Question: First off, thanks for compiling your hand plane articles into one nice volume (“Handplane Essentials”) , I’ve enjoyed reading it, and go back to it for reference. Second, I’m not a total novice with hand planes, but I’m no pro either , I’ve successfully set up my No. 7 Record, and flattened my bench top with it, and have had great success with my garden variety Stanley low angle block plane.
I’ve toyed with other planes, and recently acquired a vintage WS No. 4 (appears that WS was eventually folded into Record), with the hopes of achieving baby butt smooth surfaces, sans sand paper. In quick order, I figured out why this pristine tool stayed pristine , the owner never figured out how to fettle and tune it. No problem, armed with useful info garnered from your tome, I set to put that sucker into shape. with the frog lapped, and the iron properly sharpened, I put it to test on a scrap piece of cherry, and heavenly bliss , smooth as glass.