Thanks for your response and pics of the tools you use. Have been looking at jack planes on ebay, hadn't known about the micro blade planes but will have a lookout for them as well. Will look at other builders' work also but you seemed fairly accessible as I perused your website, so I got up my nerve to approach you with my question first.
I am a noob working on my first build (a barncaster) but have plans to do more after this one. Love your work, choice of woods, etc. How do you do the carving/body shaping? So far I am practicing with a Shinto rasp, saw pics of one of the builders here using gouges/chisels--just wondering what you use--I like the look of showing the different woods at the curved/carved areas. Thanks.