High angle smoother -- 2013 Plane Swap

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Project by JayT posted 10-20-2013 05:50 PM 2375 views 1 time favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is the plane that was sent to BigRedKnothead as part of the plane swap. It is a small high angle smoother made from ash and hickory with a 1-1/2” Nice Ash iron. The iron is bedded at 60 degrees for use on extremely difficult grain. There is also a brass plug in the rear for use as a strike button, as well as adding a bit more weight to the plane. Since it is approximately the same size as a #2, there wasn’t a lot of mass to work with (you can see the size compared to a #4 and a block plane). I also included a plane hammer made from brass and red oak with a hickory handle.

The swap was my first attempt at making a plane and it took a couple prototypes before making one that was worthy of being sent out. The matching plane in pic 3 was kept for use in my own shop. Initially, I planned to shape the body more, but after testing, realized that the square shape actually helps with the small size—too much shaping wouldn’t have left anywhere for the hands. Heck, with the size of BRK’s mitts, he could probably use this as a block plane :-)

Thanks to DonW for organizing the swap and to Rhett for running the special on the Nice Ash irons and contributing a lot of helpful advice to us novice plane builders.

Thanks for looking

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

20 comments so far

View Mauricio's profile


7170 posts in 4489 days

#1 posted 10-20-2013 06:00 PM

I need one of these, a small high angle smoother, Great work Jay!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View LukieB's profile


966 posts in 3668 days

#2 posted 10-20-2013 06:25 PM

This is exactly what I am considering building next. It looks awesome, I really like the brass hammer too. Need to build one of those too. Got any left over brass?

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3936 days

#3 posted 10-20-2013 06:42 PM

Amazing looking plane. I am sure it will be well used.

View bobasaurus's profile


3743 posts in 4522 days

#4 posted 10-20-2013 06:56 PM

That will be a useful smoother. I like the strike button… adding mass is a good idea (I was considering hiding lead shot in the body of mine but didn’t get around to it). The plane hammer is a fine tool as well. I’ve never used a 60 degree smoother… someday I’ll have to try making one.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View terryR's profile


7694 posts in 3646 days

#5 posted 10-20-2013 08:05 PM

Nice plane, JayT. I love the wood choice, and your mallet is great!

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

View CFrye's profile


11409 posts in 3177 days

#6 posted 10-20-2013 08:51 PM

Beautiful looking plane and hammer JayT. Making great shavings there. How did you ‘brand’ it?

-- God bless, Candy

View 489tad's profile


4117 posts in 4349 days

#7 posted 10-20-2013 09:35 PM

Great plane. High angle or scraper will be my next.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Don W's profile

Don W

20287 posts in 3905 days

#8 posted 10-20-2013 10:17 PM

Super job on everything. The plane looks fantastic.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View JayT's profile


6448 posts in 3549 days

#9 posted 10-20-2013 10:22 PM

Thanks for the compliments, all.

Candy, for the JT logo, I stamped the initials in the wood then used a 1/16 engraving cutter in a dremel to carve the stamp marks deeper. After that, epoxy tinted with Testor model paint was used to fill the hollows. I’ve used this method a few times now and it works really well. The hardest part is controlling the rotary cutter, but a flex shaft helps with that.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View CFrye's profile


11409 posts in 3177 days

#10 posted 10-20-2013 11:17 PM

Nice. I’ll have to try that. Not going to expect much with my handwriting skills tho!

-- God bless, Candy

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

4093 posts in 3589 days

#11 posted 10-21-2013 01:27 AM

Nice work, JayT. I’m sure BRK is enjoying his new plane.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Tugboater78's profile


2796 posts in 3529 days

#12 posted 10-21-2013 02:33 AM

very nice, like the etching, the little engine that could!

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View GMatheson's profile


478 posts in 4307 days

#13 posted 10-21-2013 03:33 PM

Great plane. I like the size a lot. You always find small pieces that could benefit from a high angle plane but when you look in your till the only HAF plane is overkill for the little piece. It would really be nice to have a mini plane.

-- Greg in Ontario, Canada

View bondogaposis's profile


6103 posts in 3689 days

#14 posted 10-21-2013 06:00 PM

Nice looking plane, bet it works well too.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Hammerthumb's profile


3140 posts in 3313 days

#15 posted 10-21-2013 10:51 PM

Nice plane JayT. A high angle smoother is probably the next plane I will make. Is 60 degrees to much or were you satisfied with it’s workability?

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

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