Blackwood Smoothing Plane with Brass Sole

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Project by Philip Edwards posted 03-28-2009 02:00 PM 18275 views 49 times favorited 51 comments Add to Favorites Watch

HI Folks
I’ve been busy making wooden planes for the last couple years and have been slowly becoming more and more involved with the metalwork side of things. This has culminated with this recent commission – a toted smoothing plane similar in size and shape to a Norris A5.
The sole is 1/2 inch thick brass attached to the body by a sliding dovetail joint (a feature I have been using a lot on my recent planes). The iron is pitched at 55 degrees and is a 1/4 inch thick O1 high carbon steel – a monster blade!
In use it takes the finest of shavings with ease. The substantial weight of the plane (Blackwood is an amazingly dense hardwood) means you only have to push the plane forward in use – the plane sits down on the work with no help needed from the user.
It was a lot of work polishing the timber (any scratches or imperfections are exaggerated by the gloss black) but well worth the time and effort – she looks amazing.
Hope you like,

51 comments so far

View spanky46's profile


995 posts in 3535 days

#1 posted 03-28-2009 02:10 PM

A work of art! Nice job and a cut above!

-- spanky46 -- Never enough clamps...Never enough tools...Never enough time.

View Roger Strautman's profile

Roger Strautman

656 posts in 4278 days

#2 posted 03-28-2009 02:33 PM

That’s one mighty fine piece of usable artwork!! All the lines in this plane are complimentary to each other. The finish is second to none! Keep them coming! Thanks for sharing!

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1305 posts in 3918 days

#3 posted 03-28-2009 02:36 PM

Awesome work Philip, well done!!!

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3967 days

#4 posted 03-28-2009 02:41 PM

Phillip, that is a gorgeous plane. It is almost too pretty to use. I know that, if it were mine, the first scratch would be just like getting a scratch on a new car. Great finish as well. And I really like the dovetailed joint as well. It is not only a nice joint between the two material but it also adds a nice detail to the plane’s appearance.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View woodworm's profile


14470 posts in 3735 days

#5 posted 03-28-2009 02:42 PM

Not only it takes fine shavings, its does look very fine indeed.
Great wok!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 4194 days

#6 posted 03-28-2009 02:43 PM

Absolutely awesome. That is a beautiful tool. Anyone would be lucky to have that in their collection.

Keep up the good work, and keep showing the pictures.

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 4102 days

#7 posted 03-28-2009 02:43 PM

thats almost too nice to use! Great looking plane!


View mranum's profile


131 posts in 3561 days

#8 posted 03-28-2009 02:57 PM

Awesome job! How do you dovetail the sole like that?

-- Just remember,it was a lone amatuer that built the ark, and a team of experts built the Titanic.

View Philip Edwards's profile

Philip Edwards

245 posts in 4584 days

#9 posted 03-28-2009 03:05 PM

Thank you all for the kind comments!
Mranum, I mill the dovetail on a metalwork mill – no other way, I’m sorry to say.
Best regards

View CharlieM1958's profile


16276 posts in 4363 days

#10 posted 03-28-2009 03:09 PM

Just beautiful.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View cypresswoodworker's profile


89 posts in 3491 days

#11 posted 03-28-2009 03:32 PM

Great job Phillip brillant work !!

-- If at first you don't succeed...Buy another tool !!

View stanley2's profile


346 posts in 3940 days

#12 posted 03-28-2009 04:03 PM

That’s a beauty and I liked your ‘Maloof’ chair too

-- Phil in British Columbia

View Texasgaloot's profile


465 posts in 3845 days

#13 posted 03-28-2009 04:18 PM

Brilliant, Phil! True art.

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

View lclashley's profile


244 posts in 4259 days

#14 posted 03-28-2009 04:29 PM

Phil! It’s so beautiful I had set the firtst pic as my desktop wall paper. Nice work!

View WayneC's profile


13775 posts in 4242 days

#15 posted 03-28-2009 04:38 PM

Thanks Phil.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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