|A Veritas Mk I sharpening jig is used to hold the scraper blade while grinding a 45 degree bevel on the edge.
|The initial grind is done on a bench sander with a 120 grit aluminum oxide belt. The sander has been fitted with a shelf where the top surface is even with the belt surface, allowing the sharpening jig to be used with the sander. A light touch is all that is needed to put a clean bevel on the scraper without overheating the edge.
|The first half inch or so of the side of the scraper blade is polished on sandpaper glued to a granite tile. The initial 240 grit paper flattens any ridges, while the subsequent 320 and 400 grit papers further refine the surface. If desired, even finer grits can be used, though I do not feel this to be necessary.
|The bevel of the scraper blade is polished on the sandpaper using a 45 degree wooden block as a guide. With the block held stationary, the scraper is moved back and forth along the face of the block. Again, 240, 320, and 400 grit papers are sufficient for the task.
|The next step is to use a burnisher to draw and turn the hook on the edge of the scraper. This burnisher was made in my shop from a 4 inch long piece of carbide rod epoxied into a brass handle.
|The next few steps are important to obtain a strong, clean hook on the edge of the blade. First, lay the scraper flat on the edge of the bench and apply a little bit of oil at the edge. Now, lay the burnisher flat on the edge of the blade and lower the handle a degree or two. Draw the burnisher along the edge to "pull" some of the metal.
|Now, clamp the scraper blade into a vise. This is a machinist's vise with custom-made jaws, but a bench vise or a woodworking vise will work also.
|Roll the hook by tipping the burnisher at about a 10 degree angle and drawing it along the edge, first one way and back the other way. Very little pressure is needed to turn the hook, especially with a beveled scraper.
|The next step is very important. Take the scraper out of the vise and lay it flat on the bench again. Then use the burnisher to draw out the edge, removing the hook you just created. This step smooths and work-hardens the metal, making it stronger and more durable when done.
|The last step is to put the scraper back in the vise and use the burnisher to roll the final hook.
|If all goes well, the scraper will now have a sharp hook that will catch your thumbnail. Put it in your scraper plane and make some shavings!