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    Can these be too hard ? I got some from woodcraft and they cut anything i use to burnish then. I follow directions but cannot roll an edge. Oil does not help

    David B

    are you using an actual burnishing tool or just another piece of metal? What kind of scraper did you get at Woodcraft–I think they mainly sell the Balco (sp?) ones which I think are quite good? (I got mine at Woodcraft too).

    I’m still no whiz at sharpening my scraper but I think I put too much effort and thought into it after watching a recent project video where Paul picked up a scraper that was not sharpened and just swiped it a few times with the burnisher and it worked like a charm.


    Sounds like the burnisher is to soft a metal. You need a burnish that is as hard or harder than your metal files. You can test your burnisher by seeing if the file bites in to the metal of the burnisher, if it does the burnishers are to soft.

    Tuscloosa, Alabama
    Lung T'an Hu Huesh Kung-fu Woodshop


    Try rolling an edge with a quality drill bit. If it works, your burnisher is too soft. I’ve been using a piston connecting pin for many years.But that’s because I’m a mechanic and a cheapskate. : )
    Bob L.


    The scraper is an e.garlic
    No matter what I use to burnish
    The scraper scratches the burnisher. Drill,bit nail set router shank burnisher all oiled, even polished a file off to make a burnisher
    It does not roll an edge
    I did buy a BACO scraper the other day , gonna try that.

    Joe Kaiser

    I had the same problem with Cherry brand scrapers. I couldn’t roll an edge if my work depended on it. Out of deaspiration (and since I was ordering other stuff anyway) I picked one up from Lie Nielsen. It was a night/day difference. I am able to get shavings like Paul does

    Seattle, WA

    Eric Lundholm

    if there too hard put them in the oven at 350f for about 45 min then let them cool to room temp it might even out the temper and make them usable.


    I was having the same problem with a set I bought at Woodcraft several years ago. I recently bought a pile of scrapers in various sizes from Two Guys in a Garage ( and they are great. They included a carbide bit that is a little short, but makes a good burnisher. Since I got 13 scrapers for $15, eventually I plan to cut some to custom shapes and possibly to make blades for a scratch stock.


    A couple good ideas guys thank you. I think I will anneal them. Cannot hurt, and thanks for the link aaron
    I just got the bahco and haven’t gotten to do anything with it yet,hopefully this week, your help is appreciated

    David Perrott

    I couldn’t sharpen them well into I got a Arno burnisher. Made it so much easier.


    I rolled an edge on the bahco scraper in less than two minutes. I feel better now and a bit more confident in my abilities. Thanks again for the ideas.

    Hugo Notti

    Perhaps another famous (at least online, not me) woodworker has the expanation: Some people say, that burnishing hardens the edge of the scraper. He believes this to be true, because when filing off and old bur, he needs a few strokes before the file actually bites. He also claims, that getting rid of the old bur and establishing a mirror-like surface on the edge, is very important to obtain a good edge.

    So perhaps you should start with a file, some sandpaper or honing stones and see, where that gets you. I am not good at sharpening scrapers either, but every other attempt is fine, I get real nice shavings then.

    In order to check the prep-work on the edge, you can try to scrape some hardwood before turning the bur – remove the “false bur” from the honing process before that though. You should get shavings then from both sides of the edge.

    By the way, I have tried an old “safety file” with no sharp sides as a burnisher. It worked fine even though it got scratched a bit. Now I am using the tip of a centre punch and it works even better.

    I am not sure, if it is okay to link to videos from other woodworkers. Is it? The one I’d like to share was my key to sharpening scrapers. The method only differs slightly but the guy explains pretty well, why you have to do what and when.


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