Moving Fillister Plane (Reloaded)

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Project by yuridichesky posted 11-28-2015 03:01 PM 15276 views 46 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch


Long story short: people need moving fillister planes. Sooner or later you realize this. And once you have this idea cooking in your head just let it grab you and drag you to that slippery slope…

About a month ago I had a vision, and I drew this vision on the piece of paper:

The idea was to build skew rabbet plane and add to it depth and width fences so it would turn into moving fillister plane. To make sure this is something doable I took some pine and made full-size prototype:

So this was 10” long and 1-5/8” wide skew rabbet plane with 6 additional nuts housed on the sides: two on the right side to mount depth stop, and four on the left side to mount some kind of ledge for the width stop. (edit: oh, I forgot about the nicker) And one more nut on the right side for the nicker.

The prototype didn’t show any serious flaws in design, so I started to cut the hardwood (same old beech board that I used for most of my shop-made tools):

The design is more or less traditional for amateurs like myself: laminated body. 8 small dowels provided pretty good alignment for the parts so that I was able to do all the markups before gluing. And this was important as I had to do some marking on the inside too:

Once I had all the nuts done (see square recess for the nut on the picture blow, there are 7 such recesses total) I started to shape bedding for the iron:

The wedge was made and fitted in place before gluing too:

The glue-up went quite well thanks to alignment dowels. I had to do only couple of very thin savings on the wedge to make it sit nice and tight after gluing.

Next stop was escapement carving.

First drill the through hole:

Then carve and sand the escapement:

Then it was time to trim bedding. Sharp chisel and specially cut guide block did the job:

The nicker took me much more time than I wanted to spend on metalworking.

This was the first version of the nicker made from old plane iron:

I didn’t like it at all. So here’s nicker v.2 made from old inexpensive chisel:

Since I had to anneal the chisel to be able to shape the nicker I then had to re-temper it. Did it very first time in my life, very happy I didn’t burn down the house. :-)

Polishing the nicker after heat-treatment:

Next big adventure: brass sole:

Glued-in and ready for sanding:

Sanding the sole flush wasn’t fun at all. Great workout but no fun.

I have large piece of marble windowsill as a reference flat surface. Very handy for this kind of work:

The masking tape put on the side provides proper leveling so that I’d sand brass sole only, not the wooden body:

Some filing too:

Once sole sides sanded flush time to sand sole itself (at this point I had all the rights to declare that I hate sanding!):

No more sanding! Pretty tired by totally happy with results:

The body now ready to get some decoration. Using scratch stock to put simple square groove on the sides (tried several different profiles but after all decided to go with something simple):

Now chamfering:

At this point (after some iron grinding and sharpening and two coats of BLO) the part of the project called “skew rabbet plane” is ready:

Long-grain test run:

Cross-grain test run:

Now “moving fillister plane” part of the project continues.

Working on width stop:

Depth stop in progress:

(Thumb screws are my first attempt at brass brazing.)

And after some final touches on depth and width fences the plane is done! It’s heavier than I expected, but still it’s quite nice to work with.

Close-up of cutting unit:

Must-have long- and cross-grain shavings with all the parts working together:

Test board:


1) Thanks a lot for reading out such a long project. I do admit I’m too lazy to split it into several blog entries.

2) I just discovered that I build my planes late fall three years in a row.

3) I’m very happy with this plane build. It was fun to build (except for sanding). The plane does work well in both modes: skew rabbet and moving fillister. Now I have some shop-improvement project ahead, can’t wait to put it in use.

Thanks again for looking!

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

32 comments so far

View terryR's profile


7732 posts in 3763 days

#1 posted 11-28-2015 03:18 PM

Wow! Simply awesome build, Yuri! The details are exceptional..

Thank you for taking the time to post all those photos. I’d love to attempt this soon, and will follow your build step by step. NOT looking forward to the sanding.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View bushmaster's profile


4180 posts in 3737 days

#2 posted 11-28-2015 03:24 PM

That is astounding, And looks like it works better than money could buy, You doubled up the time by taking all the pictures and posting them. Love the detailed build photos.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View CFrye's profile


11481 posts in 3294 days

#3 posted 11-28-2015 03:27 PM

Congratulations on an outstanding plane build and record, Yuri! Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View jim65's profile


1021 posts in 3388 days

#4 posted 11-28-2015 03:51 PM

Fantastic build, outstanding plane! compliments Yuri!

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View waho6o9's profile


9194 posts in 4031 days

#5 posted 11-28-2015 03:52 PM

Impressive work Yuri thank you for posting!

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

4948 posts in 2732 days

#6 posted 11-28-2015 04:04 PM

Nicely done.

-- Don K, (Holland, Michigan)

View Mosquito's profile


11755 posts in 3747 days

#7 posted 11-28-2015 04:22 PM

Skewed and everything! Very nice work, and thanks for sharing the details!

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 3416 days

#8 posted 11-28-2015 05:21 PM

Very impressive, Yuri. Love the skewed iron.

View theoldfart's profile (online now)


13129 posts in 3906 days

#9 posted 11-28-2015 05:23 PM

Pretty neat Yuri. Looking forward to your thoughts after you’ve used it for a while.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View shipwright's profile (online now)


8816 posts in 4252 days

#10 posted 11-28-2015 05:53 PM

Very nice work Yuri.
I may just have to make one of these …....
Thanks for the inspiration.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Jos's profile


59 posts in 3036 days

#11 posted 11-28-2015 05:58 PM

Wow – nice work!!

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


1053 posts in 2520 days

#12 posted 11-28-2015 06:21 PM

I love your approach and patience to each part of the build, the idea to the model all the way to the handmade wing screws and minimal tools used. Great work and a need accomplished. Maybe the next item to tackle might be a drill powered belt sander.


-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27696 posts in 4560 days

#13 posted 11-28-2015 06:25 PM

WOW, that is a beautiful tool and it works super!! Nice going Yuri!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1392 posts in 3168 days

#14 posted 11-28-2015 06:48 PM

Looks like a super usefull plane. Like how you have given a lot of attention to details

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View WhoMe's profile


1568 posts in 4698 days

#15 posted 11-28-2015 06:58 PM

Yuri, that is a wonderful looking plane. It looks like a lot of time went into it and the fine workmanship shows.
I will be looking forward to your reports after you have used it for a while. Especially on how well the brass sole holds up with use.
I bookmarked this for the future when I try my hand at making a plane.
Thank you for taking the time to document your build ad’s sharing it with us.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

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