Hello all, I'm progressing in my lutherie studies and figure that now is a good time to stock up on tools. (our dollar is strong, I'm young and have relatively little financial responsibility etc etc.) I would like to get a nice set of finger planes (arch toping, brace sculpting etc.) The IBEX planes seem to be by far the gold standard but I'm wondering if there are anyalternatives, perhaps cheaper ones. (I'm assuming there aren't given that I've never seen anyone use anything other than the Ibex planes...) And I know it's not worth it to chince on tools, but sometimes a medium quality tool with a few fine tunings can be just as good. I've been looking like mad online and found the following: Dov Schmidt set: http://www.dov-music.com/proddetail.asp?prod=1095 The price is incredibly cheap and they are advertised as being of german design and made in Italy... which the price doesn't reflect and they look strangely similar to the Chinese ones floating around cyber space. I.A. Lutz: http://www.diefenbacher.com/luthier3.htm Similar deal. Never heard of them before Herdim: Just as expensive, if not moreso than the Ibex. http://www.howardcore.com/Catalog/tools/Planes/AS-S.htm They look quite nice. St. James Bay Tool Co. http://www.stjamesbaytoolco.com/luthier.html Hard to tell from the picture. The price is right and they're apparently all hand made but the few reviews I've seen from these guys have been quite mixed... Cremona Finger PLanes: http://www.cremonatools.com/product_info.php?products_id=1422&osCsid=ehsvgaemap Unlike Dov's planes these reflect a made-in-Italy (ridiculous?) price... Lee Valley: http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=55065&cat=1,230,41182 These are a little larger and in wood. I've also seen a few handmade wood ones. I don't think I'm ready to make my own yet. What do you guys think?Has anyone had experience with any of these brands or know of any others? EDIT: Added http://www.dick.biz/dick/product/710270/detail.jsf - These are GORGEOUS!