Sharpening a card scraper is different than sharpening a bench chisel or plane iron. With a scraper, you are not trying to produce a razor-sharp edge. Your goal, instead, is to roll a burr onto the edge. It’s a small-scale version of the burr you get on a cold chisel after years of pounding on it with a heavy hammer.

Before you can create a nice burr on the scraper, you must be certain the edge is smooth, straight and square. If your scraper is brand new, you can probably skip this step. But, if you’ve already been working with your scraper, you should take the time to joint the edge before creating the burr. To do this, clamp the scraper in a vise and work the edge using a mill file. Be sure to keep the file perpendicular to the face of the scraper and only make outbound strokes. This will give you better control of the file. You should be able to feel when the file is in complete contact with the edge, which will tell you that the edge is nice and straight and ready for the next step. Do this to both long edges of the scraper.

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