Specialty planes have a special place in my shop. They’re good for the soul. I use them when I want to turn off the power tools and relax, or when setting up a power tool is simply too much bother. I’ve had my eye on a rare #10 Stanley Carriage Maker’s Rabbet Plane for years now, but the new Bevel Up Jack Rabbet from Veritas is certainly going to prove to be the better choice.
I already own a few standard-size rabbet planes, but with a 15″ long sole and a 2-1/4″ wide blade, the Jack Rabbet has definite advantages for large-scale work—including making raised panels. Weighing a substantial 6 lbs., it has plenty of mass to carry you through a wide cut.
The Jack Rabbet is far superior to the #10, technically speaking. It has an extra-thick blade, scoring spurs for cross-grain work and a rock-solid frog. A portion of its front sole slides in and out for adjusting the plane’s mouth, somewhat like a high-quality block plane. The Jack Rabbet also has a removable fence (the #10 has no fence at all). Its handle tilts left or right for getting into tight spots or for using it on a shooting board. As with other Veritas planes, a Norris-style adjuster controls the depth of cut and levels the blade. Three different blade options are available: A2, O1, or Veritas’ relatively new addition, PM-V11. All come lapped, ready for final polishing—a huge blessing.
If you want a relatively inexpensive, wide rabbeting plane, I’d recommend looking at an old Stanley 78. But if you want a beautifully engineered tool for serious play, the Jack Rabbet can’t be beat.