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No Battles, Please.

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Jerry Maske, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. Jerry Maske

    Jerry Maske

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    Seen this discussion before and saw some pretty "animated" discussions get started. The problem is that nothing was ever resolved. So, It's my turn to ask the dumb question that will get as many answers as people that read it; Bevel Degree on a Scraper.

    I'm not a rookie turner, but I feel like one sometimes. And this is one of them. I understand bevels pretty well, have two CBN wheels on my grinder and a Wolverine system. The tools I use mostly are good quality and I usually get some nice shapes and finishes; why am I asking this question if I can do all that?

    What's the best bevel degree on a scraper?

    I know it has to do with what I'm doing, and the angle will change with different tasks. But the differences I read online and in the books is too extreme even for my liberal, confused mentality. They range from 8 degrees to 60 degrees. That's a lot of variation, and NO WHERE do I see an explanation of what degree to head towards for what purpose. Each person simply says, "This is the right angle."

    So, I'm tossing it out in the hopes of having someone say something that makes sense. I understand edge geometry and how a thin angle will cut more sharply but not hold it's edge, and the flip side. Maybe I've answered my own question, and I need to have several scrapers so that whatever task I'm performing, I've got one with an edge shaped appropriately.

    Okay, folks. You've never steered me too far off course. So make your case. I may be tilting at windmills, but I really don't understand how there can be so much variation.
     
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  2. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    I feel your pain. Some years ago in my former profession I realized that it was necessary to pick one guru, and then stick with that set of truths.

    One thing I can tell you for certain is that a right angle is the wrong angle, :rolleyes:, it has to be less than 90*.

    And on that note we need some clarification, are you talking about single bevel scrapers (the regular kind) or double bevel (more commonly called negative rake), or are you talking about both.

    For double bevel Stuart Batty put out a document that was very helpful. I have it printed, so sorry no URL at hand, but the title was Negative Rake Scrapers Instruction Manual. Spoiler alert, he recommends an included angle between 40* and 70*, but there is some more discussion in the document.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
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  3. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    I never measure the angle I am of the opinion that if it works it must be right.
     
  4. Dave Landers

    Dave Landers

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    There's a lot of variables. and a lot of it is a trade-off.

    A sharper angle (say 40 deg included) will probably cut/scrape better, but also will likely loose its edge/burr quicker. A duller angle (like 80 deg) will probably hold its edge longer, but being blunter, may not cut as well. Too sharp (in the extreme) and you're just going to bend over the end of the tool. Too dull (the other extreme) and you're just poking a chunk metal at your wood.

    Also, the steel does matter. A 40 deg edge is going to be better and last longer with CPM10V. It probably won't last long enough to be useful in carbon steel.

    As with most everything related to cutting edges (bevel angle, gouge profile, etc), the "right" answer is somewhere in the middle, depending on the tool, the steel, your turning style, the woods you cut, the things you make, etc.

    There are a couple ways to find that answer - one is plain experimenting - try things till you're happy with the results. The other is to find a turner you want to emulate (and/or whose style, etc matches yours) and do what they do.

    FWIW, my go-to scraper is M2 steel, ground as a negative-rake with equal 40 deg angles on top and bottom for an included angle of 80 deg. I'm happy with that, works for me, can't see changing it.
     
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  5. odie

    odie

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    What works for me, is somewhere around the 80° mark for all of my scrapers.

    For best results with a ground bur, regrind often (Very often! * :D) With the bottom surface flat to the tool rest, the presentation is about 1/8" below the centerline of the workpiece while holding the tool level. Light to medium cuts, only. My main purposes for a ground bur scraper used flat to the tool rest, is to bring a warped/off center bowl to round, minor shaping, and the occasional heavy removal of stock.

    For shear scraping, the presentation will vary. I often use the ground bur for shear scraping, but I sometimes use a manually raised bur. The manually raised bur is done with a carbide post, using the commercially available Veritas jig. The ground bur must be removed to form a manually raised bur. ( https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/search?term=veritas )

    I am currently not using negative rake scrapers.

    -----odie-----


    * You can force a scraper that needs a regrind to cut, but you will only create more work for yourself later on! o_O

    Also FYI, and courtesy of @Bill Boehme, you get that little degree symbol [80°] by holding the Alt down, Num Lock on, and type 0176

    .
     
