If you would like to maximize the visual impact of the grain in your
wood, there is no doubt that hand planning by a skilled craftsman will
yield the best result. At the last Wood show in the Detroit area, I
asked the gentleman doing the Lie-Neilson demonstration when he thought
scraping was appropriate and when he prefferred a planing as a final
finish. He was terrific! He spent the next hour and a half
demonstrating the difference between a hand planed finish and a hand
scraped finish. I would not have believed the result if I had not seen
it and touched it. His hand planed finish(highly figured maple) had
significantly more depth and more snap to the grain. The scraped
finish appeared duller with less depth. He explained that this was
because when you use a hand plane you cut through the wood fibers as
opposed to scraping them. He spent a long time demonstrating his
method of blade sharpening and tuning the plane. he was able to
consistantly achieve shavings of 1.5-2 thousanths on an inch. So thin
you could see through them. Needless to say I'm a big Lie-Nielson fan.
I have a #4 and when I bought it I also bought the high angle frog. I
have yet to use it.
He was doing his sales pitch. The fact that the surface was burnished by
sole of the plane as opposed to merely cut - it is cutting - by the scraper
made the difference. Scrape a surface, then burnish it with a nice piece of
hardwood and you'll see.
Yes they can. HOWEVER you need to have a very light cut on the blade,
have cambered the blade so as to not leave any plane tracks.
Took a handtool class with Rob Cosman in Canada last summer. The
finish off his pieces from the LN 5 1/2 he used was perfect. If you
APPLY a finish, the difference becomes moot.
Just completed and ready to finish a pair of floating shelves, I
handplaned and scraped them for a bit, and then took a 1/4 sheet sander
to them to fix my own errors of not cambering my blade enough. The
amount of sanding was mere minutes total and I likely over did the time
necessary. With the planed/scrapped surfaces, there was no need to
sand out knicks or tearout from the planer. Just remove a couple of
raised ridges from a knicked planer knife.
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