Dovetailed Infill Plane

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Project by chaders posted 03-11-2011 06:55 AM 8620 views 48 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few months ago I decided to take the plunge and build a dovetailed infill plane. It all started when i first saw Karl Holtey’s A13 infill smoother. I knew I could never pay over $5000 for a hand plane, so why not try to build one. I spent hours and hours reading Karl’s blog as well as other websites dedicated to building infill planes.

The raw materials were only about $100 + $65 for the Hock blade made for infill planes. I cut all the dovetails with a hacksaw and refined them with files. I used a hacksaw to roughly cut the brass sides and then cleaned them up with a spindle sander & disc sander. The bubinga infill was cut at the bandsaw and then shaped using rasps, files & sandpaper. The shaping of the wood parts was the most tedious part of the whole project. I originally made the infill out of mahogany, but it turned out too lightweight. I decided to go with bubinga because of its strength and density. The finish is danish oil( 3 coats).

The finished plane cuts through any hardwood like butter and can tackle the most difficult grain patterns without any tear out.

I highly recommend building one for those of you who have thought about it. It’s very rewarding to know that this tool that i built performs like a champ should last a lifetime. (Hopefully)

Websites that helped me:

26 comments so far

View HallTree's profile


5666 posts in 5101 days

#1 posted 03-11-2011 07:08 AM

That is a supper nice looking plane.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View EnglishDave's profile


11 posts in 3967 days

#2 posted 03-11-2011 07:30 AM

Absolutely gorgeous tool you have created there but for a relative amateur like myself can you please explain what exactly is an infill plane and why are they so amazing?
Because I want one now lol


View chaders's profile


6 posts in 3968 days

#3 posted 03-11-2011 08:27 AM

Dave, An infill plane is a metal bodied plane with a wooden interior or infill. Search for Spiers or Norris infill planes on google.

First of all they weigh a lot more than a stanley style smoother. They usually have a higher bed angle which is better for tough grain. And usually have a tight mouth. Thats what I know from my experience. They are definitely a joy to use when tuned up properly. Oh yeah, and the blade is 3/16 ” thick.

View steliart's profile


2895 posts in 4021 days

#4 posted 03-11-2011 09:20 AM

beautiful plane… well done

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View syeret's profile


99 posts in 4650 days

#5 posted 03-11-2011 11:21 AM

Beautiful plane! Seen such a gorgeous work makes me really jealous as I’m sure I’ll not be able to build such one at least in the near future.

Thanks for sharing.

View mafe's profile (online now)


13659 posts in 4422 days

#6 posted 03-11-2011 12:33 PM

Wuuuu, that is one beautiful plane. It makes LN look like toys…
I think you have made a amazing job, it’s beautiful in every detail.
Never tryed to use one of these, but can imagine the waight makes them wonderful for tasks in hardwood, and where you don’t have to lift it all the time.
What angel did you make it?
Hat’s of, wish I at some point get the currage to go that road.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View bigike's profile


4059 posts in 4622 days

#7 posted 03-11-2011 01:11 PM

great looken plane very nicely done, where did you get the plane kit or did you go with raw materials?
how did you get the blade made also?

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View Vince's profile


1306 posts in 4762 days

#8 posted 03-11-2011 02:17 PM

Extremely impressive, well done

-- Vince

View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 4026 days

#9 posted 03-11-2011 03:03 PM

You, my friend, are an animal. I have a bad infill fetish & insufficient funds to nourish it. A source for the metal stock would be really appreciated.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 5357 days

#10 posted 03-11-2011 04:55 PM

Fantastic work! I’ve always wanted to make one since, like you, I’m not paying $5,000 for a hand plane, no matter how good. I admire your craftsmanship.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 4026 days

#11 posted 03-11-2011 05:10 PM

Even $500 for a vintage English infill is pretty steep for a user. $5000 planes are just for looking at, I suppose.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View bko's profile


118 posts in 4350 days

#12 posted 03-11-2011 05:44 PM

That is a beautiful plane!

View EnglishDave's profile


11 posts in 3967 days

#13 posted 03-11-2011 05:50 PM

Thanks for the explanation Chaders, I love using hand planes so one of these is definitely now on my wish list.


View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4667 days

#14 posted 03-11-2011 07:41 PM

I remember two contributing editors at FWW mag. bought infill plane kits froim two different suppliers to compare the quality of the kits and to relate their experience with the work. They had to do all the finish filing for the dovetails and shaping/fitting of the infill. their results were not half as good as your beautiful workmanship.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Napoleon's profile


788 posts in 4142 days

#15 posted 03-11-2011 08:33 PM

Thats damm good work !

Its really nice work. Thats a plane i gotta try to make for sure !

Well done mr :)

-- Boatbuilder&blacksmith

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