-- Last Updated: Dec-27-12 8:25 AM EST --
I have a Harbor Freight electric hand plane and I think I paid something like $35 and they are less expensive now. I didn't know if it was going to work well for GP carving so I didn't want to invest much money. Well, it works great for roughing out a blank and the HF planer works perfectly.
Don't get too close to finished with it because you can destroy a paddle easily but for roughing out a bank from a 2 x 4, you can do it in 15 minutes.
My next step is the belt sander with ultra coarse paper. After that I go to the plane, spoke shave etc.