Unlike a normal smoothing plane it's blade is set to scrape the surface rather than cut it. This means that it can tackle timbers which are highly figured without tearing out the grain!
Card scrapers and how to sharpen them will be featured in a future blog post!
I have two scraping planes, one small, open sided version with tilting handles made by Lie Nielsen and another larger plane with an adjustable cutting angle made by Veritas.
Thats all for November, look out for December's Tool of the Month blog post in a few weeks time!