For more information on planes, see our beginner site Common Woodworking.
The request for questions surrounding planes went over 300 and they were all interesting and stimulating. There are of course many perspectives from trialling various planes in magazine articles and then the individual views we all have personal insights into. Reading the questions you posed has really helped me to realise how much everyone cares about the future of woodworking. We have steered people into real woodworking for 25 years now and I see a marked change in people’s views via questions as a result. Aside from the new ones I have collected many rarer ones from the past and worked them too. I’ve owned both Clifton #4 and #4 1/2 since 2005 and then a Lie Nielsen #4 1/2 since 2006 and also Veritas smoothing planes too for about the same period. Of course I have worked with many low-grade and high grade knockoffs as well and they have all left their impression on me. It is a funny thing that they all have minor issues that can be fixed.
Looking over 300 questions to date helped me to see your anxieties and concerns and thank you so much for taking the time to send them in. I am hoping the answers will unlock some of the issues for ever and be available as a resource no matter where you are in the world, in your woodworking or whatever. Many of the questions are answered in the new book so I am glad for that, but we will pull all of this together and make sure the answers end up bringing clarity for everyone.