Which requires the least sanding?

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

dabeeler

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
77
Location
Sevierville, TN, USA.
On a spindle type turning such as a pen blank, which would leave the blank the smoothest thus allowing the pre-finish sanding to start at a higher grit, a shear scraper or skew chisel?

I read an article on the internet recently about shear scraping which indicated that a shear scraper left the wood to about the equivalent of having been sanded to 320 grit compared to a skew chisel that left the wood at about 180 grit. I thought I would pose this question to you guys to see what you thought since I have never tried shear scraping.

Thanks,
David
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

dabeeler

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
77
Location
Sevierville, TN, USA.
I also normally start my sanding at 320 after finishing with the skew. The article I read talked about shear scraping producing very light wispy shavings with no tear out unlike a normal scraper. Just got me to thinking, which is sometimes dangerous.
 

leehljp

Member Liaison
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
6,607
Location
Tunica, MS,
Due to the fact that I had solder mixed in as part of the wood's design, I had to turn the pen "30 pieces of silver" to size and apply finish without ever sanding the wood.

I used a very very sharp scraper and it turned down to what I would say was at least equivalent to 600 sandpaper grit.

I have made about 15 and they all turned out fine without any sanding to the wood.

http://www.penturners.org/photos/images/940/1_30_Pieces_of_Silver.jpg

This also works with segments with light woods and dark woods. No secrets to it other than a sharp sharp skew or scraper and a little experience.

Personally, I am not good with a skew and can get finer finishes with my own scraper than I can with the skew. If I were more experienced with the skew, I feel it could do even better.

Having said that, I will disagree considerably with the statement that shear scraping leaves it at about 320. That it is a totally subjective statement. 1. All things being equal - Soft woods look rougher than harder woods, 2. grain direction and orientation will affect it; 3. Sharpness of the scraper will affect it; 4. experience and touch will affect the degree of smoothness; 5. and so will the speed of the lathe - especially on the shear scraper.
 
Last edited:

jttheclockman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
12,189
Location
NJ, USA.
I always finish my blank with the skew in the scraper position and I start right to the micro mesh on acrylic. On wood I might hit it with 800 grit.
 

RussFairfield

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Messages
1,523
Location
Post Falls, Idaho.
What is always left out of any comparison of tool finishes is the wood. All things being equal, shear scraping can leave a better surface finish than a skew chisel on the very hard dense and close grained species, but it can't come anywhere close on everything else.

If you really want to see the extreme differences, try using a both scraper and skew on Cocobolo, Blackwood, or Desert Ironwood. You will find that the scraper might be the better tool for these very hard species. At the opposite extreme, the scraper will be a disaster on a soft wood like Douglas Fir or Pine, while a sharp skew can leave a smooth clean cut and polished surface that doesn't need sanding.
 

leehljp

Member Liaison
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
6,607
Location
Tunica, MS,
What is always left out of any comparison of tool finishes is the wood. All things being equal, shear scraping can leave a better surface finish than a skew chisel on the very hard dense and close grained species, but it can't come anywhere close on everything else.

If you really want to see the extreme differences, try using a both scraper and skew on Cocobolo, Blackwood, or Desert Ironwood. You will find that the scraper might be the better tool for these very hard species. At the opposite extreme, the scraper will be a disaster on a soft wood like Douglas Fir or Pine, while a sharp skew can leave a smooth clean cut and polished surface that doesn't need sanding.
Thanks Russ for this information. I am not proficient with the skew and could not make statements on that basis. I do know what you wrote about the shear scraper - on soft woods, it is a disaster! On hard woods it is super!

I am saving a link to this thread for reference simply because of your input. Thanks again!
 

dabeeler

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
77
Location
Sevierville, TN, USA.
Interesting discussion, thanks for the input guys. Am I correct that "shear Scraping" is a
different animal from normal scraping where the scraper is flat on the tool rest even though it is a burr doing the cutting either way?
 

RussFairfield

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Messages
1,523
Location
Post Falls, Idaho.
The real difference with most woods is that the skew will leave a smoother and rounder surface on the wood. Smoother means less sanding and starting with a finer grit, and that means the round barrel will most likely stay that way and not become oval, or more oval if it already that way, from too much sanding. .
 
Top