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Sharpening Scrapers


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I would like to try using a scraper to smooth out some of the contours on my guitar. I bought a curved scraper last week, but I've been unable to get a decent burr on it. I have read many of the online tutorials, and they make it sound very easy to sharpen these things. That's all well and good, but I'm still stuck with a scraper that doesn't cut. Does anyone have any advice to offer? Maybe a few rookie mistakes that I should watch out for?

FYI, here's what I've been doing:

1. Put the scraper in my vice and flatten the edge with a mill file.

2. Hone the edge at 90 degrees to the faces of the scraper with an oilstone (I've been clamping the scraper to a piece of scrap wood to ensure I get a 90 degree edge).

3. Put the scraper back in the vice and run a screwdriver shank at 90 degrees to the faces to push out a burr.

4. Angle the shank to about 80 degrees from the faces to form the hook.

After all that effort, I end up with a scraper that barely cuts at all, and only produces fine sawdust, not shavings. I'm thinking that I should probably get a real burnisher, but it concerns me that I can't seem to get a useful burr at all. That makes me think it's more of a problem with my technique than my burnishing tool. Has anyone tried one of the various scraper sharpening jigs? Are they worth the coin?

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You could not be flattening the scraper enought in the first step. You should be able to feel quite some burr on it. Also what i do is not go directly to the 80 degree angle, but slowly get there you should put some what amout of force on this, enough to curve the scraper as you move the shank across. also before you try to sharpen it, make sure there is no burr on the edge already. Run it flat aginst a piece of sand paper to make sure its flat. Also when you cut with it you can get better cuts by bending the scraper, so it has some what of a rounded point, as you push it through the wood.

I use an attachment on my file when making the burr. Its just a long metal with a clamp that you put your file in and it makes a side with the 90 degree agle. they are fairly cheap.

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