Infill Thumb Plane

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Project by Philip Edwards posted 02-01-2007 12:01 AM 5768 views 17 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have recently started making a few tools for my own use. The more you use different tools the more you know what you like in a tool. And once you make one tool you just can’t stop – it’s addictive!
This plane is a simliar size to a block plane but a little heavier. I bought a rough casting of the body which is made from bronze and made the rest of the components from scratch. I also made and heat treated the plane iron.
The infill timber is Rosewood which gives the plane a classic look. It feels very comfortable to hold and takes wonderful, fine shavings.
I needed to learn a few new skills (metalworking!) but it was fun to build and I’m really pleased with the way it turned out. I’ve now started to build a matching smoothing plane- told you it was addictive!

I have posted some step-by-step pictures here...

18 comments so far

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4201 days

#1 posted 02-01-2007 12:46 AM

Phil, your talents never end. I love this and wish I had the tools, skill and patience to do the same. But I don’t so have pity on this old by and send me a sample for my critique. LOL

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4351 days

#2 posted 02-01-2007 01:24 AM

Almost too nice to use!

Thanks for the step-by-step… now whenever I wonder why nice tools are so expensive, I’ll just have to remember this little beauty.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Philip Edwards's profile

Philip Edwards

245 posts in 4463 days

#3 posted 02-01-2007 09:11 AM

Glad you like it, Don! You can’t beat that classic combination of brass and rosewood. At least I know what to get you for Christmas! :)
It certainly opened my eyes – all of a sudden Lie-Nielsen planes look like a bargain. Never thought I’d say that!!!! ;)

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4185 days

#4 posted 02-01-2007 02:35 PM

well isn’t this a piece of functional art!!!

I’m thinking that you were pretty brave to attempt this and the results are beautiful. It must be a true pleasure to use this, having it fit perfectly to your hands, as well as knowing that you made it yourself. Bravo.

((I can see it floating down the piece of angled wood))

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4163 days

#5 posted 02-01-2007 05:26 PM

Phil, very nice plane! I enjoyed this on your website. You are very talented. I especially enoyed seeing your milling machine!


View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4323 days

#6 posted 02-02-2007 07:32 PM

Very nice, what an interesting project. When do you find time for your woodworking ? Filing on the casting reminded me of my high school machine shop. We made a 4” vise, & the first thing we had to do was file a brass nut to fit inside the channel of the vise. Filing Brass is a slow, & tedious task.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4261 days

#7 posted 02-02-2007 07:47 PM

Now along with the Phillp’s Joint, the Phillips Screwdriver (not to mention the not-so-famous Philliip’s nail) We’re going to see the creation of the Phillips Plane Co.

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 4198 days

#8 posted 02-02-2007 07:55 PM


That’s a great looking plane! I love the idea of making my own woodworking tools. That is the one real thing I like about the Shop Notes magazine – in almost every issue they have an article that covers making your own tool.

I forget which magazine it was in, but I recently read a great article on making your own slitting gauge… I’ll have to dig through the recent ones to find it again, but it shouldn’t be that hard. The gauge itself looked pretty straight-forward in design, but you could sure give it some character with the right kind of wood… (I have a lot of smaller pieces of curly honduran mahogany that would be just perfect for this kind of project…)

-- Ethan,

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 4198 days

#9 posted 02-05-2007 12:37 AM

Found it… it was the latest Fine Woodworking Magazine. Towards the very back.

Probably a bit less technical than the planes you’ve made, but it still might be a fun project.

-- Ethan,

View Philip Edwards's profile

Philip Edwards

245 posts in 4463 days

#10 posted 02-05-2007 02:39 AM

Thanks for all your positive comments, Folks! I appreciate it!
Ethan – you’re right, Shop Notes has some great projects, well worth picking up.
Best regards

View Philip Edwards's profile

Philip Edwards

245 posts in 4463 days

#11 posted 11-02-2007 09:26 AM

I have recently started production of wooden planes!

Best regards

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4088 days

#12 posted 11-02-2007 10:50 AM

Better add on to the shop space Phil. I see casting and milling machinery in your futureā€¦ Frankly I can’t wait to see what beauty you’ll come up with next.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Philip Edwards's profile

Philip Edwards

245 posts in 4463 days

#13 posted 11-02-2007 10:59 AM

Very kind, Douglas!
Phil :)

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3986 days

#14 posted 11-02-2007 02:34 PM

I just discovered this one. I really like the results. I, too, wouldn’t be surprised to see you move into larger production of your planes. You do such excellent work.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4060 days

#15 posted 11-02-2007 03:57 PM

Really nice Phil. It’s up the high standard that you’ve set with your work.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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