inlay cutter

Seen a cutter for making the slot for border inlays and cannot find where to obtain one. Seems like a handy plane (?) and would be better than using a trim router. A pic is posted on the link. E-mailed Constantines with no reply. Any idea ? yes I did google. http://www.constantines.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category 7
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That's a small router plane. Stanley used to make them. Lie-Neilson makes one now.

to
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WHAT???? I mean I know they make good tools BUT $75.00....Looks like I stick with the router. That's an insane price.

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Seems like a pretty good price to me. Tell me, I assume you have a day job, what's your billable hourly rate? Do you think one of those planes can be made in under an hour, with materials?

stick
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Take a closer look at the piece then look at the iron low angle block plane for the same price. A whole lot more to that plane. I think that for what machining there is and very limited parts involved it is grossly over priced. 30-35 would be acceptable.$40 tops. I'm not saying things aren't expensive today but is that piece really worth that kind of money.

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God bless America. The value of an object is determined by what the masses will pay for said object. You pay what you get for. Tom
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Answer the question.

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For what? My day job, or working on an assembly line in a plane factory? Production is a post-Marx, post-Ford world these days.
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I think so too. :) I recently went through this same process in trying to get myself a router plane. Awhile back, I took a class, learned how to make hand cut dados with chisels and then used a router plane to clean up the dado. After the class, I went looking to buy a router plane for myself, but found the prices for them ludicrous. At least the basic ones. The router plane from Lee Valley[1] does appear to be a well engineered tool with some nice add-ons, but still more than I wanted to spend.
If you want to make your own, it's not that difficult. I made one out of some scraps, a couple of wooden knobs I got from the hobby store, a threaded insert, a thumb screw and a hex wrench (to make the cutter). You can see pictures at the link[2] listed in the footnotes. A few additional pictures of the hex wrench converted to a cutter are here[3]. All together it was probably about $5 worth of parts and a couple hours to put together and tweak to get it working the way I wanted.
You can go to this link[4] and see some other router planes for additional ideas on how to make your own.
[1]: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&pR609&cat=1,41182 [2]: http://wood.atww.net/main.php/v/RouterPlane / [3]: http://wood.atww.net/main.php/v/RouterPlaneCutter / [4]: http://www.oldtoolsshop.com/Galoots/fSronce/myTools/routers/index.asp
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The inlay cutter has been a round for a long time. The first one I ever saw was on "The Woodwright's Shop." If I remember correctly both sides of the inlay path were scribed first then you came in with the cutter. It's more of a plane than a cutter.

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Best one I've seen (in the Zachary Taylor book) was a custom-made Holtey. Beautiful piece of work and wouldn't be too hard for any metalworker with a lathe to make something similar. Similar tools, but with less adjustability, are found from any of the musical instrument-making toolshops. Try http://dick.biz in Germany or I'm sure there's a US equivalent.
The Stanley #271 small router plane is a great little tool and everyone should have one. I wouldn't be without for installing hinges.
However it's _not_ an inlay or purfling cutter. It can be handy for doing ground work on a wider inlay or escutcheon. If you grind up some extra cutters you can even use it to put a smooth ground to narrrow stringing grooves. However it does nothing at all to cut the sidewalls and if you try to use it like that, you'll just split the edges like crazy.
A shoulder knife is handy too (simple knife with a long handle that you use resting on your shoulder for better stability). Make your own.
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Lee wrote:

You'll find a bunch of router planes on eBay for less. Like Andy said, it won't cut the sides - the router plane just cleans up the bottom of the slot.
R
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