Author Topic: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?  (Read 14025 times)

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Offline kfitzsimons

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How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« on: April 22, 2011, 10:06 PM »
I know this is an elementary question, but I'm curious as to how many ways and with which planes do you like to cut rabbets in solid wood. I'm learning to use hand planes more and I've been experimenting with different methods. There are many options for planes - skew rabbet block plane, standard rabbet block plane, shoulder plane, etc. What's your favorite method and favorite plane / planes you use?
  Kevin

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Online RL

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2011, 10:34 PM »
I get most of the waste out with a router- perhaps not the answer you were looking for- and then bring it to an exact fit with a shoulder plane. I have the Lee Valley medium shoulder plane and I am very happy with it.

Richard.

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« Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 10:40 PM by Richard Leon »
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Offline kfitzsimons

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2011, 11:16 PM »
thanks Richard. I'm interested in rabbets made totally by hand planes. Less dust and noise. I've done most of my rabbets with either the table saw or a router. I'm trying to use hand tools more.

Offline Ken Nagrod

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2011, 11:44 PM »
Kevin,

On the rare occasion that I don't use a power tool to make a rabbet (rebate for our UK and Canadian members  [tongue]) I use a Lie-Nielsen rabbet plane.  I'm as addicted to Lie-Nielsen as I am Festool, because of the quality.

Offline GaryLaroff

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2011, 11:47 PM »
I work primarily in mahogany with some poplar parts.  In these hardwoods I make my rabbets with hand tools. For plywood, I use a router.  For the response that follows, I'll  assume you mean a groove or ledge on the edge of the wood, either with or across the grain, and not dados or other grooves.

I bought and tried to make rabbets with the Lie-Nielsen rabbet block plane and skewed rabbet block plane but never found these useful for anything other than fine tuning large tenons.

To start a rabbet I use an antique wooden Fillister (Filletster) plane and just had a new one custom made for me.  The Fillister is easy to set up and use and are inexpensive on the used tool market.  All the ones I've seen have blades skewed for right hand use.  The plane has a good fence that slides underneath to ride along the edge of the wood and define the width of the cut.  there is a depth stop to limit the depth of cut, but I don't go all the way down with the fillister.  The fillister also has a nicker blade that cuts the graiin ahead of the blade and enables a clean cut both with and across the grain.

There were/are metal fillisters such as the Stanley 289 and less functional Stanley 78, but they don't work as well as a wooden fillister.  Lee Valley calls their fillister a skewed rabbet plane.

After use of the Fillister I like to use a wooden rabbet plane to fine tune any roughness left by the fillister.  My all time favorite plane for fine tuning rabbets is the Lee Valley medium shoulder plane mentioned by Richard.  I also have the Lee Valley large shoulder plane for cleaning up wider rabbets, but I prefer the medium size plane if it fits the application.

Gary

« Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 11:49 PM by GaryLaroff »

Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2011, 12:09 AM »
If I wanted to make a rabbet strictly with hand tools, I would get the Lee Valley skew block plane with the fence.  Much like the moving filister plane mentioned, it skews to keep the outside show edge clean, is a rabbeting plane, and with the fence will be easy to set the size.  I don't have one, but that's what I would get and use.  I'd have one if I didn't already have a couple blocks.

Another consideration is an HP6v2 from Bridge City toolworks.  I have a couple of those (okay 3  [embarassed]).  With the rabbet blade in and fence, you could easily do the rabbets.  Even has a depth-stop fence.  Better, you can swap out the blade and sole plate for other profiles like ogees, beads, coves, etc.  "It's a system" :)
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Offline RonWen

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2011, 12:48 AM »
I'll try again (I had dado on the brain with my first answer  [huh]).  I have a Stanley no.78 that works well for rabbet cuts.  I also have the BCT HP6v2 that Paul mentioned but it's pricey & there are lots of nice used Stanley no 78's available for well under $100.

Offline Chris Wong

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2011, 01:42 AM »
I like using my skew rabbet (not block) plane.  The tote makes it easy to handle and I can quickly cut the rabbet.  I also like the shavings it makes!  The skew and nicker make for clean cross-grain cuts.

However, most of my rabbets are stopped so I end up using a chisel and router plane when limiting myself to hand tools.
Chris Wong
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Offline kfitzsimons

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2011, 07:09 AM »
Great information guys. I don't own a skew plane yet. (I too am addicted to L_N planes) That will probably be the next L-N purchase although I need a No. 7 or 8 too. For those who have the BCTW HP6v2, how wide of a rabbet can be cut? It looks like a pretty small plane. I'll also be on the look-out for the Stanley's mentioned.
If anyone still has other methods, please chime in. This is really good information for me. Thanks again.
   Kevin
* I went to the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tools Event in Cincinnati last week and spent my time listening to Deneb talk about sharpening plane irons and flattening stock. I ran out of time before I could ask about the rabbet issue. If you can make one of the L-N events, don't miss it. You can try all their tools, get personal instruction, and there are other high-end vendors there. Kevin Drake marking tools, Raney from Daed planes, and others. Bad for the wallet, but good for the soul.

