I make my planes as one off commissions or in very small batches; they are not made on a production line. Every part of each plane is made by me - I do not buy or subcontract any components, the only process not done in my workshop is the thermal treatment of blades.
I use machine tools in my workshop in order to achieve the precision and finish which I demand and have become known for. These tools, whilst allowing me to build to a standard other makers can only dream of, certainly do not ‘automate’ the task of making a plane and I would consider a Holtey plane to be as hand made an item as the work of the finest gunsmiths and jewelers.
Each component in my planes requires many processes to complete and this adds up to many hundreds for the finished tool. A plane may take in excess of two hundred hours of labour to complete and this time is reflected in the prices I ask. Although I no longer publish a price list, prices for the low angle planes start at around £2500 pounds and rise to around £7000 for the large panel planes.
Replacement blades are available for all of my planes - either to order or from a limited stock.
S 53 Blades
These blades are made from powder metallurgical steel, which has basically the same characteristics as the A2. Tests have shown that the edge will last several times longer than the A2 blades, saving even more down time.
The blades are treated in a vacuum furnace to a high temperature to achieve a hardness of HRC64, they are also triple tempered and cryogenically treated.