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alde

Using a moulding scraper tool?

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I have been trying to shape some moulding strips for my Halifax using a scraping tool as shown in some books and I have seen builders here use. I have tried using both boxwood and pear but just get a mess. It just feathers and won't form a clean shape. What am I doing wrong?

15330786480811705159454.jpg

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Hi Al,

You're probably trying too hard.  These tools are relatively slow workers but they can do a good job.   These purchased tools per se, which I have never used (just file my own in some scrap from a tin can or old razor blade),  are probably sharp enough but just make sure.  Rub the flat side on a stone or some very fine wet or dry sandpaper if needed.  Then hold the tool a a 45 deg or so angle and work slowly, not trying for too much of a cut at once.

 

Chazz

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3 minutes ago, Chazz said:

Hi Al,

You're probably trying too hard.  These tools are relatively slow workers but they can do a good job.   These purchased tools per se, which I have never used (just file my own in some scrap from a tin can or old razor blade),  are probably sharp enough but just make sure.  Rub the flat side on a stone or some very fine wet or dry sandpaper if needed.  Then hold the tool a a 45 deg or so angle and work slowly, not trying for too much of a cut at once.

 

Chazz

Thanks Chazz. I'll try your tips when I get back to the shop tomorrow morning.

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If the edge is sharp, a 15 degree angle should be sufficient. As mentioned, many light strokes are far more effective then pressing down. If you do that the tool will either chatter or dig in. Also. be aware of grain direction: sometimes pushing the tool rather than pulling is more effective.

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3 minutes ago, druxey said:

If the edge is sharp, a 15 degree angle should be sufficient. As mentioned, many light strokes are far more effective then pressing down. If you do that the tool will either chatter or dig in. Also. be aware of grain direction: sometimes pushing the tool rather than pulling is more effective.

I was for sure applying pressure. Probably too much.

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Posted (edited)

Al,

One other thing.  I know this is very obvious but just to make sure the strip of wood you are trying to shape is the width of the profile.  If not then it will wander since the sides cant keep it within the profile shape. (see pic below)

 

I know you are probably already doing this, but just stating the obvious.

 

Like Chazz and Druxey said, the edge should be sharp and light strokes.  I personally recycle my xacto blades (which I have plenty).  Cut the profile you want with a file or my personal fav...abrasive Dremel wheel, and I have nice control since it is in the xacto handle.

 

 

InkedScraper_LI.jpg.17da5aa6638efa849d35bdf922f27bab.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by Dowmer

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Ah, it seems to me that there is a fundamental problem with these scrapers.  While they may be quite sharp when they come from manufacturer, I don't see a practical way to resharpen them to a keen edge.

 

>The cutting action of a scraper is achieved by a tiny burr on the edge of the steel<, and over time the burr is abraded away by the scraping action on the wood. 

 

A cabinetmaker uses scrapers of relatively simple shapes - a straight edge or a broad curve.  The process of sharpening these scrapers is to file the edge flat (i.e. 90d to the broad planar surface of the scraper), and then draw a burr on the filed edge with a hard steel burnisher (e.g. a screwdriver shaft or router bit) at about a 5-15d angle.  

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While I agree with Bob's comments on cabinet scrapers operating with a burred edge, the right angled edge on a small profiling cutter works just fine. It would be impossible to burr over such a small and complex shape. The moldings shown were all formed using a broken hacksaw blade for the scraper metal. The model is at 1:48 scale.

C stern complete 14.6.jpg

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Absolutely beautiful Druxey. A true work of art. I'm going to try making my own scraper tomorrow. The factory made ones I have are the wrong size for my application and they do drift. I'll be carving my own decorations (very simple compaired to yours) and your work is an inspiration for sure.

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Posted (edited)

I have the micro scrapers and after a little practice I found that the basswood that a lot of models come with seems to be too soft. I used pear wood and held the scraper straight up at 90 degrees and they worked great. These micro scrapers don't have a burr edge so holding at an angle didn't work at all for me. Straight up worked best for me.

Edited by Burroak

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Druxey - fine work there.  I do think the profiled microscrapers will work for a time - the duration is determined by the metal's qualities and the nature of the wood.  

 

Hacksaw and reciprocating saw blades are excellent material for making small cutting tools.  With a small butane torch, they can be annealed for shaping with file and grindstone, and then rehardened and tempered for use.

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I made a scraper from a blade using a small diamond cutter on my Dremel tool and it worked very well. The boxwood strip is just 1/16” wide. It’s hard to see the profile in the picture but it looks pretty nice.

image.jpg

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Thank you all for your help and great suggestions. I just finished making 2 moulding strips out of Swiss Pear and have them soaking in water to be bent to shape. The home made tool cut really well as you can see from the shavings in the picture. The diamond cutter had no trouble cutting the blade using the fastest speed on the Dremel tool.

