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Bad grain day - scraper planes?

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Eric The Viking

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I'm struggling with some nasty stuff at the moment: purpleheart.

'twas a silly idea in the first place, but anyway: sanding it and going down through the grits does give a nice finish, and pretty flat too, but not good enough. 'tis flatness I need, as well as a good finish.

I tried a scraper on it with good results, but my thumbs aren't going to survive the amount of flattening necessary, I fear, so I was looking at a Stanley/Record pattern scraper plane, the sort that looks like an overgrown spokeshave.

It ticks a lot of boxes: simple, probably comfortable, sensible curve adjustment (instead of my thumbs!), not expensive either. But I've never used one. I know how to make and set up a cabinet scraper edge, and can get pretty good shavings with one, but I noticed these use a thicker blade than I'm used to. Does that make them harder to fettle?

Lots of questions but no idea as to the answers! Can anyone advise please?

If they're really awkward to use, I'll stick with my piece of tool steel and book the thumb surgery now!

Cheers,

E.

(who turned into an old crock years back)
 

Argus

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.

Scrapers can be cantankerous to use and need regular burnishing if the wood is hard.

I guess that if you need to get the surface dead flat then a scraper plane is the solution.... but expensive.

One trick that I found worked for me on some very figured and wild oak was a set of wooden planes that I have at Cabinet Pitch (60 degrees).
These are the Mujifang Hong Kong planes sold by Rutland (and others). When set up they really do deal with wild and hairy grain and not expensive for what you get.
More info available from me if you need it.


.
 

xy mosian

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I have successfully used a number 80, 'spokeshave' scraper, and found it relatively easy to set up. Mind I was using it on cross grain so the cutting action might have been slightly different. The trick I found was to set the burr with due respect to the angle of the blade, sorry if that is obvious, but it took me a little while to grasp that. One of the big, posh, plane manufacturers makes a point of stating that if the plane blade is reversed, on the frog, the plane can be used as a scraper. Maybe if you have a spare blade that is something you could try with say a number 4. Re-grind the bevel to give a forward angle of a little less than 90 degrees, mount it bevel up, and give it a whirl. No curve, but a chamfer would sort that out. Of course that takes time and for your work that may be in short supply.

HTH xy
 

Eric The Viking

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Thanks everyone!

I've had two really kind, practical offers of help in a few hours!

Just after the initial posting, I thought "Oh s#d it!" and pushed BIN on a Record #80 I'd been watching on eBay. So I'll get it later in the week, I hope.

Thanks Scouse, Argus and XY - comments and links noted, especially the point about setting the bur to the blade angle - I can see what you mean.

Is it a New England thing though? Deneb Puchalski sends me to sleep (especially after lunch), even though he's imparting words of wisdom! I'm glad I watched though - wouldn't have thought of just 45+back bevel - worth a try when it arrives!

Thanks again everyone, but do please keep the advice coming!

Cheers,

E.
 

Oryxdesign

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It takes a while to learn to sharpen a scraper plane but it is well worth learning
 

Paul Chapman

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Hi Eric,

I posted a piece a few years ago about sharpening scraper blades and forming the hook sharpening-a-scraping-plane-blade-t26526.html

The process is the same for both the #80 style scraper and the scraper plane. I'm sure you'll find the #80 scraper easy to use. Try it out on some scrap first to get the hang of it.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

Eric The Viking

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Thanks Paul!

Incidentally, your strop looks like oiled hardboard: is that right? I already have jewellers' rouge so can experiment. There's a leather wheel on my Dakota "Tormekkallike" but it's rather rough and I find it's inconsistent with Autosol. Stropping on hardboard or MDF might be a better option.

Whilst on the subject, this struck me as a bit bizarre: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/370556879927

it's got a BIN of £1,265.58!






:shock:


E.
 

adidat

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hi eric

hope you like your scraper there fantastic for finishing flat surfaces. that plane i believe is one of the rarest Stanley's around

adidat
 

Paul Chapman

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Eric The Viking":r5schnud said:
Thanks Paul!

Incidentally, your strop looks like oiled hardboard: is that right? I already have jewellers' rouge so can experiment. There's a leather wheel on my Dakota "Tormekkallike" but it's rather rough and I find it's inconsistent with Autosol. Stropping on hardboard or MDF might be a better option.