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  6. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

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    The only scrapers I have (other than my carbide ones) are NR scrapers and I too studied and searched and then settled on two things - included angle less than 90 deg and same angle on both sides so I can flip over and use both sides. Especially helpful on curved ones. I settled on 35 deg on each side. I've done no testing on different angles and not timed how long I get on a bur. Just today I noticed sometimes I get a short time and then after the next sharpening I'll get a very long time. I know due to my inconsistency in sharpening so unless I fixed that to be very very predictable then changing angles won't tell me much. I know some turners have all sorts of different angles for different tools and shapes. Too many variables and complexity for me to keep up with. What I have seems to work fine for me. I try to use my diamond stick to raise a bur several times before I go back to the grinder.
     
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  7. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Far from an expert on bevel angles but my father always said the only dumb question was the one not asked.
     
  8. Jerry Maske

    Jerry Maske

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    Well, I've got enough information to know I'm on the right track. The "Right Angle" won't work; Thanks, Mark, that was helpful! (You need therapy) I'll keep trying different angles, trying different metals and anything else that comes to mind. Appreciate all the help.
     
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  9. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    But the doctor said there is no help for me?! o_O

    One related point that for some reason has taken me the longest time to grasp and I'll just put out here in case someone else is struggling. On a double bevel scraper the included angle is the sum of the two grind angles. So if I want a 60* included angle I could grind the top and bottom both to 30* or top to, say, 10* and bottom to 50*.
     
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  10. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Well, I have one video called Scary Scrapers which pretty much explains my views on scrapers. I prefer an angle of about 70 degrees. That is about what my first ones were ground to, and I haven't needed to change them. Same with my shear scrapers (another video), and I prefer a burnished burr on them.

    The NRS is a whole different animal... I just never felt like the skew chisel type were practical enough, though I have seen good results from them. For sure they leave glass smooth finished on more dense end grain work like boxes. You get a lot of different results on bowls, and most of that depends on the wood. They do perform better for sweeping cuts across the bottom of the bowl. They do not perform as well up the side of the bowl because they are still scrapers and will pull when cutting end grain on the bowl sides. I prefer a shear scrape for the sides of the bowls. After a lot of experimenting with the NRS, I have settled on a 60/30 grind, and a burnished burr. The grinder burrs are just too delicate, and are gone in seconds. The burnished burr is sharper, cuts longer, and you can turn the burr several times before needing to sharpen again.

    "All of God's children are different."

    "Some of us are more different than others."

    "Why, yes you are!"

    "And I am proud of it!"

    robo hippy
     
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  11. Timothy White

    Timothy White

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    FWIW: card type cabinet scrapers are are sharpened to 90 degrees then the burr is raised with a hard steel rod.
     
  12. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker

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    I am a fan of the "variable angle scraper"that was taught to me by Joe Ruminski. A regular scraper, that after contacting the wood, you raise the handle until you achieve the cutting action you want. This is adjustable.:).
     
  13. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Sounds like you may have us confused with Sawmill Creek. :D We don't have animated discussions here ... not too often, anyway. :rolleyes:

    The wide range of answers that you interpret as not being a resolution actually is agreement that there is no such thing as one size fits all.

    I have a collection of scrapers with a variety of shapes and grind angles. At any given time I might say that one is the best ... for the way that I use it on a particular piece of wood during a given phase of the moon and perhaps which side of the bed I got up on that morning. So, "it depends" seems to be a fitting answer. I think that with experience you will decide what works best for you for whatever you are working on at the moment.
     
  14. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Sort of like a pro golfer having the 14 clubs in the bag. Even at that, the golfer adapts each club for a particular situation. A woodturner has an assortment of tools for different applications, as noted, for different wood species, what is the finished item, etc.
     
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  15. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

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    To further complicate the issue, since what you are cutting with is the burr it may be much more important how and to what degree you raise the burr than the configuration of the steel that backs it up. I certainly can achieve a fairly wide range of different effects by varying the pressure and angle of the burnisher against the edge while creating the burr without changing the underlying angles at all.
     
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  16. odie

    odie

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    Very true, Roger.......

    The smaller the grind angle of the scraper, the easier to raise that bur, too. Since my scrapers are all ground at a steep angle, it does require a bit more pressure to raise the bur.

