The other day I spent a few hours planing the rosewood sides of the guitar to thickness. They started at 4mm thick and I wanted to get them down to about 1.7mm. Believe me, that’s a lot of wood!
I use a Stanley low-angle block plane for all my guitar building work. It’s small, light, and easy to use.
The time and effort spent on planing the sides made me wonder if I should get a different plane. Since the block plane is quite small, it gets tiring on the hands after a while.
I’ve been looking at alternatives on the web, such as the Veritas low-angle smoothing plane. These seem more ergonomic than the standard block plane, with the vertical handle on the back and large knob on the front. I’d like to try one first before I buy, as it’s quite an investment. I also wonder if it would be too heavy and large for the work I do, since the sides/backs/top need to get quite thin.
Alternatively, I could modify my block plane. Especially the knob on the front could be more ergonomic..
It would be great to hear from other woodworkers about this. How do you choose the right plane? How do you expand your tool collection without spending a fortune on tools you might not need?