No, I’m not advocating invading New York with a platoon of archers. But I did have in mind a mighty mite that I use a lot, including on this last project. This is the Veritas Small Router Plane.
Sometimes I’d like to use my Stanley 71 router plane, but the workpiece is just too small for the sole to register well. Trying to mortice hinges on to small doors is an example. Or, in this case, I was cleaning out the bottom of a blind mortice on the legs of the tabouret we’ve been building, and the full-size router iron was too big to fit inside the mortice.
The small router, however, is just right for these little jobs that require more precision than power. It will sneak in and nibble everything down level where other tools are too clumsy. It’s based on the vintage Stanley 271, but it’s actually cheaper than buying a vintage example. Go figure.
This isn’t a tool you should buy first, but eventually you’ll run into a problem where a small router is the right tool for the job. In that case, I highly recommend this one. Once you have it, you’ll be surprised how often you reach for it.