Holtey Classic Hand Planes

Where precision toolmaking becomes art
Holtey No.98 Smoother
A27 Bullnose plane
A27 Group.

A27 Side view.

A27 bullnose plane


At long last these six bullnose planes are complete. It had been my intention to make this plane for a long time and I must confess that this project has been a bit of a vanity exercise. I am not aware of dovetailing having been used for this type of plane before.

This is a very delicate plane and its use is very specialised - certainly not recommended for the shuttering carpenter! There are only six planes and due to the excessive amount of work it will stay at six. Please see the blog for more details of the making of this plane, though I found little time for photos.

A27 Group.

This plane was traditionally a casting and not dovetailed, although I have seen a chariot plane by Spiers that was dovetailed.

This plane has the advantage of having a badgered mouth on both sides, as on a rebate plane. It can gain greater access due to it's smaller toe. Much sought after by cabinet and instrument makers and was produced by most of the early makers.

It was only Norris that incorporated an adjuster in this style of plane. With its adjuster it makes a very desirable balanced hand tool. These photographs show one of only six planes from my original batch and a couple from my recently completed second batch of just six A27 dovetailed planes.

A27 From my first batch of 6 planes. A6 Dovetailed with bowood infill.
A27 - From my first batch of 6 planes. A27 - From my second batch of 6 dovetailed planes.

Making the A27 Bullnose plane


These workshop pictures, originally posted to my blog, show work in progress on the A27 Bullnose plane.

A27 Cutting dovetails. A27 Cutting dovetail shoulder.
This is the dovetailing on the bottom which is done in a pair so I can work them back to back which is much easier for programming. When the dovetailing is completed on the bottom I machine a shoulder which provides better support to the sides and is a 'light stop'.
A27 Metal infill A27 Metal infill machining stages.
This is the main metal infill for the A27 which has a complex contour so with the limitations of my milling machine I mill on both sides by turning it over to the other side which is then mirrored. With careful setting it works out perfect. This shows the different stages of machining the metal infill from a solid block and the rest speaks for itself
A27 Cutting the brass sides. A27 Routing the throat.
The naval brass side after profiling and chamfering. Using a fixture plate which I make for all the different plane sides. After the profiling and chamfering the throat can be routed out by adding another clamp to the existing fixture for extra support.
A27 Side milling complete. A27 Components.
Showing the sides after milling with all the mess cleaned away and looking pretty. The main structural components ready for final assembly.
A27 Wood infills. A27 Profiling the blade.
Bullnose infill shown in Boxwood and Ziricote, they are made in a folded pair waiting for the diagonal cut to separate them. The blade having the contour profiled.
A27 Preperation for the thumb screw clamp. A27 Blades.
Plane body being set up in preparation for the thumb screw clamp. Blades.
A27 Drawing.
Drawing - A27 in outline. Most of my projects start in outline format before I add the sectional details.