I have decided to try my hand at a small infill smoothing plane. I found a design I liked at Brese Plane. His small smoother looked like just the thing. I ordering materials and started a CAD drawing to get the layout for a mock-up to be built from wood.
This is the initial mock-up. I cut in the dovetails to see how the spacing would work. I also did the tongue and groove joint at the mouth opening as if this were the final project. If anything was not going to fit, I wanted to find out at this stage.
It looked a lot like the original but something was not quite right. I made a real blade and was able to do some planing with it but no matter how much tweaking I did on the shape, it just wasn't comfortable in my hand.
I have done additional modifications, not pictured here, but I still don't like the way it feels. This is going to require a major redesign on my part. I can't change the overall size since that would create a waste of material. I may try shortening the length of the sides while leaving the length of the sole. By doing this I hope to create a more curved back end. I have some East Indian rosewood for the infills. If it is large enough I may try to eliminate the flat section on the top too.
I have some other projects that need to be finished before I continue with this so I will post more as things develop.