Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rabbets with a Rabbet Plane.

One of my greatest pleasures is seeing woodworkers use a rabbet plane for the first time. I have witnessed a few hundred people go through the process and I love being present. It's so simple.

Brian Eve of Toolerable is no different. He recently reconditioned an old rabbet plane and took a video of his first attempt. Check it out! I doubt he'll ever crave a fence for this task again.

If you don't get it right on the first attempt, you will be fully confident that you'll get it on the second.


On a side note, I'll take this opportunity to reiterate a point about antique planes: they can (usually) be made to perform as well as the planes I sell. Please do not think that you need my planes or those from Old Street Tool to get in this game.

Start with antiques. We all did.

If you feel like you're blindly fighting these tools I'll recommend that you make just one pair from scratch. The first time you have to fit YOUR wedge, bed YOUR iron or make your iron match YOUR sole you will work to a whole new level of tolerances. You will quickly learn about the significant amount of technology that is present in two pieces of wood and steel.

Get in this game. Take control.

(the first planes I made)


  1. Hi Matt,

    Good advice about the old planes. I probably only spent 30 minutes to put a new sole on my rabbet plane. My original plan was to make all of my moulding planes, but perhaps I should start with getting my meager collection of singletons (molding planes? ahem) functional before I start. I have a feeling making them isn't quite as easy as Larry Williams makes it look.

  2. Hi Matt,
    I keep hoping that I will get to see the first planes made by you, Raney, Konrad and others. As a source of hope relating to my own attempts at toolmaking, I can only hope that the early efforts do not look quite as good as the present day gems? Thanks.


  3. Matt,

    Thanks for the excellent blog. You've inspired me to try to make a pair of these planes. Probably #4 size. I am planning to use a FLAT piece of 1/8" thick O1 steel to make the irons. Can you comment on what disadvantages a flat iron might have over a tapered one?