The age-old question, from a novice->intermediate woodworker…
What would you recommend as a first purchase for a versatile “specialty plane”, for cleaning up and fitting joinery? I currently have smooth, jack and LA block planes, and am looking to add some type of shoulder / bullnose / rabbet – type plane, to clean up and around tenons. For rabbeting and dadoes, I use a handheld router with a high-quality bit, so they are very clean. My mortises and tenons, and similar joints, however can use some help. I find that I am drawn towards arts-and-crafts type projects, so there is lots of exposed joinery in my future…
I am a little overwhelmed with the options and opinions – I do not mind spending money on a quality tool, but I want to try to ensure that the tools that I purchase do not languish on a shelf. I would purchase this plane new, rather than taking a chance with, eg, a “vintage” plane on eBay – my eBay #4 type 10 smoother took a while to tune-up to snuff.
So, if you can suggest a first purchase, name names, and even a propose strategy for follow-up acquisitions, I would be most appreciative!