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wintersedge

Info on infills?

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I am curious about purchasing an infill plane. 

  1. Is it possible to buy a smoothing infill for under $250 that will not require a complete rebuild?
  2. Do infills cut different/better or is that mostly hype.
  3. I notice most all the boutique plane makers build infill type planes, why is that?

I welcome any advice you can give. 

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No personal experience, just observation and assumption. Infill planes, being made as a set of components and then laminated, should be faster and easier to create than a plane thit is carved from a single chunk of wood.

Being laminated should peovide a more stable structure, less prone to wood movement issues. If that is true, perhaps an infill plane will cut more accurately without constant adjustment.

Having said all that, I must confess to owning exactly zero wood bodied planes, so take my comments as the pure cojecture that they are.

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You migh be able to find an infill for under $250, but it will need work. eBay is not your best bet for this. Too much competition.

It's not so much that they cut better, just different. A good Bailey/bedrock style smoother or a good wooden coffin smoother or kanna for that matter can all produce a finish ready surface equal to that produced by an infill. However, infills have a different feel. They're much more solid feeling because the blade is bedded to such a rigid, immobile bed and because the planes are so heavy. The irons are typically bedded at 47-1/2 degrees (English common pitch) or 50 degrees (York pitch) as opposed to American common pitch (45 degrees). This also provides a different feel. It is also suggested that because they are so solidly bedded, they do not suffer the loss in performance that other designs experience as the blade begins to dull. I can't speak to this personally but i have heard so from others who's opinions I highly respect. So it's not so much about performance that is multiple times better than a good smoother of another design, it's more about user experience and pride of ownership.

I can't speak to why the boutique makers chose to build infills. Probably the same reason I prefer wooden planes. It's just what they like. Personal taste plays a big role in everything we do. It also doesn't hurt that old infills are not easy to find and not inexpensive to buy. Old bailey/bedrock styles, on the other hand, are a dime a dozen. So it doesn't make a lot of sense for a small boutique maker to try to compete.

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