Use of scrapers

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gog64

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Reading another thread here got me thinking. When I first started woodturning I used scrapers a lot. Consequently I ended up doing a lot of sanding! Now I have a little more experience, I use a bowl gouge 90% of the time. Learning how to sheer scrape with a swept back bowl gouge along with understanding "supported grain" cutting really helped me enjoy turning more (and no more tear out!). Normally I'm very impatient and just want to "make something", but taking the time to learn the different cuts possible with the gouge (and when to use them) has also made me a more confident turner. I'm very much still learning this BTW and am about as far from an expert as you can imagine! I now only regularly use a scraper inside a bowl where you can't do sheer scraping. Either to refine the union between the side and the base for certain shapes or, (ahem) where my technique is off and I've left a few tool marks.

So that made me think. Am I missing something? What else do you turners use scrapers for?

Also I don't get the point of negative rake scrapers. I get that they alter the angle that the metal meets the wood and that reduces catches. I just raise the tool rest up and offer the scraper at an angle. That seems to do the same thing, no? Are they a gimmick or am I missing something?
 

Normancb

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Negative rake scraping is surely a tautology? Scraping is negative rake cutting by definition. A cynic might argue that negative rake scrapers are just a gimmick to sell more tools. A more positive view is that they are safer in the hands of a beginner because you don't have to be so careful about presentation angle - just hold the tool horizontal. I was first taught turning by Peter Child many years ago and he just touched the top face of his scraper on the side of his grinder to remove the old burr before regrinding - created a negative rake microbevel I guess. These days I give the top of a scraper a quick lick with a smooth diamond hone before grinding - does the same thing I guess. For me the whole negative rake scraper thing is often just a cause of confusion.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Also I don't get the point of negative rake scrapers. I get that they alter the angle that the metal meets the wood and that reduces catches. I just raise the tool rest up and offer the scraper at an angle. That seems to do the same thing, no? Are they a gimmick or am I missing something?

You can use a neg. rake tool virtually parallel to the bed, allowing access to small boxes etc. that would not be possible with a raised rest.
I have a old tool steel scraper, about 40mm x 10mm that is ground straight across with the corners slightly rounded that is brilliant for platters etc. No point putting a neg. rake on that, it's totally impractical to use it on anything small.
 

Lazurus

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I use negative rake scrapers on resin, it leaves a superior finish to any other tool I have tried, I raise a small burr so I guess it is cutting with the burr and not true scraping.
 

gog64

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I use negative rake scrapers on resin, it leaves a superior finish to any other tool I have tried, I raise a small burr so I guess it is cutting with the burr and not true scraping.

Another good one, thanks. Resin is one of my least favourite things to turn, so that might be worth trying. I find it’s okay to turn for up to around a week after de moulding, but after that the resin gets very hard and brittle.
 

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