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2011, 08:13 AM »
I have a "CLIFTON 3-Option Rebate Plane no. 3110" that I am very partial to, it cuts remarkably well when sharpened properly. Because it has the removable nose it doubles as a bullnose as well as a shoulder plane. I have had mine for years, a quick online search seems to indicate they are not easy to find and now pretty pricey - € 265.00 at one UK seller.

Only complaint is that the shavings tend to pack into the void where the blade adjuster lives, I have to pluck them out after every few strokes.

I also have an old Stanley rebate plane, mine was an eBay find back when you could still find deals there. They sell it new as # 12-078. Mine works great, a bit more clunky in hand than the Clifton but it also has a nicker and a nice edge guide. If you can find a used one at a reasonable price you might give it a try.

Good Luck.

RMW
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Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2011, 08:29 AM »
Just found this plane online, Anant Rebate Plane A78. Pretty picture but no idea the actual quality. The price is right @ $76.

http://www.woodzone.com/woodwork/Hand_Planes/210430.htm

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Offline RonWen

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2011, 09:23 AM »
Just found this plane online, Anant Rebate Plane A78. Pretty picture but no idea the actual quality. The price is right @ $76.

http://www.woodzone.com/woodwork/Hand_Planes/210430.htm




That is a copy of the famous Stanley #78 -- everybody that works with hand tools should have one.  [wink]

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2011, 09:45 AM »
Agreed - the 78 (unbeknownst to me)  is the plane I referred to below, it cuts surprisingly smoothly for the clunky looking geometry of the blade.
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Offline kfitzsimons

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2011, 09:36 PM »
RMW, I'll have to look for the Clifton or Stanley. One of those would be nice to have. Lots of good suggestions on this tread.

Offline GaryLaroff

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2011, 10:24 PM »
Kevin,

The Clifton and Stanley referenced in the previous posts are different animals.  The Stanley(s) are essentially metal alternatives to the moving fillister and would do a good job at hogging out the majority of the rabbet.

The Clifton combination plane could do the whole job but doesn’t come with a fence and is best for fine tuning and smoothing the rabbet.

As I said, I choose to use a wooden moving fillister plane but have the other variations.  If you choose to play with the Stanley 78, my suggestion would be to get a complete and fully functional junker copy, remove the rust, lubricate it where necessary and sharpen the blade.  A more expensive copy won’t teach you anything more or enable you to do a better job.  Don’t buy one without the fence.

If you think of getting a better condition copy, I think the Stanley 78 is still made in England and was made in the U.S. from 1885 – 1973.  Every workman at the time had one and this is one of the tools that helped Stanley build their fortune.  If you see the British Record 078, it has a bit more mass and seems to handle better.  Better yet would be the Record 778 as many people prefer this plane over the #78 due to the two arms for the fence and the cutter’s adjuster.

The best vintage variant of this kind of plane is the Stanley #289.  This is one of Stanley's nicest planes, looks a lot like the #78 except with the noticeable difference in the cutter's width and that the cutter is skewed.  There are also the two scoring spurs, and a depth stop and fence that can be positioned on either side of the plane.  With all the original parts this can be an expensive collector’s plane, but many of them come at a bargain price because they have the fence from the #78.

As for me, if I were buying a metal version of this type of plane and planned to keep it a while, I would buy the Lee Valley as they put a lot of time and effort in making a superior modern variant of whatever inspires them.  If you still want a Stanley, I could probably make you a good deal on one.

As for the Clifton 3110 “Combination Rebate, Bull Nose and Chisel Plane” mentioned by RMW, if you are serious in getting one I have mine for sale and will make you a good deal.  It is in essentially mint condition with all the original parts including the spacers and even has the original waxed paper wrapping and blue box which is still in surprisingly fine condition.

I need to raise some money before my CXS and Carvex show up on my credit card bill in June, so I am selling some popular quality tools that I haven’t used in a while.

Gary

Offline Nick C

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2012, 06:43 PM »
Lee Valley makes an excellent rabbet plane. Skew blade set, "nicker" for cross-grain work, depth fence. It's bigger than their rabbet block plane. Comes in RH and LH versions.

Offline fritter63

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2012, 09:45 PM »
I know this is an elementary question, but I'm curious as to how many ways and with which planes do you like to cut rabbets in solid wood. I'm learning to use hand planes more and I've been experimenting with different methods. There are many options for planes - skew rabbet block plane, standard rabbet block plane, shoulder plane, etc. What's your favorite method and favorite plane / planes you use?
  Kevin

I pull down my rabbet plane, which is a real beauty. I dust it off, place the wood on the bench, and carefully make sure that I know the dimensions of the rabbet that are needed. I check the blade for sharpness and set, making a small test cut on some pine, and enjoying the soothing sounds of the blade efficiently removing thin shavings. I fantasize about using the paper thin shavings to wrap my lunch for the next day, just as I've read about in those inspirational books like "Zen Architecture".

