I finally got draw scrapers in Stock – Plus a Burnishing Tool that also does a brilliant job of closing slots and bringing the root of the reed closer to the level of the reed plate.
So I now have two separate tools – a draw scraper and a burnishing tool.
Here is the draw scraper:
The new version of the scraper is 1/8” wide and is a lot easier to sharpen because the extra width makes it easier to maintain the angle as you draw the edge over the stone. The older narrow one takes more skill and concentration to get it right, but trial and error will get you there…
You can maintain the edge on your scraper with a hard arkansas stone a small one will do fine. If you ever have to restore the edge more extensively, I recommend the EZ-LAP Diamond hone & stone in super fine grade & then finish with the hard arkansas stone.
You have to guess at the angle, then test on a scrap reed plate to see how easy it is to get a clean shiny mark while you peel off a ribbon of brass…
The story of the burnishing tool is long and complicated. I’ve made many variations over the years and thought I had a great design with a “chisel tip” tool for reaching to the very end of the slot.
That was before I saw a burnishing tool in a specialty tool collection and contacted the people that made them. I asked them to make a variation of one of their tools, and when I got it, I was blown away by how effective the design was. It made closing up the end of the slot super easy AND I could use it to push down the reed closer to the reed plate at the very end of the slot in a very controlled way.
It turns out that small variations in the shape of the tool make a big difference in performance. I have the people who make these tools cherry pick the tools they send to me for my specs, and then I take them one at a time and make more small changes in the tip until the tool works just right. I will re-grind and polish the tip as many times as it takes to dial it in.
This was one time when a long delayed order from a machine shop ended up being at least partially a good thing. I was able to cancel the order for the double sided tool (scraper / embosser) and just get scrapers made.
What is a burnishing tool?
The second definition of the word burnish in the Webster’s dictionary is: to rub (a material) with a tool for compacting or smoothing or for turning an edge. That is what this tool does brilliantly – turns down the edge of a slot to bring it closer to the reed, and turns down the edge of the reed near the rivet pad to bring it closer to the reed plate.
Here is the new Reed / Slot Burnishing Tool:
This tool is changing the way I do reed work. I am able to control dropping the root of the reed to a whole new level of accuracy with this tool. When you try to get a reed right down to the level of the reed plate, it is very common to push it too far, end up in the slot, and then have to push it back up, which is time consuming and frustrating. It is so much easier to be able to move it a little at a time and stop before you get deep in the slot.
I have enough of these tools now to fulfill the pre-orders for the double tool ( if you agree to the substitution of the two tools for the original offer of the double sided tool) and take new orders for the burnishing tool and the scraper tool.
At this point, I have a good supply of burnishing tools, scrapers, reed wrench / support tools, stainless steel reed shaping tools, and a small number of reed replacement / riviter tools available for immediate shipping.
They are all in the shopify store on this website…