Hand Tools Archive
David, thanks for the interesting topic and tons of research you have provided, it is very thought provoking.
The tsunesaburo blue iron is one of my favorites currently, I have one in my LN 7 plane and enjoy using it. Certainly it is long wearing but also provides a high quality surface.
As an aside, I resharpen with a high frequency and encourage my students to do the same, I think it's important to knock the plane apart regularly and be in the habit of sharpening it pretty constantly. That part of working entirely by hand has really stuck with me and I remains a permanent part of my working habits.
Sanding is not a very common task in my workshop, outside of chair making with modern chairs (which require it when built at higher volumes in my opinion). I very rarely sand before finishing and typically only do so on large surfaces which will have a durable surface finish applied.
Planing remains an an exceptionally fast way to make a crisp finish with sharp details.