Then, once all that is done, I prepare to attack the real project. I stretch first, making sure that every muscle is properly prepared to avoid any cramps. I practice my deep breathing exercises and meditate a little to make that I am feeling one with the plane, and that it will truly be an extension of my hands as I carefully guide it over the lucky wood.

Then my wife yells out from the house "You've got 15 minutes before we have to leave for your sons concert!".

I sigh gently, and grab my OF 1400, chucking up a straight bit, and I turn on the switch....

Offline kfitzsimons

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2012, 08:20 PM »
You had me going for a minute, Grasshopper. Then the real Fritter63 comes clean. I'm still waiting to purchase the skew rabbet plane. I finished my bench this fall, so when it warms up in the spring, I'll get in the garage / shop to work on my rabbet techniques.

Offline Dave Schwarzkopf

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2012, 12:43 PM »
Fritter,

I'm w/ you 9 times out of 10 just for the simple facts of speed and cleanup.  I know it's not difficult to sweep up shavings from a handplane, but my CT48 does a bang-up job of picking everything up for me as I go.

That being said, if I decide on some after dinner shop time, I go for the LV option.  I do have the BCTW HP6V2, but find that more useful for cutting decorative profiles than for joinery work on a larger scale.  The LN skew block planes are very nice (and look pretty sleek), but again, I reach for my skew rabbet if a rabbet is the task at hand.

I own the above 3 options, but haven't laid hands on Stanleys or Cliftons of any variety, so no (useful) opinion on those.

Offline kfitzsimons

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2012, 08:38 PM »
Dave, do you have just the right skew rabbit plane or do you have both right and left? If you have only one, do you have issues going "against the grain"? Do you also have the straight blade block rabbit plane?
  Kevin

Offline Dave Schwarzkopf

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2012, 08:06 AM »
Kevin,

I do have both right and left options.  Could you manage with just one?  No doubt.  I'm just one of those OCD, matching pairs, every systainer in a sysport kind of guys.  I can only remember a few times when switching from right to left was preferred, but it's never been 'required' as they're not finishing cuts.

I also have the straight bladed option, (I assume you're talking about the LN version here), but for me, the LN and LV skews have smoother cuts, and for larger scale/really hogging off, you can't beat the size/heft/method of holding of the LV skew rabbet; you can really get behind 'er.

I forget if it has already been mentioned, but whatever your option, be sure to leave the blade just slightly proud of the outside edge of your plane.  Sounds like it shouldn't work, but if you keep the blade flush, your cuts will taper in width, wider at the start, narrower at the end.  Chris Schwarz did a blog entry on this some time back and I find it to be true.

Dave
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 08:13 AM by Dave Schwarzkopf »

Offline GaryLaroff

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2012, 12:13 PM »
Kevin,

You only need the right handed plane if the blade is skewed and if there is a nicker iron.  As noted earlier, I use the older traditional style wooden moving fillister but the Lee Valley is basically the same tool.  There is an adjustable fence, an adjustable depth stop, a thick solid skewed blade and a non-bending nicker iron for going either across the grain or against it.



Using this tool and the older antiques that I have, I've never needed a left handed plane.

Gary Laroff

Offline Dave Schwarzkopf

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2012, 12:46 PM »
Gary,

That sure is purdy.  That a C&W (now Old Steet)?  I've had one on order for a couple of years now, looking forward to putting one through its' paces.

Dave

Offline Christopher Fitch

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2012, 01:31 PM »
If I'm cutting by hand, I prefer the Veritas Skew Rabbet (RH):
Veritas Skew Rabbet Plane

I also have a Record 778 that is an improved version of the Stanley 78 (they added a second fence arm):



The Veritas is an excellent modern version of rabbet planes. The skew makes a big difference.

An inexpensive (if dated) source for learning some of the basics of using planes is Record's Planecraft. You can still buy it at Woodcraft:
Planecraft. It's heavily loaded with Record Sales propaganda but it does have a decent amount of info on using various hand planes.

The basic technique (I learned this from Planecraft) is to set your rabbet plane up (depth and width), and start from the end of the board and work back. You use short strokes until you define the rabbet along the board and then you can move to longer full-length passes until the plane does not cut anymore. It is surprisingly quick and accurate.

Lee Valley has a video showing how to use their plane:

Offline kfitzsimons

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Re: How do YOU cut a rabbet with hand plane?
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2012, 07:15 PM »
Gary, beautiful plane. LN Hand Tool Event in March close by, so I'll probably go the LN route. Great info guys.