instead of a diamond stone to clean the filed edge, I instead used some micro abrasive film on a piece of glasss (I forgot to photograph that part). Also, a smooth cut file will leave a nicer edge than a bastard cut.


The burnisher I’m using is from Hock Tools. There are lots of burnishers out there and all will work – just make sure it stays polished. I purchased the scrapers from Wenzloff & Sons, who cut up their saw stock and repurpose them as scrapers. They sell both hard and softer steel scrapers. You might have noticed that the wood changed from the first photograph to the last. I started with a piece of poplar, and even after going through all the sharpening steps, I still wasn’t producing consistent shavings. Then I remembered I had grabbed one of the soft scrapers. When I switched over to Douglas fir, it worked beautifully. For some reason the harder scraper does better with poplar.


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