It’s easy to see that much hasn’t changed with hand planes in the past 100 years. In fact if you look closely, most modern plane makers are, essentially making the same metal bodied planes as were being designed by Mr. Bailey.
Even wooden bodied planes haven’t seen much innovation. Of course the choice of wood species are probably more widely available than before. Especially considering that many were made by the users themselves, so the wood used was often domestic hardwoods (domestic at least for the user that is).
A recent blip on the plane making radar, that should be getting more attention, is the design being built by Gary Blum of Blum Tool Company. Gary’s planes are an all wooden model but rather than using a traditional wedge to secure the blade, or a chipbreaker and frog mechanism. Blum Tool handplanes use a completely unique design unlike anything I’ve seen before.
Check it out and decide for yourself. After learning more about it and then taking one for a test drive, it’s high on my list for my next plane buy.