Small Bocote Infill Smoother

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Project by Ripthorn posted 03-27-2016 12:52 AM 1289 views 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a small smoother similar to three others I have previously built. I built this because I had all the materials on hand and it’s been a year or so since I last built an infill, and I felt like it! It was my first time using my new milling machine to help make one. It is still a lot of work, but the precision of drilling the holes and getting a square mouth and such was much easier. It has one or two very small aesthetic “oopsies”, one was the result of a tool failing on me and the other was the result of my gaining a learning experience on the mill :). I learned that locking down your milling head while fly cutting is vitally important…

On the whole, I am really happy with how it turned out. Thanks for looking!

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

16 comments so far

View bobasaurus's profile


3158 posts in 2903 days

#1 posted 03-27-2016 01:06 AM

Well done Brian, that is a beauty. I wish I had a milling machine… where did you pick up yours? I like the infill knob a lot. What is your process for heat treating the blade?

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Ripthorn's profile


1434 posts in 2704 days

#2 posted 03-27-2016 01:10 AM

My mill is the Grizzly G0704. I was lucky enough to sell a few things to pay for it. I then outfitted the X and Y axes with CNC control. The infill knob is brass, bronze, and bocote.

Heat treating the blade is pretty straightforward: I have a few fire bricks that I use to make a corner, I put the blade in the corner and heat to non-magnetic with a MAPP torch. I get the first 1-2 inches hardened currently, just because I can’t seem to generate and retain enough heat to do the whole thing, but if someone uses the entire first 2 inches or so, there is no way to adjust it, as it would sit below the level of the sides. I then temper at 350 degrees for 1-2 hours in the kitchen oven (after scrubbing off as much scale as possible). Then I lap and sharpen. Even the big thick shaving I took on hard maple left a beautiful finish.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Roger's profile


20871 posts in 2523 days

#3 posted 03-27-2016 01:22 AM

That sure is purdee

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Julian's profile


1188 posts in 2409 days

#4 posted 03-27-2016 01:31 AM

Looks great.

-- Julian

View CL810's profile


3651 posts in 2707 days

#5 posted 03-27-2016 01:32 AM

Awesome Brian!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8425 posts in 1701 days

#6 posted 03-27-2016 02:14 AM

Well done my friend. I think you’ve been bitten by the toolmaking bug.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

9922 posts in 2099 days

#7 posted 03-27-2016 02:50 AM

View Ripthorn's profile


1434 posts in 2704 days

#8 posted 03-27-2016 03:03 AM

BRK, I was bitten long ago, but sometimes it goes slightly into remission, other times, it flares up something vicious :)

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9845 posts in 3771 days

#9 posted 03-27-2016 04:12 AM

Very COOL!

Nice plane… :)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View oldnovice's profile


6155 posts in 3087 days

#10 posted 03-27-2016 05:07 AM

That is a beautiful tool and beautifully built.
Nice job Brian!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View icemanhank's profile


316 posts in 1875 days

#11 posted 03-27-2016 09:27 AM


-- "These are my principles. And if you don't like them, I have others." ... Cheers, David from Sydney Australia

View Don W's profile

Don W

18411 posts in 2286 days

#12 posted 03-27-2016 12:15 PM

Very nice Brian.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View terryR's profile


6801 posts in 2027 days

#13 posted 03-27-2016 03:09 PM

Great work, Brian! Looks like a comfy size plane. I like the infill knob.

Sick Bocote.

Muy jealous of the mill. I’m sure it has a learning curve, but more precise than files and sandpaper.

I think you’re ready for a laser to carve yer logo on tools!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Ripthorn's profile


1434 posts in 2704 days

#14 posted 03-27-2016 07:19 PM

Terry, as much as I would love a laser, I have no room for it! Just don’t tell my wife I said that..

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View yuridichesky's profile


624 posts in 1683 days

#15 posted 03-28-2016 06:54 AM

Great plane!
I literally can feel how it invites to take it in hands and make shavings!

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

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