well when i shaped mine i tried to use a power planer and i hated it. so i returned it and it turned out fine with sand paper ,surform , and a 1 inch pocket plane . worked fine for me but i guess it takes a wile.
A surform and a pocket or block plane should be all that you need to get started. A power plane can be a bit scary if you are unaccustomed to power tools. A cheap power plane can be bought from Harbor Freight if you want to go that route. The main thing is not to get discouraged and keep at it if you think this type of stiff is for you . Good luck!
I do use a wisk It's quick and mixes great
i mean a power plane shiuld leave everything level right?.(hence the name plane) but i bought a pretty good hitachi how ever its spelled.....and each pass was a different depth a that didnt seem to be helping on my first blank ..i mean shouldnt a power planer cut an even 1/16 across the bottom or what? cause if it did it shure would have been faster!
I've just started too, on my fourth board, using block plane and surform, plus two grits ( 80 and 120 ) of sand paper. one method I've found to take down foam eaiser is to shave everything off with the planer, then smooth out with the surform. Then take more down with the planer, then surform... continue untill satisfied. Also helps to keep the planer at a 45 degree angle to the stringer. Not exactly sure why this works though. Also, try to make long strokes with your planer, its real easy to finish with super-thin spots where your board rests on the stands...
Cool. Thanks for the advice guys. [smile] I'll probably be coming here and asking many many questions during my shaping process. And the kitchen knife idea was a GREAT one! Man that thing worked 100% better than the saw! j/k [wink]