Lie-Nielsen - No 112 Large Scraper Plane (Rating: 3)

I got this scraper plane to see if I could get better results during surface prep for finishing. It cost $235 from the Lie Nielsen web page.

The finish on the plane is flawless. It is a beauty and coming out of the box it created a lot of anticipation on what it was going to do for me. It has a very nice heft to it and a great blade. I honed the blade sharp like I do for all my planes and I started working with it. Right away I realized that this scraper was not going to be easy to master. The first and most difficult thing to do is to match the angle or like I called it find the scraper sweet spot. If you ever used a card scraper you know what I mean. A card scraper performs just right at a certain angle and one uses your hands to adjust quickly to the sweet spot. This is why it is very easy for me to find the angle with my hands because you get instant feedback as you move your hands slightly forward or back.

With the scraper plane you have to do the same back and forth adustment with the knobs until you find the sweet spot. I tried several techniques like putting a burr on the edge, finding the angle by hand and then matching it on the scraper, etc. The best results I got were with a slight burr and matching the angle by hand. The plane did its job but then I found that you quickly go from obtaining shavings to dust and you have to continue adjusting the angle. All this messing with the angle back and forth takes all the fun out of using a tool until the job is done.

So out of frustration with it I just sharpened the blade, found a setting that works and use it to scrape off glue lines from lamination work. It does a decent job with this.

So I gave it 3 stars because the plane is beautifully crafted but it is not a utilitarian plan. It is more of planets aligning before it works kind of tool. Ok so I am exaggerating but it really takes so much set up time before it works that it is just not a time saver. I 'd rather sand or hand scrape.

Anyway I hope this review is helpful and I wish everyone the best in 2011.