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I'm new to hand-planing, and all the bitty little corners sticking up from my glue-up just seem like they're begging to grab a plane and cause gouges. It sounds like I should face my fears and give it a go, though! You're right that we don't have a router (yet — we're getting a plunge router as our next purchase!), so a jack plane does seem like the way to go. Thank you so much for the advice!
Do some reading, or you tube, on how to sharpen and tune up a plane. Even most of the better hand planes need to be fine tuned before use. Once razor sharp, keep it sharp. A dull or out of tune plane will likely frustrate you. A sharp well tuned plane is a pleasure.
 
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