From the Workshop

February 20, 2019

Workshop blog 10 – No 985

Work commences on the stainless sides … you didn’t really think I was going to make it out of green plastic?

Holtey No 985 sides

After a milling operation is finished everything has to be broken down and set up again for the next stage. This usually means making new fixtures and writing another programme. Always a lot of understated work on every new design.

Holtey No 985 mill breakdown

It is always sad breaking down the machine just when everything seems to be working nicely. I have to be extra careful I haven’t missed out a side (done it before!).

One of the things that makes me different is that this is not just a craft job, this work is precision and takes a lot of planning.

I have decided to try and keep everyone informed as to the detailed work that goes into these planes. A well known manufacturer once said that I always manage to keep my work hidden.


  1. I’m relieved that it won’t be plastic! :-) . How deep do you set the taper on the sides? I assume that is to allow for material to be peined in?

    Comment by jimjam66 — February 23, 2019 @ 3:13 pm

  2. Hi, sorry for the delay in replying.

    Nothing wrong with plastic – actually expensive acrylic. It doesn’t distort or shrink. It is a personal choice. When you are working in stainless steel I feel that man made compounds can be almost impervious so I like to think you could dunk the plane in a bucket of water and leave it without any ill effect.

    The taper is approx 2mm and overall 20%. These planes have my own precision made screws (another one of those hidden jobs) so the bottom and the sides are in contact with the precision shank of the screw and the taper section has a 2mm contact. The whole structure will be assembled with a locking compound to the threads. I would probably prefer this system out of the others – dovetails or rivets. The part I like the most is that it doesn’t put any stress into the materials.


    Comment by admin — March 1, 2019 @ 12:17 pm

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