From the Workshop

December 26, 2009

Window to my workshop 31



Having made some comments on the instability of wood in infill planes and now that I have successfully made metal planes without infills of my own design;  I felt that there is a sector in the market that looks longingly towards wooden planes.  Having used some wooden planes myself I feel that there is a sweetness in the way that these planes glide which adds to the plane’s charm.  There is the metal plane with a greater accuracy (well some of them) and the smooth operation of the wooden plane.  When you try and put the two together to get an infill plane you can lose the advantages of both types of plane.   This leaves the transitional. 


T21 transitional jointer dovetailed plane


Instead of putting wood into a metal plane, I put metal into a wooden plane.  The advantage here is that I am not interfering with the integrity of the wood.  Of course there is going to be a lot more wear and tear on the wood but any settlement due to differences in environment is easier to deal with. 

 You will find in my designs of this plane that I have kept all the character of the wood and yet introduced the fittings as found on a metal plane (the adjuster and lever cap). 


T21 adjuster


 All these fittings including handles have been thoughtfully integrated into the wooden body.  Items such as handles and adjuster use brass bushes.  I have used brass bushing in these areas rather than using an ordinary wood screw.  This is a considerable leap forward; the wood screw is just one step up from a nail.

T21 front bun bush


I put some pictures up earlier on in the year which are here if you want to look back:


  1. A lot better than the TV over Christmas……..beautiful just beautiful ..boxwood and rosewood looks so nice together
    makes me want to travel up through all that snow in the Grampian mountains to see it my self …cant wait to see the finished plane put together how about a photo of a brace or three of the finished ones when your ready. You mentioned nails I have some 6″ nails should you need some for a future project?

    Comment by Dave — December 26, 2009 @ 3:01 pm

  2. Jeez, the posts for the lever cap are embedded (passively I assume) in the sides with five integrated dowels. At first glance, they are rotated an odd amount so that nothing seems to line up or be symmetrical in any way. Then. after a bit, the genius shows through; I assume this is so that no two posts are aligned in the structure of the wood grain?

    Very nice. I would love to see some imagery of your technique for milling out the cavity and throat spaces. I recently rebuilt an old Bridgeport knee mill with my dad; neither of us really knows how to use it. I would love to build a much simpler version of a milled wooden jointer.

    The openness of you and your shop has been refreshing and inspirational. Thank you! I look forward to an “open source” Holteyplane design someday even if it’s just a simple little something.


    Comment by edgar — December 26, 2009 @ 6:18 pm

  3. What are the flats on the brass bushings for?

    Comment by edgar — December 26, 2009 @ 6:29 pm

  4. Hi Edgar

    Well done! You are absolutely right. I contemplated over the lining up of these pins for some time. I know you can’t be sure of the direction of all the grain but I feel that it was still the right way to go. As it happens two of the pins are in line with the 45 deg blade bed.

    More blog to follow which will show what you want.


    Comment by admin — December 26, 2009 @ 6:36 pm

  5. Hi Edgar

    The flats are machined to half the depth of the thread and pitched at 120 deg. When they are screwed down for the last time, cemented in an epoxy resin …. are you ahead of me?


    Comment by admin — December 26, 2009 @ 6:58 pm

  6. Hi Dave

    A question has already been asked about the brass bushes and I know you know the answer. Do you want to finish of answering if Edgar hasn’t worked it out yet?


    Comment by admin — December 26, 2009 @ 7:00 pm

  7. I think they would act as a bearing for something say another pin/bush/grub screw to lock rotation if they were placed at a right angle to the flats, neat as as pin. the bushes themselves would act as registers for the underside of the blade. and could be set flat to the bed of the blade or just above it this set up would minimize the twist of the blade as the timber inevitable moved over time as it exchanged moisture with the atmosphere. also steel against brass is self lubricating another advantage perhaps.
    just a Guess???

    Comment by Dave — December 26, 2009 @ 8:50 pm

  8. Hi Dave

    Sorry it looks like you mis-understood the question. I have now done a new blog explaining it. But you are still welcome to come over those snowy mountains.


    Comment by admin — December 27, 2009 @ 1:27 pm

  9. Hi Edgar

    Please see today’s posting which hopefully explains everything.


    Comment by admin — December 27, 2009 @ 1:28 pm

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