A few weeks back I attended a full day woodturning
demo put on by John Jordan. I learned a number of things from him,
one of which is that a double ended shear scraper is pretty darned
cool for turning spherical stuff.
John sells these tools, but if I
were to buy everything I see at these demos, I would be in the
poorhouse. So I try to make my own tools whenever possible. This one
was fairly simple, and cost me almost nothing out of pocket because
I already had everything I needed.
I had 2 new HSS toolbits in 1/4" by 1" by 6" size that I
picked up at some estate sale or other a long time ago for very little
money. I used one of these, and some electrical insulating material that
looks like plywood to make the tool.
This is a double ended skew scraper for woodturning. The
blade is a piece of HSS 1/4" thick by 1" wide. Both ends have been
ground to 45 degrees, and are sharpened so that they are opposites to
This is to allow scraping in both directions on spherical
pieces. I made the handle from some electrical insulating material which
resembles plywood. The material came in a large sheet and is 3/8" thick.
I copied this tool from one made and sold by John Jordan.
The tools that John Jordan makes have a fancy aluminum
handle. Mine isn't pretty, but it works. You can see John's tool and how
it works at
his web site.
Here is a piece of the HSS material before any grinding is done.
To grind the ends of the bit I used a cheapie 4 1/2"
angle grinder from Harbor Freight. It is relatively easy to rough out
HSS with an angle grinder, but not so easy on a bench grinder. I used my
bench grinder to finish the sharpening.
Here are both pieces, not in the handle.
Here you can see what the handle looks like at the end. I drilled
and tapped all 4 corners so that I will have a tapped hole if one ever
The function of this tool is to finish the outside of a
piece so well that it doesn't require sanding.
Tips from Old Millrat - James D. Thompson