This isnít really so much of a review of a specific hand plane, but rather a review of a school devoted to teaching you how to build, adjust and use wooden hand planes.
The class was a six day class, held two times a year with just three students. Itís held in Asheville North Carolina by plane make Scott Meek. He has a plane making video available if you are interested, but itís not nearly as helpful as having someone to guide you when working out some of the finer details.
The class involves building a smoother, a Jack, and a 22 inch jointer. These are my planes made by me to fit my hands. The jack plane and jointer were made from a white oak recycled barn beam. The smoother from flame birch. The smoother and jack plane have Osage soles and all three have Osage wedges and pins. The jack and jointer have the blades bedded at 45 degrees, the smoother at 50 degrees. All three have 2 inch Hock blades.
So you may have stuck your noses up at wooden planes, I know I did. But the grip on these planes fit my hands like no handle on any metal plane that could ever be made. It takes a little more effort adjusting the depth of cut, and Iíve got a ways to go yet, but once that part is mastered there may be no going back to iron planes.
The planes donít yet have any finish on them and have only been sanded to 120 grit; we were encouraged to take them home and use them to make certain no further adjustments to the grip are necessary.
Course cost included materials to build the planes, the blades, use of his tools (except rasps, you need to supply your own nice they are easily abused) lunches at Ashevilleís popular restaurants, field trips for exposure to some of the finer woodworkers in the area, and most importantly, Scottís lifetime of experiences that has led him develop his plane making skills and teach them to others.
If you can afford the time and money, sign up as soon as you can. The class is offered once in April and again in October. He trains only six new wooden plane makers a year.
In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.