It sounds like the fence may be out of alignment or you may have a bad or wrong blade. Double check the stock to make sure it is flat on the face the fence is running against. If the blade was simply tapered (thin at the edge and fat further up on the blade) that would cause some binding in the cut but shouldn’t cause binding by the plane with the blade removed. Check to see if the swivel pin is bent, and also take a look at the pin that locks the fence in place to see if has been bent (probably by dropping it at some point) which might cause toe-in or out. I have one but mine works well even without any lubrication. I would love to have a #49 to go with it. The other obvious thing to check, as James suggests, is the blade width. On most grooving planes the blade does just sit a little proud of the skate but the #49 is set up a little different. The groove cutting side of mine measured 0.358 wide at the edge and the skate was only about 0.258 wide so there was lots of clearance on mine.