Whilst on the subject, this struck me as a bit bizarre: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/370556879927

it's got a BIN of £1,265.58!
The strop in that picture is a piece of leather glued to MDF. Since then I've moved on to using Solvol Autosol and oil on a piece of wood, a tip I picked up from Garrett Hack



The reason for changing was that I think the compressibility of the leather was sometimes causing a slight rounding over of the edge of the blades. Certainly the sharpness of my blades is more consistent with the wood.

Personally, I wouldn't get too excited about that Stanley scraper plane. I suppose the collectors will lust after it but in my view the Lie Nielsen version is far better if you are a user. I've recently bought one (the bronze version) and it performs really well http://www.lie-nielsen.com/catalog.php?grp=1277

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

Eric The Viking

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I wasn't excited, exactly, more sort of awestruck. It costs more than a car!

I suspect you're right about the rounding over with leather. I sometimes look at the edges I get with a hand lens, and I'm unconvinced about the leather wheel on the Dakota for that reason. It leaves a rounded over and somewhat serrated edge (microscopically)- probably good for kitchen knives, but not ideal for other tools.
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Hi Erik

I have an idea that you could use your cabinet/card scrapers better than you have done to date, and that by doing the work faster, the heat will not be an issue.

Firstly, I wonder if you are really getting the edges sharp enough and the hooks formed correct;y for the task? I create two types of hooks, one has a larger hook for rapid removal of waste ("the jack") and the other a small hook to create a smooth finish ("the smoother").

After smoothing the edges of the steel (I assume that you do this to the same level as your plane blades - right?), the essential components in creating a hook is drawing the steel, and only then turning the hook. I find that many do not draw the steel first or enough. I may be telling you how to such eggs ...

The second item is that I always keep a few scrapers on hand, each one has 4 edges (2 x front-and-back) ready to use on wide boards. Thin steel is bendy and this is better for the "jack" type as you can take a deeper shaving with less effort. Keep the thicker, less bendy steels for smoothing. I do not have a problem with heat and burning thumbs as I switch cards as the edges dull.

I have a few scraper planes - Stanley #112 (with thick LN blade) and Veritas small scraper plane. They work well, but I rarely use them as I prefer the control of a cabinet scraper.

I cannot imagine that your Purpleheart is any more difficult to scrape than this set of Jarrah cabinets I am building, and I scraped the entire surface with cards as I did nit want to damage the dovetails.





Now if the above does not grab you, then you can turn your Stanley plane into a scraper plane by simply grinding a 45 degree bevel on a spare blade and reversing it on the frog. Here is a #4 alongside a #112 ...



Regards from Perth

Derek
 

Eric The Viking

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Thanks Derek,

Some very good thoughts there!

I must confess I'm unable to apply huge thumb pressure these days (thumb is no longer a suitable shape :-( ), so a scraper plane of some sort is an attractive option. I do use a card scraper for finishing smaller areas though, and to my shame I haven't polished it as much as I should have. I've also got a spare #4 blade to experiment with, so a re-grind for 'bevel-up' scraping might be a plan!

Thanks for taking the time (and the pics). It's all really interesting and thought provoking.

E.
 

Eric The Viking

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sometimewoodworker":10gmgbta said:
Another option would be the Veritas Scraper Holder http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=32669&cat=1,310 this applies a constant thumb pressure for you. Specially if you are doing a lot of scraping it's a great tool. It even let's you scrape toward yourself :D
Thanks, that's a really nice idea.

I must confess I often use a scraper towards me anyway, as it's (a) marginally more comfortable, and (b) you can see what shavings you're taking. I know that hides the finish, but even so. That Veritas holder would take a lot of the discomfort out of an ordinary scraper.

I'll investigate: it's about time for a Christmas list!

Cheers,

E.
 

sometimewoodworker

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Eric The Viking":32mxcgi3 said:
.

I'll investigate: it's about time for a Christmas list!

Cheers,

E.
If Santa is feeling really good then http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?cat=1,310&p=61448 this set is nice. Or even just the molded variable burnisher. The integral carbide rod is adjustable to any angle from 0° to 15°.

Befor getting this set I hadn't used ( or even known of) a scraper. It's a no brainier to set a hook and maintain it with these.
 

Jacob

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Stanley 80 is excellent. If you are not too sure about sharpening just hone at about 45º and go with that. You can always improve things (turning edges over etc) once you have a basic working method going for you.
 

Oryxdesign

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Jacob":unahcqdw said:
If you are not too sure about sharpening just hone at about 45º and go with that. You can always improve things (turning edges over etc) once you have a basic working method going for you.
Good advice
 
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