Monday, September 24, 2012

Spruced-up Rabbet Plane - VIDEO

In my last post, I showed the beginning of a project where I began re-soling my old wooden rabbet plane with a nail in the sole.

I now have my camera and got a couple shots of it today after I honed the iron.

I did the best I could to preserve the patina on the old plane, but to get the new rosewood (?) sole planed nice and even to the plane body a little of the color had to come off.  In a hundred years I bet you won't be able to tell the difference.

The cool part about having done this is the arris on the sole is now very sharp, and very hard, and I suspect very durable.  It lies in a gauge line real nice.

I got a video of my first-ever by-hand rabbet with an unfenced rabbet plane.

Items of note:  the wood is a scrap of maple which in hindsight might not have been ideal testing stock.  I also had the iron set a bit too heavy, but it seemed to work even with the extra effort required.  I'll practice this more with a lighter cut.  Also, I gagued a line with my Veritas marking gague.  That is all that I have the edge of the plane riding in at first.

In an effort to avoid boring you to death, the speed on this is double.


  1. Yeah, you were pushing pretty hard there, Brian:) But you still did a whole lot better than I did my first time--I didn't think about the geometry of the whole thing, and kept the plane angled way too long, thinking I'd get a nice deep "fence." Of course, I ended up with a sloped wall and had to do a bunch of clean-up (second stupid move: doing it for the first time on an actual workpiece).
    The plane looks awesome, and you're right--that should last you a nice long time.


    1. I, too, have learned the hard way to practice a new technique before using on a real project. Let's just say the big escutcheon on my blanket chest wasn't in the original plan.

  2. Brian,
    I always tell people that it takes about 5 minutes to recognize that a fence and a depth stop are a waste of time. If you don't get it right on the first try, you'll be fully confident that you'll get it on the second. You are no different. You did it on the first! Well done (on the restoration and the rabbet).

    1. Hi Matt,

      I think you may be right that I probably won't crave for a fence again. Once I get the hang of the proper depth of cut, I think this will be way easier than anything else I've tried. The only set up involved was my marking gauge (which in this case was random). With a nice sharp arris, there was nothing else to do for set-up. Who would have thought you could use rabbet planes to cut rabbets?

      By the way, I truly do think your book was awesome. Thanks for visiting my humble blog.

  3. Rabbets with rabbet planes? That's ridiculous! :) Nice job on the restoration Brian. Definitely lighten up the cut and use soft maple instead. Save the breaking a sweat for the fore plane work. I find that pinching the toe of the plane between my thumb and first finger works well instead of the heel of the hand pushing down on the toe. This is a more delicate grip and you can run your first finger along the edge of the board like an outrigger (or fence) to help bring down the rest of the waste square to the "fence" you created at the gauge line. It allows you to kinda step back and gauge square much easier than leaning over the plane like planting your heel does. Keep it up, I enjoy your blog.

    1. Now you are all starting to make me nervous.

      It appears that real woodworkers are now reading my blog, like Shannon Rogers, Matt Bickford and Christopher Schwarz.

      My wife told me I need to watch what I write now.

      Thanks for the kind words, Shannon.