Left-handed planes are desirable but left-handed antique planes essentially do not exist.
You need to be able to see your progress, as measured by the shavings your plane is producing.
Below is a right-handed boy using a right handed plane. He is working in his normal direction, right to left. Do you see how his line of sight is inline with being able to see inside of the escapement?
Below is a right-handed person pretending to be left-handed while using a left handed plane. He is working in a left- handed person’s normal direction, left to right. He can also see inside of the escapement. (Note: While taking this photo he said “How do I place my hands? Wait, hold on, this? This feels weird, ok.” Does this sound familiar?)
This is a right-handed person pretending to be left-handed while using a right-handed plane going in the left-handed direction. While taking the picture he stated “I don’t know what I’m supposed to see. Are there two shavings? Why are you taking this picture?”
When using hollows and rounds we want predictable results. Predictable is desirable. To get these results we need to be able to gauge our progress. We are able to measure our progress by actively watching the shavings being ejected from the mouth. If you cannot see the shavings then you cannot see the results. Additionally, if you cannot manipulate the plane to change the shavings because you cannot see the shavings or you’re not steering with your dominate hand then you will not get predictable results.
If you are told that you need to learn to deal with the situation because you don’t know what is best for you then you are dealing with somebody with an 18th-century mentality or somebody that doesn’t want to change the tooling in their shop to fit your desires, which is the exact opposite reason you’re purchasing new planes. If you want new left-handed planes and are told that you don’t know what is best for you, just assume the person making the statement wants to slap your wrists with a ruler. (Note: stating there aren’t enough lefties to pay for the tooling is different than stating that you are wrong in your desires.)
Left-handed planes are best for left-handed people, as evidenced by every single left-handed student I have had choosing to use the left-handed planes I bring. You may not choose to purchase all of your planes new and left-handed. However, if you are left-handed and you own some lefties while still owning some righties, the new lefties won’t make you worse with your old righties. You will be better overall.
Your results will be better overall.
This page is dedicated to my mother, the lefty, and Roger, the insistent: