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Holy crap Wayne!!! What ON EARTH makes ANY hand plane worth that kind of money!?!?!??!
I ended up using my small plane and then finishing it off with a sanding block.
It worked out great! I feel a lot more comfortable with it now too.
It's nice when you get something to work the way it should.
So in the real world, what is a good, quality hand plane to get? How much should i expect to pay for a good plane?
Thanks for everyone's input on this.
Sorry L. I chose not to use the chainsaw...
The value is perceived by collectors because it is made by Holtey (awesome plane maker but there are others just as good IMHO)
That style of plane (Holt, Spires, Norris) is kinda like a porsche / pinto comparison.
For the rest of us pinto drivers there are several choices. Most of my planes are vintage Stanley off Ebay (the older ones are way better than the newer ones) and cost between $30 and $100. The $100 was for an 1899 (year) Stanley #7 jointer in excellent condition.
In general the less you spend the more work that will be required to get it back into user shape (can me MANY hours) but if you enjoy that type of task (I did) it is a good cheap way to get really good tools. There are also a few private guys out there that sell refurbed hand planes or will refurb your ebay plane for reasonable $.
The next step up are the Lee Valley and Lie Nielsen planes.
These will set you back between $100 for a block and $400 for a Lie Nielsen #7 Jointer but they are excellent quality and only require a minor amount of blade touch up to be ready for work.
Both groups attend most of the wood shows across the country, since both companies have a slightly different feel to their planes it may be best to go an play with them before you drop the big bucks, both companies offer deals at the wood shows as well
I don't think i want to start out with a $400 plane. Even though i know i would be doing the right thing by buying one, i just can't fork out that much money for a hand plane (not yet anyway).
Once i get some practice under my belt i'm sure i will feel different about that.
I've seen some of the planes offered up on ebay but i'm never sure if i'd be getting a good one or not.
I'll keep looking though.