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I recently converted a common #220 Stanley block plane into an effective rabbet plane. I think a block plane’s comfort, low profile and blade angle can provide precision for paring tenons, rabbets and bevels of raised panels (and it’s significantly cheaper than the typical rabbet plane).

To begin, drill a 5⁄16″ hole through the side of the plane. Next, carefully hacksaw an intersection from the plane throat to the hole (making sure the lower cut is shy of the final line). File until the blade seats flush on the new section of plane bed. To accommodate the lateral shift in the blade, use a metal grinding wheel to make a recess on the side of the blade. Then file a wider blade slot and one adjustment groove slightly longer. Next, to improve shaving removal, file a smooth ramp on the corner of the lever cap. Lastly, turn a larger knob for better two-handed control. With all the money you save, you can buy another #220 and modify the other side.

Stephen Campbell
Westhampton, Massachusetts


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