Contemporary design combining precision engineering with traditional hand craft.

Why I can't retire.



No.984 Panel Plane.

When I announced my retirement in 2015, I never intended to close my workshop down, but to move on to new areas of interest, spending time on projects away from tool making. After a lifetime spent as a tool maker this has proved more difficult than I had anticipated, and as I look over my past work my thoughts are still buzzing with potential improvements.

The last year has proved a useful cupboard clearing exercise and you can find the last of my classic planes offered for sale on the stock page. Once these have gone there will be no more of my infill designs available.

My ideas for 'the next Holtey plane' have now nagged me to the extent that I am announcing a new project - a Smoother, the most versatile and popular of all the tools I have made in the past. The new plane has no name yet - you will need to follow my blog for regular updates on the process and progress of design and manufacture.

With this new design I intend to keep it simple, clean and classic, and without an adjuster! It would appear there is a cult following for this style of plane. Omitting the adjuster brings several advantages, firstly by allowing me the space to design comfortable handles in a plane less than 8 inches long. Secondly adjusters are time consuming to build and account for a large part of my costs, so I should be able to offer this new plane for a significantly lower price than my other 98 series designs.

No.98 Smoothers.


No.98 Smoothers.

No.98 Boxwood.
No.98 Boxwood.
The Final No 98 smoother planes.

It was in 1998 that I designed this plane, the bevelled up smoother, as I found I was having some remarkable results with the low angled bevel up mitre plane. I felt that a smoother plane would be much more comfortable to use for surface finishing.

After many hours on the drawing board and distractions with other projects the plane slowly developed. The No.98 has been modified over the last few years to incorporate some of my new ideas used in other 98 series designs, the result being a more user friendly plane.

The No.98 was a milestone because I wasn’t aware of any other bevell up smoothing planes at the time, only butcher block planes which had a much lower angle for working end grain. The No.98 was also possibly the first stainless steel plane.

From day one this plane has impressed me with the way it feels in the hand, and with these last few planes I have made a small embellishment to the blade as a final finishing touch - which can be seen in the photos here. The smoothing plane has been a starter plane for many people and I can’t think of a better plane than this one. If you are fortunate enough to put your hands on one you would understand the ergonomics, the smoothness, the weight and general ease of use.

There are a total of six planes in this batch, the four shown here and two specials to follow.

Price is £5,150 + vat (if applicable) + delivery. Specials will be a bit more.

No.98 Cocobolo. No.98 Horn. No.98 Louvelli.
No.98 Cocobolo. No.98 Horn. No.98 Louvelli.

No.98 Lever Cap and Adjuster.