Holtey Classic Hand Planes

Where precision toolmaking becomes art
Holtey No.98 Smoother

T21 Panel plane

Here is my T21 Transitional panel plane, constructed with curly maple with a dovetailed rosewood bottom and brass fittings. A few were also made in solid rosewood.

This wooden bodied plane is made with a dovetailed jointing system set at 45 degrees from the line of the plane. This gives the illusion of dovetails on all sides - which is of course impossible.

The T21 panel plane is 19 7/8" long and 3 3/8" wide with a blade width of 2 3/8" in A2 steel. The plane weighs 5lb 5oz.

When I made the T21 planes I posted some work in progress pictures on my blog and the pictures of cutting the dovetails generated a lot of interest. I have posted them below as a photo-essay on the making of the T21.

T21 Group.
T21 detail.
T21 With blade removed.
T21 Side view.

precision engineering without compromise

Making the T21 panel plane

These workshop pictures, originally posted to my blog, show work in progress on the T21 panel plane.

T21 Cutting dovetails. This picture shows the main body of the plane - Curly Maple - having the dovetailed area roughed out with a straight cutter to be followed up with a dovetail cutter. Sizing will then be critical.
T21 Dovetailing. Shows the dovetail form being applied to the bottom of the plane - Rosewood (Dalbergia cubilquitzensis). An allowance is made on the depth of the dovetail enabling further finishing to remove the rough edges.
T21 Planeing tops. Demonstrating the need to plane a small amount off the top to put a sharp and precise fit all round.
T21 Fitting dovetails. The fit is illustrated by sliding the two components together.
T21 Curing. Once the joints are complete it is important that the gluing takes place very quickly as the wood is already settling, otherwise the joints won't fit. After the gluing they are stacked for curing.
T21 Flushing sides. One of the exciting parts of the work is to plane the sides flush. This is done using a face cutter with some very sharp tips, especially as the Curly Maple shells off very easily.
T21 Finished dovetails. This can be a satisfying view at this point but there is still a long way to go. There is one with a Boxwood body (special commission).
T21 Throat work. The throat area of the plane under work.
T21 Drilling for spider. Drilling the holes for the 'spider' which carries the lever cap whilst spreading the load in the local area.
T21 Mouth detail. This shows the mouth detail being worked prior to the final finishing by hand, which is where I can control the mouth dimensions.
T21 Spider machining. The spider legs being machined (5 legged spider!)
T21 Spider. The finished spider which now has it's rotation lug complete, fitting it to a test piece.
T21 Blade kickers. These are the blade kickers made from naval brass - as in all my brass fittings - and this concludes all the fittings in the throat area.
T21 Bushings. These are typical of the bushings used for handle and adjuster fittings.
T21 Handle recessing. The rear handle recessing in preparation for the handle fitting. The handles are the same wood as the bottoms.
T21 Handle test fit. The handle being tested for fit.
T21 Handle boring. Boring for the handle fixture.
T21 Handle fixtures. All the handle fixtures.
T21 Handle shaping. After all the fitting and fixture recessing then the handle can be finally shaped and finished.
T21 Handle bush. Tapping for the brass handle bush.
T21 Making buns. All my buns are produced as true cubes and then they are drilled and tapped before their visit to the lathe.
T21 Tapping for bun. This tapping for the bun is bored and tapped on the mill and when removed from the mill I hand tap with a bottom tap.
T21 Knurling. The knurling for the adjuster knob.
T21 Adjuster knobs. The adjuster knobs almost ready to be parted off.