Holtey No.10 Box Mitre Plane

Monday 9 July 2018

Regular readers will know that Karl Holtey has been working on a batch of small (No.10) mitre planes. I ordered one in boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) and my first impression was how pretty it was with perfectly rounded ends and long snecked iron. There's no adjuster and not only does it look better for it, it's easier also to adjust.

Clever combination

The combination of lever cap and sneck allows the blade to be tapped up as well as down. This version differs from the one featured in the recent series in F&C in that the blade does not rest on the infill but on a brass button milled in perfect alignment with the mouth (see Karl's blog). The button passes through the rear infill and is partially submerged in the stainless steel sole, therefore not affected by movement in the wood. In practice this means the screw requires very little pressure to clamp the blade securely. The fit and finish are immaculate and the thick stainless steel sole adds some real weight.

The right pitch

The A2 blade is superbly finished and required very little time to flatten the back. The bevel was ground to a low angle that made honing the tip to my preferred 30° very quick. The mouth opening is extremely tight, about three thou so I'm told. I've always found this to be very helpful in taking fine shavings and reducing tearout, although I know Karl disagrees.

The bed angle is 25° which added to the 30° bevel gives an angle of attack of 55°. This is not dissimilar to the Holtey 11S high angle smoother bedded at 59°. I have one of these so was able to make a comparison. Combining stainless steel and brass with dovetails proved troublesome and took longer to produce than expected, resulting in a price just shy of£3,000. Karl is planning to make another batch in all stainless steel priced at £2,220.