I chose to go with the large plane with a 1 1/4″ wide blade. There’s an argument made by Chris Schwarz in The Anarchist’s Tool Chest that a large shoulder plane can let you get by without a dedicated Rabbet plane, as you can use the shoulder plane as an improvised rabbet without a fence.
The more I’ve thought about this, the more I think I’d want a dedicated rabbet pretty quick if I found myself making very many of them. Nonetheless, it seems a sound enough way to get by without the extra expenditure if you need to for a while, so it opens up a bit more what joints I’m capable of producing.
My principal question is whether or not I’ll be as happy with a large shoulder at 1 1/4″ as I would with a smaller version. My mortise and tenon joints so far have been made in 3/4 or 4/4 stock, and I worry that the larger size will prove to be unwieldy.
That said I’m still excited about having this plane. Larger than needed or not, this will be the first newly made plane I own. All my current planes are vintage models. I’m very happy with all of them, for various reasons. This plane though will give me a chance to experience what a new quality made plane is like to use.
My last purchase from Lie-Nielsen was my dovetail saw. I placed that order at 3:08 p.m. and the saw was sitting at my door at 12:29 p.m. the following day.
Today’s order was placed at 11:26 a.m. There’s a lot more snow on the ground and the streets are a lot narrower than they were for that order. Still, I can’t help but be curious about how soon they deliver the tool this time. According to an email I received, the tool was shipped at 12:15 p.m., 44 minutes after I placed my order.
What a company.
[UPDATE: According to UPS, my new plane was left at my front door at 1:14 p.m. That’s 25 hours and 47 minutes after the order was placed.]