AndrewPritchard

New project, new tool?

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I am soon to start work on an entry seat (similar to the hall tree in the guild, but my own design). It will feature some pretty large floating panels, which will need smoothing before finishes is applied. Until now I've been using power sanders, but I've heard about the virtues of scrapers (in particular how little dust they produce), and I was wondering if this would be a good project to cut my teeth on, so to speak.

I was looking at the slightly bewildering options on Lee Valley, and feel I could with some advice. I will need to scrape the large wide floating panels, the smaller upright legs and the bevels of the floating panels. I've settled on a flatter profile for the floating panels than the ogee my current router bit set produces.

I was looking at this set from Lee Valley:

http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?cat=1,310&p=61448

Is this all I'm going to need?

I hope that I won't need to use them to do a lot of stock removal - the hope is that the panels will already be flat and pretty smooth already.

Are there any trusted resources available which discuss hook angles? 

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7 minutes ago, AndrewPritchard said:

Are there any trusted resources available which discuss hook angles? 

Marc has a video on this on his free site. 

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Andrew, buying that “set” would be money poorly spent. The components are all good, but they are not all necessary, and it may be misleading to assume that all you need is this set and you will produce great results. What is missing is the skill/technique to prepare a cabinet scraper (which is the correct term for a card scraper).

In a nutshell, you need a simple rectangle of steel, the card, and this is available for about $10 from many places (I like supporting LV, as they offer great service, but they are not the only game in town if you have other, closer, cheaper sources). This piece of steel is really basic, nothing special.

Then you need to create a flat surface, and then turn a hook on the edge. Do you have a fine diamond stone (600/1200 grit) or sandpaper glued to glass? 

The hook needs a burnisher, not a screwdriver shaft. But you can use any smooth piece of hardened steel. I like carbide rods.

Here is a pictorial on using these to sharpen:

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/WoodworkTechniques/FoolproofSharpeningOfCard(Cabinet)Scraper.html

Regards from Perth

Derek

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I have a granite block, which is milled flat I used to use to sharpen before I got my Worksharp 3000. 

I have seen people using steel from old table saw blades, though I am not opposed to spending money to get a better result.

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7 minutes ago, AndrewPritchard said:

I have a granite block, which is milled flat I used to use to sharpen before I got my Worksharp 3000. 

I have seen people using steel from old table saw blades, though I am not opposed to spending money to get a better result.

Table saw plates are super thick for this use. It is far more common to use old gents handsaws or some quality steel that is already close to the thickness of a card scraper. Heavy blades can work for some tasks, but a lot of the fine control is in the ability to flex the plate so that the curve focuses you a bit more, aiding with find control. 

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I'm really only using this as a replacement for sanding, so a finer scraper would be more what I'm looking for I guess.

There seem to be a number of thicknesses commercially available. Do they matter? Do they matter given my level of skill? (ie none).

Do the dimensions, height and width make a difference?

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Skill...scrapers are rather simple tools. Setting the card for your work is the only tricky bit, and videos on the topic abound. Usage can be figured out in twenty minutes of practice. There is another thing I forgot to mention. If you cannot flex the plate, you run the risk of corners digging in and leaving tracks. In that regard, a thinner plate might be easier to start with. However, not all possess the hand strength in the muscles used. Fatigue could set in. Some of those holding devices might give you some relief in the short term. That just depends on how much you plan to use the tool right away. 

My two cents. My background is carpentry, so tool use comes easily. Design is where I need take pause. 

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The easiest of all scrapers to use is the thick one I show in my link (above).

1-zpspr2v0uh1.jpg

Stewmac sell their version:  https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Types_of_Tools/Scrapers/StewMac_Ultimate_Scraper.html

They also sell scraper blades and a burnisher: https://www.stewmac.com/SiteSearch/?search=scraper

If you have a thick scraper, simply grind the corners away. Lost Art Press are selling a curved scraper which is designed not to need bending - easier on the fingers, and note that this is for chair seats.

There are sanders and then there are Sanders. :) I use two that I will recommend:

They are both by Mirka and use Abranet mesh. This aids is dust collection, as well as lasting a long time. Both are connected to a vacuum cleaner (I use a Festool CT26E).

The first is a hand sander (yes, no power) ...

FinishingTheDrawers_html_6237eaad.jpg

The other is a Ceros - very light and nimble (replaced by the Deros now) ..

M4.jpg

Regards from Perth

Derek

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