This is the point in the tale when I discovered an entire alternate universe of carpentry. After a ton of research (one of my favorite pastimes) I had a pretty good list of new tools to help me venture down this path of finish carpentry and furniture construction. Now I just needed to learn how to use them and sell a kidney to pay for them. Fortunately, there is a large network of woodworkers out there with DVDs and Youtube videos on using and purchasing these tools. I was still awash in a sea of fine tool merchants until I decided to go to a Lie Nielsen Handtool Event. Here you can see the tools, hold them in your hands, and as an added sales technique they actually let you use them!
Let me interject at this point that I know there are tons of awesome tool makers out there. I would love to own something from Daed Toolworks, or anything made by Holtey Classic Handplanes (even just a sandwich) but Lie Nielsen produces a high quality tool with a "ready to use" finish that was in my price range. I spoke with Denb Puchalski from Lie Nielsen on which plane I should start with. We discussed what I would be using the tool for, and he recommended the Low Angle Jack Plane based on the Stanley #62. Well, let me tell you this thing is a workhorse.
|Full Arsenal with "hot dog" attachment, 90 deg, 2-50 deg, and toothed plane irons|
|Blade and Bronze Cap Iron|
The front bun is cherry and loosens to allow you to slide the mouth open and closed with the use of a brass lever. The adjustment knob at the rear is stout and knurled just enough to grab. You can see in the photo below how the iron sits on a heavy washer which rides the threads of the adjustment knob to move the iron in and out of the throat (taking a lighter or heavier cut).
|Front bun and brass adjustment lever|
|Blade with knurled adjustment knob directly behind|
|90 degree ground blade|
This plane is a great "multitool." It performs a variety of tasks and only eats up one spot on my shelf. The fit and finish are great and it'd be a great addition to any tool arsenal. Two thumbs and a hot dog up.