    Seems to me, I remember someone posting that he was raising a curl bur, and gave up on the idea of raised burs. I suspect that may have been a combination of a small angle grind, plus too much pressure applied to the carbide post......:(

    -----odie-----
     
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  17. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Sorby has a 'hardwood NRS' which has a face angle of about 80 degrees, and top angle of about 10 degrees. I found it very difficult to raise a burr on it by hand burnishing. I don't have one of the Veritas set ups, and use small carbide rods. I do not like big heavy burnished burrs. They just dig in too deep. I just lightly brush the bevel, at maybe 5 degrees off of the bevel angle and as long as I can feel any kind of burr at all, it cuts fine. It is surprising how little pressure it takes to raise a burr. Some people really over do it. If you are much more than 5 degrees off of the bevel angle, you get more of a breaking wave type of burr, and you have to raise the handle more to get it to cut. I would expect that an over burnished burr would have fractures in the cutting edge as well, but don't know...

    Bill, not sure about your comment about SMC. They are generally polite. Things do get a little 'prickly' here once in a while, and that is when the moderators step in. There was only one poster who was a pain here, and he is not on this forum any more. I never was a fan of the 'there are only two ways to do things, my way or the wrong way' types of personalities.

    robo hippy
     
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  18. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    This reminds me of something else ... besides too much pressure, the burr can curl if multiple passes are made across the burnishing post or rod. And, if that isn't bad enough, making multiple passes will work harden the raised burr (even if it isn't curled) which means that it won't last long before it breaks off.
     
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  19. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    So absent a quick look with a microscope how is one supposed to assess their burr raising success?
     
  20. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Check it with a fingernail. The fingernail should be able to ride the burr along its full length. (Extra points if you draw blood)
     
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  21. odie

    odie

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    The only way that I know of, is by actual performance. I've seen microscopic photos of a ground bur......and they are pretty ragged looking. It's truly amazing that the results you can get with them can be so fine of a cut! :eek:

    -----odie-----
     
  22. Bill T Tucker

    Bill T Tucker

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    Bingo! Thanks for that comment! One of those facts from the past that get totally forgotten...that explains some things.
     
  23. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    I like the commercial- "Mom, it's bleeding. Grab two (bandaids)!"
     
  24. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    Well you could use the back of your nail instead of the fingertip side.
     
  25. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Well, I never used my fingernails to test edge sharpness. If I can feel a burr with my finger tip, dragging it off the end of the tool, gently, then I have a burr. Never drag your finger parallel to the burr edge as that is how a saw works and you will slice yourself. For some reason, at the movies, the executioner always tests the edge of his axe by running his finger down the edge of the blade, which if it was really sharp, it would cut you to the bone..... Hollywood!!!

    robo hippy
     
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  26. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    • What you and Mark think that I meant isn't at all the way that I am checking the burr. I am not scratching the back of my nail nor am I checking for edge sharpness ... I am just checking for the presence of a proper burr with the tip of the nail running along the back side of the burr . I'll see if I can come up with a sketch to illustrate this.
     
  27. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I think I know what you mean Bill. I just find my finger tips to be more sensitive...

    robo hippy
     
  28. odie

    odie

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    Odd note: You guys appear to be correct. I had been spelling burr as bur. I think I originally got the bur spelling from someone on a British woodturning forum, if that makes any difference. :rolleyes:

    It is correctly spelled burr.....correct?

    Bur may already be burned into my memory, though.....:eek:

    -----odie-----
     
  29. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    Well that might be true for LP English, but if in Australia a burr is what we'd call a burl in TG English.
     
  30. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    You might have gotten the wrong spelling from me. It finally occurred to me that if everybody else was calling it a "burr" that perhaps I needed to check the dictionary even though I was sure that Webster would have my back. Well to my surprise, Webster had it wrong too and put "rr" on the end of "bur". :D So, the only thing for me to do was to get in step with Webster since he has more street cred than I do.

    Luckily, we don't get graded on our spelling here. The important thing is understanding one another and not getting hung up on spelling or the difference between there, their, and they're (if you always use "there" then you will be right about a third of the time ... which is a pretty good batting average :rolleyes:).
     
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  31. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    bur burr brr
    dictionary.com concurs. Two “rr” burr is the edge on a cutting tool and the carving tools excepting dentistry burs which have one r.

    do piercing burs have one r if they are dentistry burs.



