A little bit late Christmas present, but here they are, my first two bench planes!
If I have ot be honest, I first got one of the really old wooden hand planes like this one:
But it turned out I couldn't actually use it - making even the smallest adjustments took forever, and the blade was constantly slipping left or right. I just couldn't get it working at all!
I did some research, and based on this amazing Hand Planes Buying Guide I was able to buy some pretty nice Stanley planes from eBay.
I got a regular Stanley 5 plane, as it's described as one of the most multi-functional planes. I don't have any experience in hand planes, so I decided to go with that. I also picked №5 as I guessed it would fit me perfectly - I didn't know the difference between 5 and 5 1/2.
I spent quite some time bidding on that plane. There tend to be a lot, but most of them are pretty rusty, broken handles and need quite a refurbishing. I bought mine for around 70£ - it was quite expensive compared to others, or with the №4 one.
But it looks beautiful, it has some pretty nice handles, sharpened and ready to go!
Then I got my smoothing 4 1/2 plane, for about 35£ plus some shipping. I tried that first and I simply can't explain you the feeling I got from that experience.
I've heard and read that smoothing with a plane is far superior and even better than a sanding paper, but I couldn't believe it. I tried it on a very simple scrap wood, and the result amazed me.
The way the handplanes work is just from another world - the smell of the wood, the scraps falling around, the smoothness and the silence of not using a power tool - everything feels like you're treating the wood with a respect!