View Full Version : Burnishing

Nov-09-2005, 11:43pm
I read an extensive post made by Hydrilla bout burnishing however it still require clarity sorry!
All i need to know is what tools exactly i need, I am under the impression that i can use a long screwdriver to burnish, but in terms of hte square file, is there any household item that can substitute for that?


Darren Kern
Nov-10-2005, 8:25am
You are correct that you *may* be able to use a screwdriver, as long as it's a solid steel one and not a cheapie from Wal-Mart or something. #When I tried one of mine, it just left gouges in the screwdriver and did nothing to the steel. #I don't know of anything you can substitute for the file except maybe a sharpening stone, but I went ahead and bought the file because I didn't want to tear up my stone by dragging a piece of steel perpendicular to it. #I could see it was going to leave deep gouges in my stone. #I would recommend just going ahead and buying the file, I got mine at an overpriced woodworking store for around $10, so you should be able to do better than that. #Don't let burnishing intimidate you, it did me at first, but now I find it very simple, and scrapers are my favorite tools!

EDIT: An administrator might want to move this thread to the builder's forum.

Nov-10-2005, 9:42am
I agree with Darren-- after reading about it here, I took the plunge as well, and truly, it sounds more complicated in description than it actually is. I got a file at a local hardware store for about $5-6. It's a common tool and not a bad thing to add to your stock of ordinary household items. I used a screwdriver to burnish and it worked fine.

As someone who started with almost NO woodworking experience or tools, I just want to encourage you to go ahead and give it a try.

JD Cowles
Nov-10-2005, 12:53pm
you can use an HSS drill bit shaft too can't you?

I couldn't agree more Hydrilla. Once you get the burnishing down scrapers can't be beat. i just finished an arts and crafts side table and didn't use a scrap of sandpaper on it. still haven't tried any curved scrapers, but the burnishing process is the same right?


Darren Kern
Nov-10-2005, 1:07pm
You are correct, although it's a little easier to slip and cut yourself while burnishing a gooseneck http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif #Believe me, I know. #At least with my experience so far, the gooseneck is a much more useful tool than a rectangular scraper.

JD Cowles
Nov-10-2005, 1:16pm
makes sense. #i'm only building cabinets and furniture so the plain old card scraper has served me well. #i can see where the gooseneck would be perfect for arched/carved top instruments.

i do have some F5 plans hanging on my shop wall for inspriration...someday...

(oh yeah, watch those fingers!)

Nov-10-2005, 3:49pm
I got a very thin scraper, which I've been using to thin and shape the IV kit plates... but I think I have to take the plunge and get a gooseneck for shaping the recurve. A more experienced woodworking might be able to do that with just the scraper... but that would be a different person....:;):

Nov-10-2005, 3:57pm
If you have the time and inclination, you can make your own curved scraper out of a scrap of an old handsaw blade. #Just cut and grind (slowly, so you don't blue the steel and soften it) to whatever profile you need. Lap and finish the edge on a whetstone, and burnish. Kinda fun.

Nov-10-2005, 4:00pm
Thanks for the encouragement, Clark. For me, that would require going to get more tools that I don't have in order to make a tool that I don't have. Easier to just go buy the gooseneck...

Nov-10-2005, 10:01pm
Thanks everyone for the help and encouragement, i plan to just go out and get a file and then jump right in!
(sorry bout the wrong forum, meant to put it in Builders)

Gavin Baird
Nov-15-2005, 8:58pm
Re: Burnishing, I assume you are referring to the "Turning the Hook" on wood scrapers. You really do need something Very Hard otherwise you run the chance of nicking the blade. I use an old 1/4" dia carbide end mill mounted in a wooden dowel. Use the shank of the cutter to turn the hook. Another solution is to use a hardened steel dowel pin from a machine shop supply...G

Nov-16-2005, 9:11am
Here is an inexpensive solution:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood....70&ap=1 (http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=32644&cat=1,310,41070&ap=1)

Nov-25-2005, 11:43pm
Go to a garage and get a used wrist pin ( attaches the piston to the connecting rod), glue a dowel inside of it so it sticks out both ends and you have a two handed burnisher that is as hard, free and works great. I have a few scrapers that I made from an old handsaw. Easy to make, any shape that you need and is heavier duty than the store-bought ones. They work best for me with a 45 degree edge and a hook on one edge.