Any advice on what to beware or any shortcuts would be great too.
the little guy
Ron's kit is pretty good and if you don't have a way to process your own pieces makes a quick and easy way to start. That is the only shortcut I can recommend.
A 9" smoother with a 1-3/4" blade would be my suggestion for a first build. The longer jointer style planes, in my opinion, aren't as useful when built as "Krenovs". The way you maneuver the small tote-less planes feels "right" for smoothers but not for heavy stock removal. My opinion, and worth what you pay for it.
David Fink's book, "Making and Mastering Wooden Planes" is well worth the money. David also has a YouTube channel with maybe three or four videos outlining some of the steps. Also worth watching.
For your first plane, go ahead and BUY a blade or blade+breaker set. Get the heaviest, thickest blade you can find. I don't know what would be the best bargain for you in Canada. In the USA I'd purchase a Hock blade+breaker set from Craftsman Studios. I've heard some reports of good results using replacement Muji brand blades supplied by Lee Valley but I have no first hand experience with their blades. Later on you can get into making your own blades but for now just buy a good one.
It isn't difficult to modify the basic Krenov 5 piece plane design (side, side, front, back, pin) from a fixed mouth to an adjustable mouth. Something to think about.
I've used both wooden pins and brass pins. Both work well, your choice. If you go with a wooden pin and later it breaks you can replace it with a brass pin.
Pay attention to the shape of the wedge, making sure you get good contact to the pin and the chipbreaker.
Consider building a small brass head hammer too. Or just use a small tack hammer. The roofing hammer isn't such a good idea.
Wood selection - pick something reasonably stable and easy to work for the body. You can laminate the sole with a harder wood if you choose. I've used white oak, rosewood and purple heart for soles. All seem to work well. Cherry makes a good plane body. Sapele did OK but I think long term it will be much too soft. Walnut and red or white oak are also good domestic species. I wouldn't use anything softer than cherry for the body. A cherry sole would work but it would also wear very quickly. Ash would probably work but I've never tried it. Hickory would make an interesting choice.
If you can't find 3" thick stock, don't worry. Just glue up thinner stock to make the billet. It will work. Purists that insist on quartered beech will pooh-pooh the choice but it will work just fine.
Watch the grain direction when you laminate, I've goofed on one, getting them reversed so it made final shaping a bit of a bugger. Not a show stopper, just annoying. Also watch the grain direction when orienting the front and rear of the plane. You get a slightly better "feel" if the grain of the sole runs top to bottom, front to back.
Consider the purpose of the plane before starting. Maybe if making a smoother you might want to make it 50 or 55 degrees instead of 45 degree bed. Maybe you want a compass plane. Maybe you want a scrub plane.
I wouldn't recommend epoxy or TightBond III in this application. Both exhibit cold creep and could mean you have to spend more time re-truing the body over the lifetime of the plane. The last couple I've made I used liquid hide glue. Longer clamping time but hide glue is glass hard when dry, doesn't creep like plastic based glues. That said, any type I or type II PVA glue (yellow or white) will work if you already have a favorite.
And finally, don't fret if you make a mistake. Try and reshape or re-design to recover the plane. Worst thing that happens is you have a small bit of firewood and a nice blade. Just start over.