18th Century Style Wooden Rabbet Plane

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Project by Caleb James posted 12-27-2012 03:39 PM 6121 views 12 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have new plans for the year. I have for some time now wanted to make wooden planes in an 18th century style. I love how those plans function and are so simple in many ways yet reflect a hight of refinement that can be so appreciated. To think, they could make such objects of functionality from such basic materials is a marvel to me. I enjoy setting up and tuning a plane that I have made.

So with that in mind I will be making those planes and selling them so I can continue to make them and also put some useful tools in the hands of those that want to use them. Also I will have to plan to do this as I have the time and proper materials. Beech is so abundant in this country yet it is not commonly cut for commercial use and thus it is very difficult to acquire the cut of beech needed to make these planes properly. Now I have a good source already lined up and hope to offer some beech made planes in the coming year.

For now I will be making them in quarter sawn walnut and do some postings of my processes as I can get to it.

Here is a video of it in operation.

I have this and others at my Etsy shop. I also blog at


13 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


115348 posts in 3083 days

#1 posted 12-27-2012 03:52 PM

Looks good well done.

-- Custom furniture

View zwwizard's profile


206 posts in 3215 days

#2 posted 12-27-2012 04:13 PM

Good looking plane. There is a market for them. I am a user of the old woodys and have made a few different ones.

-- Richard

View Caleb James's profile

Caleb James

149 posts in 2435 days

#3 posted 12-27-2012 06:44 PM

Thanks fellas, I hope that I get some movement on these. I know there are people looking for ones they don’t need to tune up. It can be a real bugger, I know from experience, but you will learn a lot. Sure comes in handy when making one.


View Dave Dufour's profile

Dave Dufour

271 posts in 1484 days

#4 posted 12-27-2012 06:47 PM

Great job
I have to try making one of those some day I keep hearing the wood ones are the best.

-- Dave, from Canada,

View Don W's profile

Don W

18049 posts in 2073 days

#5 posted 12-27-2012 06:51 PM

that’s a beautiful plane. Well done.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View whitewulf's profile


450 posts in 2443 days

#6 posted 12-27-2012 07:18 PM

Is side round, 1/4 round profile? Are two planes required?
My apologies I could not tell from video.

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View Caleb James's profile

Caleb James

149 posts in 2435 days

#7 posted 12-27-2012 08:16 PM


yes a side round is 90ยบ of a 1” circle making it a 1/2” radius arc. All “moulding” planes with the exception of rabbet and dedicated profile planes have pairs for working the grain in the opposite direction if it reverses or the pair is the opposite profile such as in hollows and rounds.


View Caleb James's profile

Caleb James

149 posts in 2435 days

#8 posted 12-27-2012 09:02 PM


the trick is getting the right tools. My first ones I made I tried to use just mortise chisels and such but I never could get the wedges to fit properly. You really must have plane makers floats. I got mine from Lie-Nielsen along with their blades. You have to shape, heat treat and temper yourself. That is the other part that take just as much to learn as making the body.

Larry Williams of Old Street tools has a DVD on making side escapement hollows and rounds. Get it if you want to understand the principals of making these. The rabbet plane is a bit different. Fitting the wedge is a bit harder but cutting the bed of the plane is easier.

I might do a blog series on how to make a rabbet plane if anyone is interested.


View Don W's profile

Don W

18049 posts in 2073 days

#9 posted 12-27-2012 09:06 PM

I’d love to see that blog series.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Oldtool's profile


2381 posts in 1696 days

#10 posted 12-27-2012 09:11 PM

Great looking plane. These old wooden planes are the best, and the one shown here is really nice.
I’m working on a chest on chest project, and I’ve tuned up a half dozen original planes to work on this cabinet. The router has been set aside and I’ve no desire to get it out again.
I’ll be looking into your offers for sale, guess you could say I’m addicted to wooden planes.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10868 posts in 2621 days

#11 posted 12-27-2012 11:50 PM

great looking plane

Larry Williams DVD is great to learn from as you say :-)

just wait to when you going to make a skewed plane … then will the brain get to work :-)

good luck in the future caleb


View Caleb James's profile

Caleb James

149 posts in 2435 days

#12 posted 12-28-2012 12:45 AM

Thanks Guys,

I will take some photos when I do another one. It should be fun.


View jmpreiks's profile


11 posts in 1828 days

#13 posted 01-11-2013 12:32 PM

Looks great, I would also love to see a blog.

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