Rabbet, or rebate planes, are used to cut rabbets along the edge or a board, often as a precursor to using hollow and rounds. While still considered a side escapement plane, they do differ from most other molding planes with the design of the escapement. Because the iron extents across the entire sole of the plane, the escapement is conical and also through the entire plane, and will help direct the shavings out the side. Ours are “off the bench” in design, meaning that the shavings will eject out the left side of the plane (On a right handed version.) and onto the floor rather than the bench top. We typically bed the iron at 50 degrees since these planes are meant more for heavy stock removal and can be set quite aggressive. When making moldings, 80% or more of the material may be removed with this plane before switching to hollow and rounds or other shaped profiles. Rabbet planes are easy to sharpen and it makes sense to use it for the bulk of the stock removal.
With no fence or depth stock, they are very simple and nimble planes to use. The users fingers can extend below the sole and act as a fence. The plane can also be tilted to allow the corner to ride in a marking gauge line to start a cut for the first couple of passes, which establishes a fillet to continue to guide the plane. As an option, we make these planes with a boxed corner along the right side which will extend the life of the sharp corner for engaging the marking gauge lines. The boxing is persimmon, and is cut on a bias so the grain is running at the same angle as the bed of the plane, meaning that the grain along the edge is mostly end grain.
The irons are tapered O-1 tool steel, hardened to Rc 60-62, the same as our other planes. They are thicker than the usual 1/8″ by about 1/32″ to give more rigidity in heavy cuts.
We offer widths of 5/8″, 3/4″, 7/8″, and 1″. All can be made with or without boxing. Price for an unboxed rabbet plane is $220, with boxed planes being $250.