I was browsing the Popular Woodworking web site about a week ago when I innocently poked on a link to infill plane maker Sauer and Steiner. The site described how the dovetailed metal bodied planes are made using hand tools that most people already have. That was all I needed for motivation. I already own a hacksaw and a bunch of files. Never mind that I’ve never done any metal work or the fact that I already own two Stanley #4 planes, I’M GOING TO BUILD AN INFILL PLANE!
An internet search turned up a basic diagram of a Norris A-13 smoothing plane. I will make the sole out of 1/4” mild steel. After a trip to the “home center”, I was armed with a fresh pair of hacksaw blades, needle files, and a piece of 1/4”x4”x12” plate steel. The sides will be made from 3/16” brass, which had to be ordered online. They should be in my mailbox next week.
The first step is to layout the inside width of the sole. I am going to size the plane for a 2-1/4” iron. I made a template out of scrap wood the width of the inside of the plane. I used that to scribe the layout lines on the sole plate. This will be the bottom of the dovetails where the side plates butt against the sole.
That’s as far as I got last night. Next will be laying out the dovetails and cutting some guide blocks to help with the hacksawing and filing.
-- Tony - http://ravensedgetoolworks.com