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Veritas Plane Review - Part Six. The Scrapers

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Alf

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The final episode in this voyage through the Veritas/Brimarc catalogue. Let’s hope we just scrape though with out too many bad jokes… (or then again... :roll: )



The two scraping-related offerings from Lee Valley Veritas that concern us here are their takes on the #80 cabinet scraper and the #112 scraper plane. There are obvious competitors to both, so comparisons will be inevitable. Both are a little beefed up compared to their rivals, and both offer peace of mind, rather than pieces of plane all over the concrete floor, in the shape of ductile iron bodies. The cabinet scraper has a 2 ¾” wide blade, carbon steel as far as I can tell, with 45° bevels on both edges ready for a burr for rough work, or honing and then burnishing for finer tasks.


Left: Stanley #80. Right: Veritas cabinet scraper

The scraper plane is supplied with a 2 7/8” wide, thin carbon steel blade with a 45° bevel and an option on a 1/8” thick A2 steel alternative. The thinner blade allows you to use the blade bow thumbscrew; a feature not found on the L-N. Unspecified hardwood handles on the scraper plane and brass screws on both complete the bit and pieces.


Left: Veritas scraper plane. Right: Lie Nielsen #112

The packing is cardboard box, rust inhibitor paper and packing paper where required. Both sets of instructions had to be downloaded from the Lee Valley website, and proved extensive. See them for yourself here and here.

The cabinet scraper looks like a bigger, meaner, brother to the Stanley #80. The cutter clamp bar is a bit chunkier, the clamp and thumbscrews are brass rather than chrome plated and the finish is less shiny, but otherwise not a lot to differentiate at first glance. A more careful look reveals the sole is rather larger behind the blade.


Left: Veritas cabinet scraper. Right: Stanley #80

The scraper plane is also a little larger than its competition, the usual slightly rough finish on the chunkier casting much in evidence. For the first time on a Veritas plane there seems to have been machining done for appearance sakes rather than any practical use, along the front bottom half of the sides. It does relieve the endless black a little, I must say. The machining, what there is of it on these types of tool, is fine and well done. The finish overall is okay too, no sharp edges or the like.


Left: Veritas scraper plane. Right: Lie Nielsen #112

The blades on both were reasonably finely ground. It took me a little while to get the backs at least usable near the edge, but that always seems to be a problem with these thin blades. I followed the instructions to the letter and put a 15° burr on both. How the previous guy had managed to review them without even doing this much is beyond me. :roll: Setting the blade in the cabinet scraper is a simple matter of placing the tool on a flat surface, backing off the thumbscrew at the rear, slipping the blade in ‘til it touches the work surface, bevel facing backwards, and then tightening up the clamp screws (by hand seemed sufficient). Then just flip the scraper over, sight along the sole as you tweak the thumb screw to create a camber and there you have a nice curved cutting edge. Add more camber, and thus depth of cut, by tightening the thumb screw as required. Simple. :D

The scraper plane is a little more complicated because the blade angle can be adjusted from vertical to 25°, but the instructions take you step-by-step. Again, you place the plane down on a flat surface, adjust the frog to around 5° and back off the thumbscrew at the rear.


Setting the frog angle to 5°. The two brass wheels behind the frog are the frog angle adjusters. The thumbscrew is lower down, out of sight

Slip the blade in as before, the edge resting on the surface, and tighten up the lever cap knob. This leaves the edge flush with the sole. Tweak the frog forward just a tad and the edge moves just below it, ready to cut. You can fiddle about with tiny adjustments of the frog to alter the cut, or with the thin blade simply apply a curve to the blade just as you do with the cabinet scraper. All much easier than I’ve probably made it sound. :oops:

As you can see, the adjustments on the cabinet scraper are very basic, and it’s hard to go wrong with them - even Stanley have yet to manage that. :lol: The scraper plane is a little more complicated, but very smooth and hardly a brow-furrower if you follow the instructions. The mouths on scrapers are, of course, unimportant, and are fixed.

Holding the cabinet scraper was a little different to the Stanley #80, and not just because of the increased weight. The handles are a little further back and lower, and give a slightly improved pushing angle. With that and the longer area of sole behind the cutting edge it’s very hard to get the dreaded falling-off-the-end-of-the-board problem, or "snipe", that can be a real pain when you’re not in practice. All in all a pretty comfortable tool to use. The scraper plane was let down for me by the rear handle again, although there was at least plenty of room for my second opinion’s fingers this time. The front knob is more of a low, mushroom shape, and I liked it a lot. It automatically places your hand the right way to provide pressure on the toe, while the higher knobs tend to promote more of a "microphone style" hold which isn’t so good. So a bit of a curate’s egg then.


