Advice on buying a new handplane please!!

Can anybody advise me on which handplane to buy?
I intend to use the plane to do a number of jobs from converting sawn timber to smoothing finished work.
I currently have an old Stanley #4 1/2, and find it a bit small for even smoothing work.
Unfortunately my budget will only stretch to one decent handplane, so i'm torn between a Veritas #6 or Clifton #5 1/2, or even a Lie Nielson #5 1/2 if I can keep the reciept away from the wife.
For some reason Veritas don't make a #5 or #5 1/2, so I'm wandering whether the #6 will be too big and heavy to use for long periods.
Any comments would be helpfull.
Thanks
Aled
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Did you look at the Veritas 5 1/4W? It seems like it would match the drift of what I think you are looking for.
Bob
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Have you looked at the Veritas low-angle jack? It's more versatile than just a #5, by switching blades you can use it in a variety of ways, everything from end grain to highly figured, very well made...

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On Thu, 30 Dec 2004 12:43:53 -0800, "Denny"

I very much agree with this post.
JP **************** Benchbuilding.

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The problem with the #5 1/4W is that it is narrower than the others, I must admit that I hadn't considered the low angle jack, has anyone used it?
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Use it and love it. There are lots of reviews on the web, DAGS or look here: http://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?p#326 .

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Thanks for the posts, I'm seriously considering the LA Jack as it seems to be what I'm after, and it has had lots of good write ups.
Aled
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