Even if I have an entire shop filled with power equipment, I like to cut my rabbets by hand. Why? It’s fast and fun.
Once you master a rabbet plane or a moving fillister plane, your router table and table saw will get a lot less use. To push you along this path, I wrote an article for the June 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. The article explains how to sharpen, set up and use rabbet and plow planes and includes tips on how to get square joints the first time. (Hint: You are holding the tool wrong.)
To show how fast and fun these tools are I shot the following short video of me making a panel for a Campaign-style bookcase I’m building. The panel required rabbets that were parallel to and across the grain, so you’ll get to see how to attack both.
In the video I’m using the Veritas Skew-Rabbet plane, the best commercial rabbet plane made today – in my opinion. For a free article on how to use this tool to tighten your dovetails, click here.
— Christopher Schwarz