The American Craftsman Workshop - Sharpening Cabinet Scrapers - Episode 1
This video is for any woodworker that has difficulty learning how to sharpen a cabinet scraper or card scraper.

I use a very simple method of sharpening this tool using only a few strokes on a single-cut mill file. Typical methods are very complicated and frustrating for many woodworkers and the cabinet scraper ends up lying in the bottm of a tool drawer never to be used.

I find this a shame because it is an amazing tool and I could not live without it in my shop. I share the very method that I use to sharpen this tool and I have used it on all of my high-end furniture projects with great success.

I use simple instruction and close-up shots to demonstrate sharpening and scraping technique.

If you are looking for a simple method to sharpen the cabinet scraper that gives amazing results, this is the video for you.

Peace, Love, & Woodworking

Todd A. Clippinger


  • Currently 5/5 stars.

Views: 9306

Favorite of 8 people
Location: Billings, MT (Show Map)


You need to be a member of WOODTube to add comments!

Join WOODTube

Comment by Todd A. Clippinger~American Craftsman on February 19, 2013 at 3:53pm

John, I am not sure what the problem could be. I just tried the video and played fine. The video is hosted on BlipTV so it should be compatible with Mac or PC platforms. 

I am running on Mac and it works with Safari, Chrome, and FireFox.

Comment by John Gallivan on February 19, 2013 at 3:47pm

I can not get videos to play. What do I not understand?


Comment by Todd A. Clippinger~American Craftsman on February 19, 2009 at 9:01pm
I appreciate your input Alex.

I have been using my card scrapers for 11 years and they will be with me for years to come. When they wear out it will not be very expensive to replace them since they are only a few bucks apiece.

Many individuals have difficulty figuring out the burnishing technique and so they toss the card scraper into a drawer, never to be used. This would have been me if I had not tried using it straight from the file and found how well it works.

This method has helped many individuals to start using the card scraper. It works, and it works very well as the video shows. I have posted at this site a text blog covering the same topic with close-ups showing the fine shavings. There are some very fine curly shavings produce from the card sharpened with this technique.

Historically, it was more important to burnish the edge because random orbit sanders were not a part of the equation. Now it is easy to follow with the random orbital sander to finish off the work and it doesn't take much.

The edge holds for a satisfactory length of time and sharpening is very quick because it only takes a few strokes on the file that I leave clamped up in the vise. It works on all types of wood as I demonstrated in the video. I have a portfolio of high-end projects and this card sharpening method was used on all of them.

At the end of the video I do offer up that once the individual gets this far they may progress to figuring out how to burnish the edge. I openly admit that it puts a finer burr on the card and finer finish on the surface of the material. But ironically, the highest percentage of woodworkers will still finish out with the R.O sander anyway.
Comment by Alex Acle on February 19, 2009 at 6:31pm
offend "NO" one.......
Comment by Alex Acle on February 19, 2009 at 6:30pm
Greetings all,
I hope I offend on one, as I have in the past used this method (still do if in a hurry). But, like everything in life, you get what you pay for. Using a card scraper "sharpened" directly from a file has two drawbacks (not to mention the fact that you usually end up with a tapered scraper as mentioned in the video). First, the edge does not hold up anywhere near as long as preparing the edge using traditional methods. Second, your scraper will wear down to nothing very quickly. Old-time woodworkers were pragmatic. They would have used this method if it had advantages over the traditional methods of preparing a scraper's edge. Files have been with us a long time.
Best wishes,
Comment by Todd A. Clippinger~American Craftsman on January 23, 2009 at 4:13pm
Ron - Another success story! I am so glad that it worked well for you. I gave some more critical information for Wanda a few posts earlier that may be of continued help.

I love the Whitefish area. It has been a few years since my wife and I have been up there. I have been working in Ohio most of the last 5 years. Rita, my wife, and I went mountain biking in the area and around town. Good stuff.

You can see the house that I built in Ohio with my brother and the furnishings that I designed for it as well in my website.


Keep in mind that this card scraper sharpening method was used on all of these projects and was very successful.
Comment by ron nail on January 23, 2009 at 3:58pm
Todd, thanks for the video on sharpening card scrapers. I have fumbled around for years trying to sharpen those things. Went straight out in my shop after watching the video and tried it out. I have been doing alot of work with hickory (hard as steel), it worked fantastic. I think you have just saved me hours and hours of sanding. Even on hickory those nice fine shavings just rolled off. Thanks again, Ron in Whitefish, Montana
Comment by Todd A. Clippinger~American Craftsman on January 23, 2009 at 11:02am
Bill - The editors or their tech wizards might have an idea on the issue of no sound. I simply hosted it over at Bliptv. You can try accessing it here at this address: http://blip.tv/file/1620889
I hope it works for you.
Comment by Bill on January 23, 2009 at 9:47am
To be more specific, I finally got audio for the last 30 seconds, or so, of the video. I ran it back a ways (and started over again), and still had no audio until it reached that point near the end. Any thoughts?
Comment by Bill on January 23, 2009 at 7:08am
I'm not getting any sound on this video. All other videos from this site are fine. Has anyone else had the same problem? I'm very interested in seeing (and hearing) what Todd has to demonstrate.

© 2018   Created by Lucas Peters.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service