The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Another use for your steel

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rayel's picture
rayel

Another use for your steel

I have been sharpening my bench scraper with my steel for quite awhile. Just a few strokes at a right angle (perpendicular) across the edge makes a huge difference in your scraper's performance. Have many of you been doing this right along? Just thought I would share.  Ray

rxcsyrus's picture
rxcsyrus

i do sharpen mine as well i have a co-worker that swears up and down the edge is supposed to be flat the problem i have with that is that it makes cutting alot more difficult. i use a 10 inch long knife sharpening stone to get the edges down to a smooth angle i like it to be almost knife sharp i have done it too much and cut myself pretty good so be careful about making it too knife like. 

rayel's picture
rayel

Hi  rxcsyrus, I think I agree with your co-worker, For scraping down your board, the better tool has a flat edge. That is what I meant when I said sharpen. Keeping it flat whether you use a stone or a steel, you'll create two edges. They are actually called wire edges, that will scrape really well from either side. When sharpening a knife, wire edges are eliminated. There should be no knife like edge for your bench sraper. You also don't have to worry about slicing or planing into your bread board when the edge is flat. To cut through dough even a dull scraper will work. I am not refering to scoring. The scraper used in wood working is the same idea.  Ray

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I believe rayel is suggesting treating the steel blade edge of your bench scraper the same way a carpenter sharpens his scraper. The idea is to clamp the scraper into a vise and using a chrome hard steel round bar about 1/2 inch in diameter press and drag along the cutting edge. This rolls a very fine edge over on both sides of the blade while keeping the "edge" flat. The scraper is then drawn across the object wood surface which will shave the fibers off and leave a superior smooth surface. I try to keep on of my bench scrapers in a similar condition which helps clean the surface of my maple work surface.


This scraping is and old technique that not many young wood workers know about. It is far easier to obtain a smooth surface on hard woods than by using sandpaper when done properly.


Eric

rxcsyrus's picture
rxcsyrus

true we do have ones we used for the table i guess in my case i need mine relatively sharp a couple of thousand loaves a week puts much wear on my knives and i like to use as little force as possible when cutting dough. sorry if i misunderstood however in the case i stated excessive force as my co worker uses does damage the butcher block and leaves alot of cuts/grooves. thanks i didnt know that about wood work tool though something to file away for later use. again sorry i didnt know you were talking scraping down the surface.

rayel's picture
rayel

I couldn't have known about the couple of thousand loaves per week. So you use a scraper for your bench, and a sharpened knife for scaling? That sounds reasonable. That's a whole lot of bread. You must enjoy what you do.  Ray

rayel's picture
rayel

Your description of the process was more concise than mine, Thanks ehanner,  Ray