Smoothing Plane - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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Smoothing Plane

Clark & Williams - Smoothing Plane

Made in Sheffield, England, Footprint’s smoother is a close match to the original made by Stanley. It features a three-piece lateral adjuster, a solid-brass blade-adjusting screw, and a frog-adjustment screw.

$40 (As of 10/25/2005)

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Editor's Review: Metal Smoothing Planes

by Chris Gochnour

review date: June 1, 2005

Of all the Bailey-style planes reviewed, the Footprint, made in Sheffield, England, comes the closest to matching the original made by Stanley. The casting and machining were clean. Like the Baileys of old, the Footprint has a three-piece lateral adjuster, solid-brass blade-adjusting screw, and a frog-adjustment screw. It even has wooden handles, although they’re painted.

I had trouble aligning the frog with the body while adjusting the mouth opening. I discovered that the blade’s factory grind was slightly out of square, which required me to adjust the frog laterally to get it aligned. The sole of the Footprint was out of true by nearly 0.003 in.—enough that it required lapping. Once sharpened and tuned, however, this plane had a feel similar to vintage Bailey planes.

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Editor Test Results:

Sole Flatness Out of true by nearly 0.003 in., enough to require lapping

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Clark & Williams
Manufacturer's Web Site
Manufacturer's Phone Number 479-253-7416
Adjustable Mouth N/A
Blade Size 0.078 in. thick
Materials N/A

My plane bed was about 5 thousandths out of flat, especially around the mouth area, so it took quite a lot of work to get it lapped flat. The blade had a rough grind on the back which took a while to lap flat too. My blade was ground square, so with a proper sharpening I found it worked pretty well after all the tuning. A reasonably good value.

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