How To Sharpen A Card Scraper / Cabinet Scraper To Get Wood Shavings

In this video I show you how I sharpen and draw and turn a hooked burr on the card / cabinet scraper to get wispy wood shavings, using only inexpensive tools.
 
Cheap Card Scraper (Irwin Marples) https://amzn.to/2Hus4tO (Amazon UK) 
Bahco Card Scraper https://amzn.to/2Fh4j2B (Amazon UK) or https://amzn.to/2FedQYh (Amazon UK) https://amzn.to/2qZstcY (Amazon US)
Taidea 360/600 diamond plates https://amzn.to/2KbAqEq (Amazon UK) or https://amzn.to/2Hs8gr0 (Amazon UK) or https://amzn.to/2Hssy3W (Amazon UK) or https://amzn.to/2KgNCrA (Amazon US) or https://amzn.to/2r0x7ao (Amazon US)
Narex Burnisher https://amzn.to/2HTgwA5 (Amazon UK) or https://amzn.to/2K9SHCh (Amazon UK) or https://amzn.to/2HuoWtW (Amazon US)
 
In this video I'll show you how I sharpen and establish a burr on this - a card scraper or cabinet scraper.
These are really effective tools once you know how to sharpen them and how to use them.  They're just the right tool for taking very fine shavings in concentrated areas.  They are not designed for flattening a surface, if you want to flatten a surface then that's when you'd generally use a plane instead.
I generally use mine for three reasons: 
To remove grain tear out 
To remove an old finish and get back down to the bear wood
To get a super smooth polished surface on wood.  
My card scraper is the cheapest one that I could find on Amazon a couple of years ago, it was £3.75.  I'll link to that in the description box below.  It's ok, it's not brilliant.  If you want a better one, I'd recommend going for the Bahco 6 inch scraper - I'll link to that below too.  The cost of that one is around £6-8 / 10 dollars
To prepare the card scraper for use I use three things.
The first is my double sided diamond plates - this is 360 on one side, 600 on the other. My diamond plates are made by Taidea - link to that in the description box below.  I want to make it clear that this is an inexpensive diamond plate - I paid 10.99 for it back in January 2016 on Amazon.  Since then I've recommended it a lot, and the price on Amazon has gone up ridiculously high - it's now priced at around £50! I don't know if that's as a result of me recommending it but please do not pay that much for it.  I will include a link to it below because I know that Amazon prices fluctuate and who knows tomorrow it could be cheap again - but if you want to buy this particular one, have a look for it on eBay where you can find them for around £20.
The next is a block of wood - here i'm using a short piece of 2 by 2, or roughly 40mm square.
And finally a burnisher.  This is for turning a hooked burr on to the edge of the scraper to help produce better shavings.  The one I use is by Narex, this is available on Amazon too for around £25, link in the description box below.
Do you really need a burnisher for turning an edge?  Possibly not.  I've had reasonably good results in the past using either the back of a chisel or a nail punch.  Some people say that you can use practically anything like the shaft of a screwdriver - I disagree, as I've personally not had any luch using things like that at all - I think the steel is too soft, or at least it is with the screwdrivers that I own.  The best thing about using a dedicated burnisher is that the shaft is made from hardened high carbon steel so you know it's much harder than the steel in the card scraper, which is ideal for the purpose. I'd recommend trying a few things you have already, and if you don't get great results, then it's probably worth investing in a burnisher.
So now I'll talk about how I sharpen my scraper.
After some use, the edges of the card scraper will wear down and be slightly rounded - imagine that this is a close up of the profile of the scraper when it's un sharpened.
The first thing I want to do is to establish a nice square edge like this.
I apply some water with a couple of drops of washing up liquid in for lubrication on to the 360 grit side of my diamond plates.  I place the scraper face down on to the plate, place the block of wood on top to evenly distribute the pressure across the entire edge of the scraper, and move it backwards and forwards a few times. I rotate it and do the same to all four edges of the scraper.
At this point you should be able to see four nicely polished faces at the edges.  If they don't look nicely polished, then go back to the diamond plate and do some more.
Next I turn my diamond plate to the 600 grit side and repeat the process polishing all four edges.
And now as you can see the edges are even more polished
I turn my diamond plate back to the 360 side and now I'll work on flattening the edges of the scraper. I use the block of wood again to ensure that the scraper is being held at a 90 degree angle to the diamond plate.
I do this to both long edges and then use the 600 side to get the edges polished even more.
If you wanted to take this to even higher grits, then you can do - you can go up to whatever grit you like.  If I owned a higher grit diamond plate then I probably would do that too but I find that 600 grit is enough for what I do.  You could also use wet and dry paper if you wanted to go higher. 
So now I should have nice square edges on my scraper like this.
The next thing I want to do is use my burnisher draw a burr on the top edge of the scraper so it looks a bit like batman's ears.
I do this by placing the edge of the scraper on the block of wood and using the burnisher to apply quite a bit of downward pressure on to the edge of the face a few times on all four sides. 
I find that between 3 and 5 strokes on each of the four edges works best
I'm holding the burnisher flat to the face of the scraper but applying downward force only on to the edge of the scraper where I want to create the burr
Then I want to turn those burrs, or batmans ears over the edge to create a hook or sad cat's ears
I put the scraper in to my vise trying to keep it as level as possible horizontally with about 10mm showing at the top.
And then I use the burnisher starting with it horizontally but then at a slight angle on each side to establish the hook.  I do this until I can feel a hooked burr with my finers along the entire length of the edge on both sides.  If I can't feel a burr then I keep going until I can, but it should only takes between 3 and 5 strokes here too.  It's important not to do this too much because if you do you can turn the burr over completely to the point where it won't be any good for making shavings
And that's the card scraper ready to use.  To use it I flex the scraper using pressure from both of my thumbs at the back and push the scraper forward to take shavings.
Another good trick to get in to the habit of while using the scraper is to regularly turn it inbetween strokes, and that helps with the edge retention of the burr because as you use it for scraping the burr heats up and wears quicker.  So by turning it in between strokes and using all 4 edges, you'll get more use out of it before you have to re-sharpen it again.
I do this to both long edges until I can see I've polished the whole edge from one end to the other on both of the long edges.
I then move to the 600 grit side to get the edges polished even more.
You can also follow the same process to sharpen the short sides of your card scraper too, if you want to.  I don't bother personally because I don't really find the short sides all that useful.
That's really all there is to it, I hope that this helps you, and thanks for watching.