After thinking about it for a little while, I think I have 3 responses
in different "categories". Great-grandfather's drill press, standard
front vise on my workbench, and the LN LABP (even though LN's version
might not have been around for 20 years, I'd still say it's a
"classic"). I'd have to say all 3 get used on basically every single
project I do, and all are comfortable and fun to use (with the
occasional exception of the vise, on which I cheaped out a little bit,
but I'm working on a few ways to improve that...)
I would add my ancient Stanley router plane, not used often but priceless
when it's needed and of course my collection of card scrapers. The card
scraper is so damned useful...everything from rough stripping to glue
removal to final finishing of highly figured wood.
GROAN - after chuckling.
Before the Veritas rabbet/block plane - "It's a block plane!
"It's a rabbet plane! It's TWO planes in one!" Leave it to
Veritas to actually mean New AND Improved - innovative
folks them Veritasers.
But probably the most versatile and most often used
"classic tool" is the real woodworkers bench - designed
and built for the type of woodworking you're doing - or
plan / dream of doing. Who ever said "workbench" was
probably the best answer IMHO.
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