Rabbet Planes Are Real Shop Workhorses
These versatile tools clean up machine cuts and fine-tune joinery for a perfect fit
Synopsis: From cutting and fitting rabbets and dadoes to making final adjustments to tenons, rabbet planes have no equal, writes Garrett Hack. There are dozens of types, but they all share one characteristic: the iron is flush with the plane body on one or both sides. Hack details their history, lists his favorites, and talks about two basic planes for all-around work. He explains how different planes work well for different tasks: bench rabbet planes do large-scale work, rabbeting block planes are suited to small work, side rabbet planes adjust groove widths, and shoulder planes are precision rabbet planes. Then he explains how to tune a rabbet plane.
If I were headed to another part of the world for an extended stay and could pack only a small kit of woodworking tools, I would make sure I brought along at least one rabbet plane. From cutting and fitting rabbets and…