I'm with Bill on this. With a very, very sharp, and very well-set
plane, jacks will be smooth as teflon.
For final trimming, I use a Lie-Nielsen low-angle jack plane, razor
sharp, set with a mouth opening so small as to be almost invisible.
On a beech jack body, the results are so slippery the texture feels
almost as though the wood were impregnated with talc or teflon or
wax. Same is true of pear.
But this is no ordinary plane: much closer in function to the best of
the old English infill planes, the Spiers and Norris guys, which are
so spendy and collectible.
It does matter, too, what sort of wood is chosen. Beech and pear
yield silky-slick surfaces planed this way. I once used a set of
boughten jacks from a maker who substituted cherry for pear, because,
I presume, it *looks* similar superficially, and, of course, because
it's more common and cheaper. Nicely planed, the cherry has never
been as slippery as beech or pear.
Owen Daly Early Keyboard Instruments
557 Statesman St. NE
Salem, OR 97301