The Complete Encyclopedia of Spill Planes

This weekend I did a few small projects. Nothing really,  I turned a handle, I milled a few boards from firewood and I played with my spill plane.

My wife bought me a Veritas Spill Plane several years ago and I’ve only used it once, so it was time to break it out.  I added a tiny bench hook that kept it from sliding around. 

Spill pic - 4

Ready to light our six burner Garland stove.

What’s a spill plane you ask? If you are interested you can explore more about spill planes here:  The Complete Encyclopedia of Spill Planes.

Nah… I’m just kidding….. I did a little of googling and came up with the same three sentences.  

In essence– a spill is a long, straight curl of wood that was used to transfer a flame from a fire to a stove or a lantern, before matches came along in 1860.  Seems simple enough. Easy to light and easy to extinguish. 

Spill pic - 2

Apparently the name “spill” comes from the way the wood spills out of the plane as its cut, curling as it exits. 

Spill pic - 1

Of course like everything else in woodworking there are a variety of designs. The best examples I found can be seen here at the Tool Shed.

Spill pic - 1 (1)Also in my research I discovered others are able to make much tighter, cleaner spills than me. What else is new??

What could be better?  A woodworking plane that isn’t even used to build anything– except maybe a fire.

For more info check out these videos:


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