Years ago, I bought my first rabbet plane, a Clifton 410, to get me out of a jam. My bread and butter work was repairing antiques, and I needed a particularly narrow rabbet plane (the Clifton is only 11/16″ wide) to repair some drawer supports. Thinking back to those days, I wish I also had owned a set of narrower rabbet planes, such as these new gems from Lee Valley. They’ve just issued three new Veritas rabbet planes that are 1/4″, 5/16″ and 3/8″ wide. (They’re also available in 6, 8 and 10 mm sizes.)
These tools are beautiful, stylish, well-engineered and extremely comfortable. The large, upsweeping handles nest perfectly in your palm. On the technical side, their 3″ long bodies are made of ductile cast iron, the blades are 01 tool steel (which is easier to sharpen than A2 steel) and bedded at 15° (creating a 45° cutting angle). The mouth is fixed. The next time you must clean out a narrow dado or groove, just remember–there’s a hand tool that can also do the job.
Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.