Holtey Classic Hand Planes

Where precision toolmaking becomes art
Holtey No.98 Smoother
11S and 11SA smoother planes

11S and 11SA smoother planes


The first version of my 11S smoother had a snecked blade with no adjuster, and making the sneck (with the rounded edges for ease of handling) was a lot of extra work. In later versions I added a simple adjuster (photos below) and re-designated the plane the 11SA.

The original Norris mitre planes had a bed angle of 20° and this in combination with an average honing angle of 30° gives an angle of attack of 50°. This angle (slightly steeper than the usual 45°) is best suited to smoothing and is known to a few as York pitch.

Plane makers have found that high angles of attack produce planes with less tendency to tear the wood when working with difficult hardwoods.

11SA - Group.

In this new plane the blade is reversable, allowing the bed angle to be elevated, as honing angle is no longer a major component of the attack angle. With the 11-SA plane I have gone slightly beyond York pitch with an attack angle of 59° and with the blade reversed the angle is 89°. This has resulted in a plane which will be ideal for the finishing of difficult grains in cabinet and instrument making.

The reversing of the blade has allowed a steeper shorter blade to be used which gives a much improved hand hold behind the blade.

The 11-SA was made with Rosewood, Ebony and Boxwood infills as shown in the pictures, with gunmetal sides and steel sole. A few were also made dovetailed but all in steel.

The plane is 6 5/8" long with a 1 ½" wide blade. The blades are A2 - S53 replacement blades are available.

11S - With blade removed.

11SA - Blade. 11SA - Blade and lever cap.
11SA - Blade. 11SA - Blade and lever cap..
11SA - Lever cap detail. 11SA - Rosewood infill.
11SA - Lever cap detail. 11SA - Rosewood infill.