    07EEAC71-E15F-42F0-977A-E00B42B25D1A.jpeg CF41C643-2EE7-4512-A6DA-EBCFC41734F3.jpeg
     
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  32. Brian Deakin

    Brian Deakin

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    The post below is a summery I made from Stuart Batty's catalogue which may be helpful
    http://www.dmwoodturners.com/?page_id=642

    Overhang ratio
    To ensure safe, comfortable control of a tool while cutting or scraping we recommended using the following ratios:




    CONVENTIONAL SCRAPERS 7:1 GOUGES and SKEW CHISELS 5:1 PARTING TOOLS and BEDANS 5:1 NEGATIVE RAKE SCRAPERS 3:1


    For every inch of blade overhanging the tool rest there should be at least the above ratio used when cutting or scraping on a lathe. This will ensure you have the correct leverage and help you stay in control. The ratio can be achieved using a combination of handle and any remaining blade still on the handle side of the tool rest. However, if you hold the handle towards the front you will affect the ratio and leverage



    Negative Rake Scraping works best on medium density temperate woods and the densest exotic woods



    Simply grinding the lower bevel pushes some of the metal up on to the top bevel creating a burr. It should be produced with a coarse wheel or belt, not with a burnisher. A sturdy grinding platform is strongly recommended so that you can create a burr at the same angle each time to get the longest life from your blade



    The burr has a short life and will last approximately 90 seconds for each 1/2” width of blade in contact when using CPM 10V®, M2 only lasts about 20 seconds



    Negative rake scrapping is an exceptional technique for working very thin walled pieces or broken surfaces, like square bowls or natural edge

    It can produce an unmatched finish on end grain or around the mixed grain surface of a side grain bowl.

    When cutting at the very centre of a box or bowl use caution not to cut past center.



    Conventional Scraper



    Ready to use out of the box with 70-degree included angle with burr



    There are three main ways to sharpen scrapers: • Conventional Scraper with a burr • Conventional Scraper with the burr honed off • Negative Rake with a burr



    I recommend creating a burr on a bench grinder. A coarse wheel creates a bigger burr than a fine wheel and, in most cases, this is an advantage. A bigger burr will last longer. I don’t recommend creating a burr with a burnisher. Burnishers don’t actually create a burr in the same way as a grinding wheel does; they tend to curl the edge over. This can make the scraper too aggressive.



    Wood types:

    • Softwoods – pine, cedar, spruce, alder or any wood with a Specific Gravity below 0.6

    •Medium density or temperate hardwoods – ash, oak, walnut, hard maple or woods with an SG of 0.6-0.8

    • Dense and/or exotic woods – ebony, boxwood, rosewood or any wood with a Specific Gravity above 0.8



    Main grain types: • Side grain • End grain • Mixed grain – side grain bowls



    There are many other grain types like burls, crotch figure, quilted and fiddleback; these should be treated as end grain



    Leverage: It is critical when using Conventional Scrapers to ensure you have a long enough handle to cope with the amount of blade overhang from the tool rest.



    Conventional Scrapers require a minimum ratio of 7:1.

    Negative Rake Scrapers only require a ratio of 3:1 because they do not self-feed.



    Conventional Scraper Angles



    When using Conventional Scrapers it is critical to set the angle to suit the wood density and grain type. You also have the option to use these scrapers with or without a burr.

    60° included angle is suited only to softwoods; this angle, especially with a burr, is too aggressive for temperate or dense hardwoods.

    70° is the optimum included angle for medium density woods. Use with a burr for side grain but hone the burr off for end or mixed grain.

    80° included angle allows conventional scrapers to work on dense and exotic hardwoods; the burr will need to be honed off for these types of woods.



    Negative rake also requires a burr to be effective; once it has worn off the tool must be reground to create the burr again. A 40° included angle will create a bigger burr and last longer than a 70° included angle. A 90° or greater included angle cannot create a burr and is therefore not a Negative Rake Scraper. Negative rake also requires a burr to be effective; once it has worn off the tool must be reground to create the burr again.




    To scrape softwoods a scraper needs a burr; without one it will tear the softwood fibers. Remember that there are three main densities of wood (softwoods, temperate hardwoods and dense exotics) and three main grain types (side grain, end grain and mixed grain/bowl blank). It’s important when working with a scraper to be able to change the way it functions in order that it best suits the wood and grain types you’re working with.

    Steel blades can work easily with each of the three wood densities and the three grain types



    Medium dense woods, like oak or ash can, be scraped with a burr on side grain. The burr will require honing off when working on end and mixed grain or it will be too aggressive



    Medium and dense hardwoods work exceptionally well with Negative Rake Scrapers. The negative rake technique has been used by ivory and blackwood turners since the 1500’s. A Conventional Scraper—even with the burr honed off— will always be aggressive on dense woods. Scraping into end grain will more often than not cause the scraper to grab at the wood



    A Conventional Scraper is best used at the very base of a side grain bowl. You wouldn’t use a Conventional Scraper at the bottom of an end grain bowl. Conventional Scrapers do not cut past center, making it easier to smooth through the very center of the bowl.

