Rabbet planes

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by LeChuck posted 01-13-2013 05:29 PM 1205 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View LeChuck's profile


424 posts in 3260 days

01-13-2013 05:29 PM

Hi folks,

I’m curious about how the average machine oriented woodworkers around here would rate the usefulness of planes such as rabbet (or rebate), like a #78, plough planes etc…

While still using machines, TS or router, to cut your grooves and rabbets, do you still find yourself using hand planes, either to make them in the first place, or to finish them?

-- David - Tucson, AZ

9 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3845 days

#1 posted 01-13-2013 05:35 PM

I like a heavy shoulder plane and side rabbet planes
but I don’t have a lot of use for a standard rabbet
plane. However grabbing a standard rabbet type
plane to cut one or two small rabbets is often
quicker than fooling with power tool setups. It’s
kind of fun too, but tearout can be an issue.

You can hog out rabbets with a standard table saw
blade and then use a rabbet plane to fix the bottom.
A crank necked chisel works as well.

View ShaneA's profile


7052 posts in 2796 days

#2 posted 01-13-2013 05:36 PM

They are helpful to fine tune the fit off the machines. The 92 maybe more useful for me than the 78. There are a lot of options in shoulder/rebate type planes.

View SamuraiSaw's profile


515 posts in 2162 days

#3 posted 01-13-2013 05:37 PM

I like using various handplanes for “fine-tuning”. An electric jointer will never produce as smooth a finish as a well sharpened and tuned handplane. It is a lot more precise to fit a tenon with a plane as opposed to putting it back on the table saw.

I bought a router plane to do some inlay work on a couple of humidors and it was far more enjoyable (and less stressful) than using my routers.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas....

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3591 days

#4 posted 01-13-2013 10:15 PM

I second Loren’s coment, handplanes help to seve time and power tool set ups in many situations. I work as a cabinetmaker at a 10 men shop, and my bench is a bit far from the jointer, planer, sliding, rip saw, so hand planes often save me the walk to any of these machines…

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View LeChuck's profile


424 posts in 3260 days

#5 posted 01-13-2013 10:46 PM

Thanks for the feedback!

I have a good array of power tools that are relatively easy to setup but not a lot of hand tool practice. That said, I recently returned my Harbor Freight jointer in the middle of a project and had to use a hand plane, a small one, to do the edges. It was a workout but it wasn’t noisy, and I didn’t have to wear a respirator or protective glasses.

But time is about as rare as money for me right now, and so it could be interesting to find a good balance between speed of machinery, control and safety of hand tools, time spent sharpening and the mess of it. And I don’t have much of a collector character. I like to own only what I use and hate clutter.

So I was watching that Roy Underhill video recently about the 11 groove box, and while I don’t have that level of experience of course, I could appreciate how fast those grooves could be cut and that on a project like that one, it was effectively quicker than it would have taken me to setup my router to cut them properly and safely. I would have also spent more time trying to avoid tearout and blowouts. However, for me the router would have been more repeatable. So I guess it’s about a good balance, and I was interested to hear not really from hand tool specialist but those that use hand tools in addition to power tools, especially when they can’t spend all the time they would like on projects.

I just spent part of the jointer refund, on a #7 plane, and thinking about adding a #5, probably a shoulder plane, and a couple rabbet/plough/combination planes. Every plane bought means money that I’m not saving for a new jointer though…

-- David - Tucson, AZ

View fuigb's profile


521 posts in 3155 days

#6 posted 01-13-2013 11:51 PM

@Chuck – good thread.

I’ve been on the hunt at garage sales and junk stores for a decent #7. Word got around to a friend who’s a retired millwright with a barn full of stuff, and he gifted me some wood bodied planes and a #78. “My kids don’t care about this stuff, and I know that you’ll at least try to use them.” But up here is the land of automation and the assembly line, so a lot of the old hand tools are about as familiar and useful as atlatls.

Anyway, this #78 has been on my bench for week, staring at me. That damn Dream Handplane thread is so big that it’s just intimidating, so this thread is the perfect breakout: small and focused. And now I’m inspired to give this little relic a whirl.

One thing, though: my freebie is missing the fence. Stanley wants about 30 bucks (including shipping) for a replacement. My thought has been to get fine threaded rod (1/4 28?) and ake something from scrap hardwood with an embedded nut and then a jam nut. Aany thought on that?

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View JayT's profile


5957 posts in 2408 days

#7 posted 01-13-2013 11:59 PM

fuigb, check ebay for a 78 fence, they pop up on there frequently for not very much. The HPOYD thread is big, but it is a fun hangout for anyone interested in planes. Questions are answered quickly by knowledgeable people. The main downside to the size of the thread and how fast it moves is that if you need to find a specific post that is more than a day old, it is difficult.

My 78 gets used a bit for anything that needs trimmed flush to an edge, like tenon and half lap shoulders. I have plans for a couple projects where I would like to use it as it was intended.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View LeChuck's profile


424 posts in 3260 days

#8 posted 01-14-2013 12:09 AM

Personally in this case, I think I’d want to just buy the fence, looking on eBay first, rather than making it as it doesn’t seem worth the hassle.

Regarding the #78, there is one available on eBay, which I just bought, made by Anant. It’s their Premium/Kamal/AA line and I believe that line has been phased out, hence the low price. I know it’s not your classic Stanley, but at $49 it’s not a big dent in the wallet….I have one of their Kamal #4 planes and I like it. It’s my understanding that this one has some improvements over the standard design. Just passing along. Can be found with a search on “Anant plane”.

-- David - Tucson, AZ

View fuigb's profile


521 posts in 3155 days

#9 posted 01-14-2013 01:51 AM

ebay is a good suggestion. Generally I prefer not to use equipment that looks like it came off of the set of Mad Max, but at the same time I’m willing to cut corners in order to try out a new idea to determine if it’s something worth taking on the right way.

Those wood-bodied plans that came with the 78? Soles need flattened. Going to have swallow hard before diving into the big thread in search of the answer.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics