med vs lg; O1 vs A2
I've been contemplating a Veritas shoulder plane also except I've been trying to decide between the medium or the small.
As far as the blades... I have several of Veritas' A2 blades, all at least an 1/8th in thick. As with all of the Veritas tools I've purchased, they are what they say they are. In the case of A2, they are HARD! I believe they can be honed to as keen an edge as an O1 - takes longer but holds it longer as well.
In the case of a shoulder plane the job may not be as laborious as that of a
2-1/4" W blade on the Jack plane.
Something else to consider (now this part is purely my own speculation, ie, I can't bill you for it and you can't hold me to it - lol) seems that my waterstones require more attention after being put through the paces of honing a new A2.
It has also been my experience @ LV that their advice is on the money more times than not. Their advice is that if this is your 1st shoulder plane the small is a great starter.I would also value your advice so let us know your opinion after the deal is done.
"Humility is a strange thing, once you think you have it, you have lost it"