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I had a nice long reply as I am curious to see what path you have chosen. but it disappeared suddenly. I hope you haven’t given up on woodworking.
I consider myself a hybrid woodworker. I own some Festools, a 16 inch bandsaw and several Shopsmiths and their accessory tools. (A drama in themselves, those Shopsmiths)
Here is my suggestion after going down the old plane route and all of its associated headaches. I have 3-#4s, 5 1/4, 5, 5 1/2, 6, 2-#7s (all older Stanleys) a Veritas Bevel Up Jointer. New Stanley SW Low Angle Jack, Stanley SW Block plane and several other block planes. various specialty planes.
Buy new if you are a woodworker that doesn’t have a mentor that is readily available.
Buy a L-N or Veritas 4 1/2 smoother, (oh no, he is gonna say it…) yes, a block plane. Specifically the Veritas Low Angle Block plane. The best and most versatile ever made. Why a block plane? mainly for those with issues with weight and manual dexterity. They are far less cumbersome than a smoother, I don’t care how low the number on the Stanley system goes for the smoother in question. And I don’t care what anyone says, they work well. Lastly, for the necessary planes buy one of these, a #5, 6, or 7. Possibly the Sweet Veritas Bevel Up Jointer.
Now you can worry about router planes, other specialty planes, saws, measuring and marking tools, benches, vises, etc…
Even Chris Schwarz is debating the merits of older planes for the novice woodworker.
Once you’ve been making furniture you can begin to know what to look for in vintage tools and how to tune them properly.
Hi Ken, WWMC mates.
I purchased a mint Record 778 off ebay for $50 US. I haven’t used it yet and probably wont get the chance for a bit, moving and renovating current house, but I’m interested in hearing how yours works and any tuning that is necessary.
I have an older Record Rabbet plane 078 I think. I like it. It has two post for the fence instead of thethe one post that Stanley and other clones of that day used. It isn’t as great on the cross-crain as the Veritas skewed planes but it is a very small fraction of the price on ebay and if you score the area, take shallow cuts, it still works very well.
That said, I lust after the Veritas Skewed Rabbet/Rebate planes.
Rob has given probably the best answer that I’ve ever seen on plow planes.
I have a Stanley 55 combination and like Rob says it is just nutty.
It prompted me to buy a Veritas small plow plane with the wide blade conversion. The wide blade lets you… use wider blades but for me the important part is that there are Tongue and Groove blades available for the plane, with the conversion.