Front knob

I gave both tools a nasty test on some stringy, mahogany-like stuff with the stripes of reverse grain and they both flew through with flying colours. The scraper plane was particularly pleasant to tackle the task with; the weight gave it some real authority through the cut and the thumbscrew allowed me to get it cutting just how I wanted without having to fiddle with the blade angle.



I couldn’t really separate the cabinet scraper from the Stanley for results, both were equally up to the task. Such a simple tool, and yet so effective.



Both these planes do their job very well. The cabinet scraper has one or two improvements over the Stanley, but whether enough to justify the price difference will really come down to the individual. If you’re new to cabinet scrapers than I think the anti-snipe design of the sole could really make it worthwhile. It is heavier though, which might be a disadvantage over long scraping sessions. The scraper plane is a super tool; the blade bow option gives it a real edge over the L-N, but still with the thicker blade available if you prefer. Personally the rear tote design means I’ll be sticking with my slightly less user-friendly model from Maine, but if you can handle the Veritas (groan), then, dare I say it, I think it‘s the better tool. :shock: On which controversial note… :wink:

Cabinet Scraper £33.50
Scraping Plane £111.75 Optional A2 blade £19.51

<Edit> As of 1st October there's been a review of prices, viz:
Cabinet Scraper £34.08
Scraping Plane £97.53 Optional A2 blade £20.53
 

blurk99

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Hi Alf,
Interesting read that one - i was mulling over scrapers the other day, and scraper planes as i was looking to see if anything ever comes up on e-bay.. do you know if the veritas scraper plane insert that axminster sell is anything like as good ?

jim
 

Philly

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Alf,
Many thanks for your review!
I am quite interested in the Scraperplane as I have a Burr-thday coming up :lol: (sorry, can't stop myself! It must havebeen the holiday :) )
regards,
Philly :D
 

Alf

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Jim, I've not tried the insert, but I'm afraid everything I've heard has been lukewarm to downright rude about it. :( I think the key question to ask yourself here must be "If the insert is any good, why make a dedicated scraper plane?".

Philly, unfortuanately I'm in no position to groan at that joke. :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

Midnight

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It's interesting to see two slightly different design approaches to the same basic plane design; the L-V using the blade bowing technique of hand scrapers, while the L-N uses a massive blade. I have to admit, I'm impressed, not only with the inovation, but the quality of the online instructions too; had the L-N instructions been as comprehensive as these, I would've been able to get to grips with my own 112 long before now.
I just might conider buying this one myself someday.. my only point of concern being the pitch of the rear tote again...

Yet another excellent review Alf... nicely done..!!
 

Alf

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Midnight":1p12rrlk said:
the quality of the online instructions too; had the L-N instructions been as comprehensive as these, I would've been able to get to grips with my own 112 long before now.
Yep, my own feelings exactly. The L-V instructions throughout have been very impressive - shows a good manual for a tool can be done. :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 

Adam

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Just to follow up ALFs comments.....I've had the Veritas #80 scraper in use for a few months and can certainly recommend it. It's worked a treat on some really difficult grain, and I find it comfortable to use for longer than you can hand-hold a scraper.

Nice reviews ALF.

Adam
 

Aragorn

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Finally caught up with this latest run of reviews. This one is particularly interesting as I'm still toying with the idea of the scraping plane. The Veritas is looking v tempting (but then that was probably the idea when Rob asked you to review them :wink: )
Thank you so much Alf, such useful and informative reviews. Well done!
 

Rob Lee

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Aragorn":35tw6av8 said:
Finally caught up with this latest run of reviews. This one is particularly interesting as I'm still toying with the idea of the scraping plane. The Veritas is looking v tempting (but then that was probably the idea when Rob asked you to review them :wink: )
Thank you so much Alf, such useful and informative reviews. Well done!
Just for the record - I had no idea Alf was doing all this....!

Cheers -

Rob
(on vacation!)
 

Aragorn

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OK! Frivilous comment - nothing implied or intended! :D
A good initiative by Brimarc coz they're excellent reviews!
 
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