Holtey A1 Dovetailed Steel Panel Plane

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Long enough for flattening, refined enough to smoothing, the panel plane is the origin of the way modern furniture makers use jack planes set up as smoothers for preparing components to very fine tolerances.

Styled after the Norris A1, the 14½" A1 panel plane was the first type of plane that Karl Holtey made. The body of the plane is constructed by dovetailing the sides to the sole and peining the metal to create a double-dovetail that cannot pull apart in either direction. Unlike the original Norris planes, the pins that hold the sides together run through metal spacer tubes in the infill, so that any movement in the wood cannot upset the metal body.

Unusually this plane is stuffed with English Walnut, I believe this one to be a very early example as it doesn't have the two brass pads on the bed and the Holtey mark is on the lever cap, rather than the top of the iron. All of the components are marked with the number 1. There are a couple of marks on the sole and although the blade has been honed, it retains Karl's original precision grind on the primary bevel.


I have spoken with Karl and confirmed that this one is indeed the first plane that he ever made. It is offered as a collectors piece on the understanding that it doesn't include the refinements of his later production work.

  • Length 14½"
  • Blade Width 2½"
  • Width 2¾"

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