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1 hour ago, dvm27 said:

I do have a complete set of those Micro Shapers and find the profiles too large for most of the moldings I need at 1:48 scale.

Yes they are. I think they are too big for most ship modeling applications. Now that I did it its really easy to make your own. I think I remember seeing Chuck make a scraper from brass. I'm going to try that next time. That way it can be done with files with more control.

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It has to be heated to cherry red first to soften it, and allowed to air-cool. This process is called tempering. Then the metal can be filed or ground. To re-harden it, heat it again and quench it in oil.

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2 minutes ago, druxey said:

It has to be heated to cherry red first to soften it, and allowed to air-cool. This process is called tempering. Then the metal can be filed or ground. To re-harden it, heat it again and quench it in oil.

I’ll try that. 

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I am trying this idea now. My issue is I need to build stern windows for 1:90 HMS Victory. Scale is small and a window height is only 10 mm (0.400"). Window frame is 1 mm (0.040") thick per instructions (might be over scale already). I have 1 mm (0.040") thick wood and this is not my problem. Problem is these vertical and horizontal wood items which hold pieces of glass inside a window frame. These ones must be much thinner than the frames. I assume they should be about 0.5 mm thick (0.020"). It is hard to find any material which is this thin and is having consistent profile I can use in my build. Idea with scraper tool made of tempered hack saw suggested by DRUXEY seemed very appealing especially after he showed how it can be done on his COMET model with jeweler's precision and elegance. So I tempered a piece of hack saw by heating it red hot and letting it cool slow at room temperature. Metal indeed went very soft! Then I started trying to filing it to shape I need and here is a problem. My finest files are producing ugliest large shapes on the saw material. See picture. How to file a really good shaping profile which is only half millimeter thick (twenty thou 0.020" of inch wide)????

IMG_5734.JPG

window.gif

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Y.T.,

One reason you can't file a smooth form is that even the finer files have teeth that are separated by most of half a millimeter and catch on the thin edge of your workpiece.  Try  a fine diamond file.

 

An alternative is to use a tiny Dremel rotary bit. Because the bit rotates more or less in line with the workpiece, it won't catch as much'

 

However, I think you'll have a lot of trouble making a strip as small as half a millimeter.  I'd use a flat edge of a scraper and a piece of your 1 mm stock and just cut it down.   If you have a couple  of pieces of metal of the right thickness. lay the strip between them to control the depth of cut.   For something as small as this, precision of cut is all important.

 

Chazz

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1 hour ago, druxey said:

It's not cheap, but a watchmakers' screw slotting file is perfect for fine detailed profiles.

A cheaper alternative that may work is guitar nut slotting files. I didn't think of it until your post but I have a full set and they go pretty small. 

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20 hours ago, alde said:

A cheaper alternative that may work is guitar nut slotting files. I didn't think of it until your post but I have a full set and they go pretty small. 

Have you tried jeweler's saw blades in a saw frame?

 

Guitar files might work.  But I haven't used them when slotting bone nuts for strings on guitars.  What I've done is to dip a short length guitar string of the desired size in automotive valve grinding compound and saw the bone with that. I can also clamp the string in a jeweler's saw.

 

http://www.rings-things.com/Products/Tool-Saw-Frame-4-Swiss.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwhqXbBRAREiwAucoo-xVMV0WS0RNOCEnUAFj5QGfyun2ghCMzrhB4zECZZCzKsY_SbVY0VRoC73sQAvD_BwE
 

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1 hour ago, Bob Blarney said:

Have you tried jeweler's saw blades in a saw frame?

 

Guitar files might work.  But I haven't used them when slotting bone nuts for strings on guitars.  What I've done is to dip a short length guitar string of the desired size in automotive valve grinding compound and saw the bone with that. I can also clamp the string in a jeweler's saw.

 

http://www.rings-things.com/Products/Tool-Saw-Frame-4-Swiss.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwhqXbBRAREiwAucoo-xVMV0WS0RNOCEnUAFj5QGfyun2ghCMzrhB4zECZZCzKsY_SbVY0VRoC73sQAvD_BwE
 

Hi Bob Blarney, how wide cut does jeweler's saw blade?

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On 8/6/2018 at 8:27 PM, Chazz said:

Y.T.,

..... I'd use a flat edge of a scraper and a piece of your 1 mm stock and just cut it down.   If you have a couple  of pieces of metal of the right thickness. lay the strip between them to control the depth of cut.   ...

Chazz

Hi Chazz, I did not understand what you suggested.🙁Some sketch may help.

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