Holtey Classic Hand Planes

Where precision toolmaking becomes art
Holtey No.98 Smoother
The art of precision engineering

Setting Hammer


Having decided I wanted to make a setting hammer I looked at the availability of this type of tool and decided on a complete new design. This hammer has been built from the ground up.

Setting hammer. The head weighs just below 6 oz and the overall length is 8" (which is quite short - a long handle is wrong). The head is balanced with two Boxwood or Lignum Vitae impact pads, (I see no need for hitting with a brass head). A pet hate is heads that work loose and on occasion come off, this hammer has a stainless steel cylindrical head with an integral threaded 8 x 1.2mm nose at each end to receive the impact pads. The head incorporates a 10 x .75mm nose for the hammer shaft neck.

Setting hammer - With handles and shavings from turning.

The neck is one of three parts of the stainless steel shaft. A hexagon bar threaded at both ends connects between the neck and the retaining T-nut at the end of the handle sleeve. The handle sleeve has been bored to accommodate these components and broached for the hexagon centre. The junction between the neck shoulder and handle sleeve is protected by a stainless steel ferrel.

The T-nut is thread locked to the end of the hexagon bar so rotating the handle will tighten the neck assembly, eliminating the need for any driving recess in the head of the T-nut. With no recess in the nut head it is free for my logo.

Hammer heads.

The handle sleeve is in Boxwood only with a nice range of natural colouration. Some sleeves are honey coloured with interesting grain contrast and some the traditional yellow. All metal components are made in-house from solid 316 stainless steel bar.

Setting hammer.


Setting hammer. The setting hammer is a very rigid structure, extremely comfortable to hold and is well balanced with its short traditionally contoured handle. It is much easier to aim or hit without the unnecessary long handle and it feels right in the hand with lots of feedback.

I have spent years using hammers and picking this one up seems so natural. I love it.

It was never my intention to produce this hammer in the four figure price bracket, at the time of taking the project on I had not expect it to exceed even half that. Unfortunately the work went well over time and the tooling costs escalated, and I now feel it is unproductive to price this hammer on a cost basis so I accept a loss which is of my own making.

I will initially offer the setting hammer to customers who buy or already own my No.985 smoothing plane at a price of £420 + vat if applicable (UK only) + delivery.

Setting hammer. Setting hammer.
Setting hammer - Handle sleves in production. Setting hammer - Components.


Setting hammer. Setting hammer.
Setting hammer - Handle sleeve in final stages and finish. Setting hammer - These are the ferrels.
Setting hammer. Setting hammer.
Setting hammer - The neck - fore end of the shaft. Setting hammer - Boxwood and Lignum Vitae impact pads near completion.


Setting hammer. Setting hammer.
Setting hammer - The hexagon centre shaft. Setting hammer - Turning the contour on to the impact pad.
Setting hammer. Setting hammer.
Setting hammer - Components. Setting hammer - Finished hammer with Lignum Vitae pads and smoky boxwood handle.


Setting hammer. Setting hammer.
Setting hammer - Turning the waist on the hammer neck. Setting hammer - These are the T nuts.


Holtey classic handplanes




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No.985 smoother
now with a blade setting post


No.985 with snecked blade.

In my No.985 smoother design I decided to omit an adjuster in order to achieve a compact footprint and a simple aesthetic. I realise that for those who are used to my adjusters, some may find setting the blade a little tricky, so I have decided to make an option and incorporate a setting post on the blade.
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No.983 984 and 985 planes.


No.985 984 and 983.

If I was still cabinet making these three planes would be my go for planes. They are clockwise from the top - No.984 panel plane, No.985 smoothing plane and No.983 block plane.

The picture above is featured on my new gallery page.

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T21 workshop pictures


T21 dovetails.

I have added some work in progress workshop pictures to the T21 page, originally posted in my blog.

These pictures can be viewed in higher quality than the originals in the blog and collected together provide a 'making the T21' photo essay...

read more....