    Negative Rake Scrapers cut both ways up and past center and therefore shouldn’t be used in the very center of a bowl if visibility is limited

    Our Spindle Gouges are supplied with a 40° bevel and a 30° wing angle. The wing is ground straight giving a true included angle of 70°.

    This is the optimum grind for a spindle gouge, helping with sharp entry cuts and making it proficient at coves and beads.

    The bevel is ground on an 8” diameter CBN wheel and the angle was set with our Angle Gauge to ensure a 100% accurate edge angle.

    All our gouges are supplied with straight wings, not convex or concave. This makes the gouge more proficient at entry cuts and able to produce better detail, as well as cut tenons and into corners without the wing damaging the surface ahead

    Our “U” Flute Bowl Gouges are supplied with a 60° bevel and an 85° wing.

    “U” Fluted Bowl Gouges are also excellent at cutting the face and shallow curves on platters. Its higher cutting edge angle of 60° helps when cutting platters made from highly figured grains, such as fiddleback and quilted maple.

    The bevel angle on these gouges can be changed to suit the diameter and depth of your bowl. It can be as low as a 50° bevel (for very open shallow bowls) and up to 70° (for very deep narrow bowls.) The wing angle should remain a consistent 85° no matter which bevel angle is being used.



    Skew chisel Ready to use out of the box with hollow ground 40° bevel

    Parting tool 50° included angle

    Beading and parting tool 40° included angle



    Beading/Parting Tools, Bedans and Parting Tools

    Parting Tools should have a minimum 4:1 overhang ratio.

    Blades are supplied sharpened ready to use out of the box. All blades are sharpened on an 8” CBN wheel with hollow bevels. To resharpen these blades we recommend using our Angle Gauges to set and repeat the same angle; the angle gauges compensate for the curvature in the wheel.

    Parting Tools are supplied with a 50° degree hollow ground included angle. When parting in the blade should be presented parallel to the floor so as not to lift the wood fibers. This is technically scraping, and therefore the 50° included angle edge will last longer than 40°. Once the blade has parted through the first fibers the handle can then be lowered to peel through the wood fibers rather than scrape when used on side grain. Never point a parting tool uphill on end grain or mixed grain.

    Beading/Parting Tools and Bedan Series are supplied with the typical 40° cutting angle. Although any of these tools can be used as a parting tool they are best used to cut beads and V cuts.

    Parallel side parting tools are much more effective, easier to sharpen and give a superior finish. They can always cut at least their own width and when newly sharpened they part in without binding in one pass, generating very little heat and do not requiring a double cut to avoid binding
     
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  33. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I would add to Stuart's writings above, that the handle length of a scraper also depends on how wide the scraper is. How much metal you are putting into the wood, or 'can' put into the wood makes a huge difference.

    His comment about a burnished burr is also a 'conditional' thing. It depends on how you burnish the burr. Done wrong, you can get too much of a burr, and/or have one that curls over. Most people over burnish.

    robo hippy
     
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  34. odie

    odie

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    Concur......I was about to say something similar.....but you said it first, Robo.....!!!!! :D

    Also, the thickness of the scraper is part of the eqation,as well......added weight, means a little more stability, too.......:)

    -----odie-----
     
  35. Brian Deakin

    Brian Deakin

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  36. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    If you watched my video, Scary Scrapers, I comment about thickness and size. I have never understood the concept that a bigger heavier tool makes for less vibration. Just move the tool rest closer.... I never use a scraper more than 1 inch wide and 5/16 thick. No need.

    robo hippy
     
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  37. odie

    odie

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    That's exactly why heavier scrapers can extend a bit further than lighter scrapers......:D

    -----odie-----
     
  38. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Well, I never stick my heavy scrapers out as far off the tool rest as I do my Big Ugly tool, which is 1 inch wide. Not just because of the risk of getting too much metal into the wood at one time... Handle length is not the issue. Same with a NRS, and I guess we can include gouges here, though I won't stick a 3/8 gouge out as far as I do my 5/8. Won't use a 1/4 inch gouge, just too tiny...

    robo hippy
     
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