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English Hand Tools with Jim Hendricks


 
 

The “Richard Tomes” Memorial Infill Panel Plane
by Jim Hendricks

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Jim Hendricks

 

Richard was a very good friend and someone I admired greatly for his “old school” craftsmanship in all things metal…..what I call the “BLACK STUFF”…as I always end up looking like a Victorian chimney sweep’s assistant when I work with the stuff.

The fact that I prefer to work in wood had not escaped Richard’s keen eye… and also that I admired his wonderful work with creating dovetails in steel… and anyone who has successfully done so in wood will know that doing this with steel is nothing short of alchemy!!

Check this out…

Amazing, isn’t it!?

So one day back in 2012…a rather heavy parcel arrived chez KT Tools and inside was the beautifully crafted start to a copy of a Victorian dovetailed infill panel plane you see above.

The basic message from Richard was “do your stuff on this please!”

I did my work and finished with this...

How I arrived there I tell you in this story.

A year or two passed as I slowly tried to do this gorgeous foundation justice… a daunting task in itself. I got the “arse end” sorted in prototype mahogany first…

Richard had made the body so that the sides were “sprung” inwards a tiny amount…which was of great benefit to me when making the infills because… by the use of a steel spacer… I was able to ensure the sides stayed perfectly parallel to each other and at 90 degrees to the sole precisely.

This is vital when making a plane…particularly if I ever wanted to use it for shooting.

Eventually the test infill was in place, PHEW!!!…

I’m happy to report… the dovetails didn’t pop! Richard assured me they wouldn’t… as they were “compound” dovetails… i.e. they were dovetailed in two planes then peined! Wonderful stuff!


 

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