Monday, October 31, 2011

Spill Plane

When matches were not common, you could use a special plane to transform pieces of scrap wood into  supercoiled chips, suitable for using them to take fire from a brazier or a fireplace and transfer it to a candle or other. In a nineteenth century country house this tool should have been quite common. 

The model vary, but the concept is more or less the same: a cone-shaped mouth and a skewed blade that allows to side chip ejection in the strongly twisted form.
The plane I found is home-made (I newer saw  this plane in wooden plane-maker lists); the wood is mahogany. The sole was warped so I had to remove the side fence to straighten it properly. I put a patch to tighten a little bit the mouth. The wedge is extended almost to the cutting edge and its end is an integral part of the conical mouth.
The blade is bedded to 42 ° and the blade skewed at 45 degrees. The asymmetrical fence helps to angle the tool even more and produce spiral chips.

I tried to light one: it burns slowly and does not burn out easily. Perfect!


  1. Is there a need for a spill today? Or was this a restoration project? I have a skewed rabbet plane that makes a curly shaving similiar to what you have. I'm curious now and I'll have to see if I can match you.

  2. Hi Ralph,
    I do not believe we can find good use for this plane nowadays It is a rough tool, the mouth must be large to permit the correct escapement of curly shavings. I bought my spill plane by ebayUK as restoration project.
    All planes with a skewed balde and side escapment can produce twisted shavings but for obtaining them supercoiled a conical shape mouth is necessary as well as a strong skewed balde.