This blog entry is just a “proof in the pudding” post of encouragement for those starting woodworking and are looking for a way in to hand planing.
I got this old stanley #5 about 6 months ago and over the course of that time have learned about how to sharpen it, tune it, and use it. it’s my only other plane other than another old stanley block plane. Since i dont need to mill lumber from the rough, i set it first to take off several thousandths. i gradually got better at tuning it and most recently have been able to use it as a smoothing plane. check out these fine babies:
the point i want to make is, the plane bed isn’t terribly smooth (some old scratches), and its even very slightly bowed upwards near the mouth. but it works. it makes things square and smooth, and it works!