Moving Fillister Plane Parts

I am repairing a molding Fillister plane.  It is missing one of the screws that attaches the fence to the body.  It looks like a lag screw with a round head and slot instead of a hex head.  I have attached a picture.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a source for a replacement screw?

Herb Kettler


  • Moving Fillister Screw.jpg
    Moving Fillister Screw.jpg
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You are looking for "cheese head" or "fillister head" screws. Unfortunately, I've never found a source for the lag-screw threaded version.  If you find one, please share. I have made a replacement screw by taking a lag screw, sawing a slot and rounding the head on a grinder, but it wasn't fun.
These are made out of "unobtanium". ;-)

I've done more than my share of looking, and the only way I've been able to replace one of these in the OEM configuration is to pirate it off of another antique plane that's too far gone to fix.

If all you're trying to do is get a usable result, there's another solution.  You can buy cheese-head screws with machine threads and a corresponding metal insert that can be mortised into the plane body.  One needs to be careful to sink the metal thread insert below the sole of the plane.  Otherwise, it will be impossible to use a plane to flatten the sole of the repaired plane when it needs it.

There is one other long shot - try calling the guys at blacksmith bolt.  They regularly buy/sell antique screws and bolts in configurations that are no longer made.
  I was at a tool meet yesterday, there were a few guys there selling plane parts. I don't know where you live but , I bet the Mid-West Tool Collectors Association [MWTCA] has a group in your area. Randy
If you don't mind a not quite period fix, try one of either of these two:

flat head machine screw with a fast or coarse thread: file off the head of the screw for clearance if needed and cut the threads to required depth once you have bored a new hole in the second step. Bore out the old hole and insert a dowel, drill a new hole to the proper diameter of the machine bolt and then tap the hole to match the bolt.

round head wood screw, file the head flat for clearance and remove most of the lead threads. Bore out the old hole, insert dowel, bore out a new hole the diameter of the shank of the widest part of the screw and slowly insert the screw with wax for lubricant, backing it out a few times untll the new threads are complete.

I've done the first method a few times and it worked well for me
Mine was missing a similar screw. I have a small metal lathe so I turned and threaded one to match. It wasn't really that big of a deal and I didn't have to modify the plane at all. You could file the threads on to a proper sized bolt as well. Find someone with a metal lathe (they have forums too!) and have them turn you one.
Come to the Patina sale. Parts can be found in boxes, or on planes that arent worth the restoration effort. There is a good chance you can find the screw.

Thanks again for all of the suggestions. 
Since I am trying for a repair rather a restoration, I will get a lag screw, file a slot in the end and file the head round.

Herb Kettler