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Thread: Rabbet plane technique question

  1. #1
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    Rabbet plane technique question

    Iím working on a project that features a number of rabbets. I did the small ones with my Veritas plow plane. They turned out great. The larger ones are 5/8 wide by 1/4 deep and I used an old Stanley #78. I struggled getting everything square and true. It was too easy to tilt the plane. Any tips for getting this right the next time?
    It's wood dust. Saw dust would suggest a problem.

  2. #2
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    Not sure how deep your fence is but putting the board even with the edge of your bench and using the edge of your bench to assist in guiding the fence helps keep the plane square. Just my first thought I'm sure others will have better ideas.
    Chet

  3. #3
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    Last ones I did, I used the Stanley 45..
    rebate cutting.jpg

  4. #4
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    I also find the 78 to be less than user friendly. Chet's idea helps and I have to slow down and concentrate on the "sideways" push on the plane to keep me straight. I also adjust to take a shallow cut and check my progress frequently for keeping to the shoulder line often. I would like to try out a wooden rebate plane or moving fillister plane to see how they feel. The 78 does not feel comfortable in my hand, plus I tend to end up with little nicks on my "sideways push" hand.
    David

  5. #5
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    I can't take credit for the idea, I read it here in a post from Jim Koepke a couple of years ago and it worked for me until I got the LV skewed rabbet plane. I still use it occasionally but the skewed rabbet plane makes cutting rabbets so easy.
    Chet

  6. #6
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    I was doing some rabbeting recently and had a similar question. I found this page with three short videos that might help: http://www.renaissancewoodworker.com...rabbet-planes/

  7. #7
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    The 2mm of extra width beyond the width of the plane itself creates a relief between the side edge of the cutting iron and the plane body without which the plane stair-steps away from the intended cut line with each and every subsequent cut or stroke of the plane. The weakest points on any cutting iron cutting edge are the outer corners. These corner often break right from the start but are usually too small to see with the naked eye. Combining this corner fracture with the fact that the sides of the iron itself have no cutting edge and you begin to understand that there must be relief that allows the cutter to cut. So when we set up the plane for cutting we allow a millimetre of cutting iron to overhang the side of the plane forming the inside corner of the rebate. As I said, without this micro adjustment the rebate becomes stepped even by very small amounts and the side of the rebate becomes apparently sloped from the original cut line. By the time the rebate reaches a depth of say 10mm, and depending on the depth of cut, the slope can be as much as 4mm or so. Now this is the same for all rebate planes regardless of their names. So, donít do as others have done and start grinding the iron narrower to match the width of the planeís sole. Itís not necessary even though you can still move the iron to outside the width of the planeís side.
    https://paulsellers.com/2016/05/reba...letster-plane/


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chet R Parks View Post
    I can't take credit for the idea, I read it here in a post from Jim Koepke a couple of years ago and it worked for me until I got the LV skewed rabbet plane. I still use it occasionally but the skewed rabbet plane makes cutting rabbets so easy.
    Chet
    It wasn't my idea either, it is likely older than the two of us put together. Adding a wooden runner to the skate also helps. It needs to be square all round and parallel to keep the registration accurate.

    Another trick from an old Youtube video, (maybe by someone named Alf?) is to attach a vertical dowel to the plane so you can see when you are not straight up and down. After making rabbets awhile one gets used to the feel of squareness.

    The bevel on the side of the blade needs to be honed occasionally. For me, 1mm seems like a lot of projection out of the side for the blade. As long as it is proud of the side it shouldn't cause stepping. That is another where the feel of doing it will guide the way.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Luter View Post
    Iím working on a project that features a number of rabbets. I did the small ones with my Veritas plow plane. They turned out great. The larger ones are 5/8 wide by 1/4 deep and I used an old Stanley #78. I struggled getting everything square and true. It was too easy to tilt the plane. Any tips for getting this right the next time?
    Hi Rob

    I add a deeper wooden sub-fence to the filletster plane fence and, if possible, run this against the side of the bench. This is not always possible, however, and consequently it becomes important to develop a sense of vertical. This comes with practice. (Alf, in the UK, once suggested adding a dowel to the sub-fence as a visual indicator of vertical).

    Setting the plane up correctly is important: the blade must be ground square (and positioned square in the mouth), and there needs to be a smidgeon (about 0.5mm) of the blade over the edge of the body (which is to cut into the corner and prevent a slope forming).

    I also watch the floor of the rebate (or groove or dado) forming, keeping an eye on whether it is square or tapering. Are the shavings coming out an even thickness?

    Regards from Cape Town

    Derek

  10. #10
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    Thanks to all for the replies.

    The blade is ground square and set flush with the edge of the plane body much like you would do with a shoulder plane. I did not use the nicker as I'm working with the grain. I used a marking gauge to establish target lines so at least I could true it up accurately with my shoulder plane. I'll try the sub fence next time. Maybe just more practice too?
    It's wood dust. Saw dust would suggest a problem.

  11. #11
    When we have a large rabbet it is tempting to take a hefty shaving to get it done. However if it is work just to push the plane, it is harder to use it in a controlled way so as to keep the rabbet square. Try sharpening the iron and taking a somewhat shallower cut. It might pay off in the long run.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Luter View Post
    I’m working on a project that features a number of rabbets. I did the small ones with my Veritas plow plane. They turned out great. The larger ones are 5/8 wide by 1/4 deep and I used an old Stanley #78. I struggled getting everything square and true. It was too easy to tilt the plane. Any tips for getting this right the next time?
    Rob, you've got lots of great advice I fully support from previous responses which I helps you achieve your goals.

    FWIW, I've had the same experience with rabbit planes - among hand tools I use the most, they are some of the most finicky about proper set up being essential to achieve the desired result. Stewie's picture showing the blade extended beyond the width of the plane sole on both sides illustrates one of the key elements of set up better than anything I could say.

    FWIW, given the importance of tight tolerances for key elements of rabbit planes set up like width of the blade relative to the width of the sole, alignment of the knicker precisely with the edge/depth of the plane blade and solid 90į angles between the reference face of the fence and sole of the plane; rabbit planes are tools that in IMHO, it pays to invest in a quality tool. Some hand tools can be fettled and made to work with little effort. In my experience, rabbit planes aren't like that. I had a Stanley 78 for many years that I personally could never get to work very well (probably more about the operator than the tool). I subsequently bought a LV rabbit plane and for me it's the poster child of "why didn't I buy this sooner?".


    Just my opinion, YMMV


    All the best, Mike

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Mickley View Post
    Try sharpening the iron and taking a somewhat shallower cut. It might pay off in the long run.
    Words to live by!

  14. #14
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    Good point, Warren and Mike - one that I should also have mentioned. I always begin with shallow shavings until the boundaries are defined. Below is an extract from a recent build. This involves ploughing a groove ... essentially the same cut as a rebate ...

    .. and now it is ready to plough out a 5/16" groove for the drawer blades …







    I am planing into the grain, so take fine shavings until the blade is below the surface, and then crank it up …





    Regards from Cape Town (back in Perth tomorrow)

    Derek

  15. #15
    That plane, like the 45 is not very user friendly.

    For both rabbets and dadoes you can saw the walls along scribed lines, chisel out waste and finish bottom with router plane.

    Surprisingly fast and accurate.

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