This week I would like to
feature one of my favorite infill planes and one that I
regularly use in my work.
It is a heavy Scottish style
Now, when I say itís heavy, I mean itís HEAVY! Tipping the
scales at a hair under 8 lbs (3.6kg). To put that in perspective
for you Stanley bench plane lovers, that is just under the heft
of a #7 jointer plane, in a 10 ĹĒ long smoother.
Scottish style planes are recognizable for several reasons.
First, the elaborate peaks and curves of the side profile of the
casting are distinct from both English made planes and planes
manufactured by large makers like Spiers or Mathieson.
Second is the coved and stepped profile to the toe and heel
extensions. English made planes such as miter planes that have
ties extensions are usually just a flat protrusion of the sole.
And third, while many infills have beautiful rosewood stuffing,
Scottish style planes tend to be more elaborately shaped. This
plane features a very nicely shaped front infill and a carved
rear infill in beautifully figured rosewood.
Scottish planes in this style are not rare, but the
understanding of who made them is a bit of a mystery. A large
number of cast Scottish planes in various sizes and slight
variations in shape have been found.
Indeed, the story of one of the most famous and prominent
Scottish plane makers of all time, Stewart Spiers, starts with
him taking home a casting from a visit to Edinburgh in about
1840 and completing the infill.
He liked the result so much that went on to make his own planes
and create an incredibly successful infill plane making
business. But where exactly did he get that casting from? Who
was making them at that time and which makers continued to make
Fine castings when the plane making gears changed towards