Sunday, February 15, 2009

Brese 875 Smoother--Inlaying the Diamonds

Ron sent me some gold mother pearl diamonds from DePaule Supply for inlaying the front bun and top of the tote. It's a bit daring I suppose to inlay these after pinning the infills, since ruining the infills at this point would be a big loss. I wasn't worried though. These little diamonds are pretty easy to inlay.

I glued each diamond to the ebony with a tiny dot of CA glue.

Before I tacked the one for the tote, I lap sanded the underside of it to match the curve of the horn.

Then I scribed around the diamonds with my new favorite straight scribing tool, my Kerf Kadet marking knife.

I routed out the majority of the mortise with a 3/32" upcut spiral bit.

Then I routed as close as I dare to the scribe line with a 1/32" upcut end mill.

I used the scribe line to register my chisel, a prototype model from Czeck Edge, and pared the remaining waste away.

The OptiVisor makes close work a breeze.

I like to burnish the edges of the mortise to guarantee a tight fit.

Epoxy mixed with fine ebony dust for the glue.

One thing I don't read much about in plane making or plane fettling is flattening the bevel side of the iron. In a bevel up plane, this is the part of the iron that rests against the bed, and should be dead flat. Ron's irons are precision ground, so the lapping process is fairly easy. I spent less than ten minutes getting the iron flat. I haven't confirmed with Ron how far back to flatten, but preliminary tests with this iron and the plane (yes, it's done as I write this!) are yielding incredible results.

I won't write about fitting the lever cap in this plane, since the process is that same as the small smoother I did last year. Info on that can be found here.

Here's a little sneak peek of how this plane is performing. Better pics to follow...


  1. Great shaving shot, Jameel!
    Guess the plane is performing pretty sweetly?

  2. How sweet indeed! Thanks Phil.

  3. Jameel

    I've been following this build with great interest, as I quite fancy making something very similar in the not too distant future.

    Your work really is of the top drawer - well done!!!


    Nice shaving!!!!

  4. Thanks Aled. I highly recommend Ron's kits. The metal work is done for you, and with the enormous amount in savings over a complete plane, this makes a high-performance infill plane within the reach of lots of folks. Go for it!

  5. Jameel

    In fact I have access to metalworking machinery, and have built three planes to date. The first plane was based on Karl Holtey's 11-SA, and the other two have been small shoulder planes based on Konrad Sauer's.

    My next project will take me up to a full size plane for the first time - lets just hope it's not a step too far for my skill level.

    I'm still deliberating whether to go with the traditional dovetail method, or with this new screw/pin method that Ron and Karl have been using. What do you think?



  6. Great read, thanks for sharing the process. Never heard or thought about flattening that part of the plane iron but it does make sense.


  7. Aled,

    From what I understand, the dovetail method can introduce stress into the walls of the plane, throwing it out of square if not done correctly, while the rivet method keeps the pressure on the side at a 90 degrees to the sole, and is more stable. I'm not a plane maker, so I can't really advise you on a direction, these opinions are based on what I've read and heard from plane makers. I'd love to see the outcome of your effort though.

  8. Merci Khalaf.

    C'est grace à ton site que j'ai pu commencer une mandoline.
    Je le fais dans un concours des fous du bois.
    Un jour, je ferai un luth/oud.
    Je vois que tu es aussi fou d'outils manuels que tu te fabriques. Ils sont superbes. Les miens ne sont pas aussi beaux.
    Merci encore.

    patrick.steibel at

  9. Merci Patrick. Je suis heureux que vous appréciez le blog. Je voudrais pouvoir parler le français, le forum lesfousdubois semble très intéressant. Oui, j'aime les outils à main. Le traducteur de Google dit que j'étais "fou comme des outils à main". C'est exact!

  10. L'expression est jolie, mais je voulais dire amoureux fou (mad in love about manual tools) des outils manuels.

    A bientot. Patrick.

  11. Merci de m'avoir répondu en français.

  12. Jameel
    Wonderful job (as usual) on this. Glad to see you took on the smoother plane kit with as great documention as the small one. I think I might have picked up the kit if this had been available to follow, rather than just doing my shell job on the cap screw.
    I'm curious on the OptiVisor whether you've got the add-on light accesory and if so what you think of it. I've got one but wondered if the extra light would help any. I still sometimes have trouble seeing the small stuff well but wondered how easy it is to keep the light accy aimed at the work.



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.