Backer Board Prevents Tearout on Rabbets
I recently used Chris Gochnour’s technique for hand-cut rabbets (“Fillister Plane Cuts Quick Rabbets and More,” Handwork, FWW #235). The long-grain rabbets turned out great, but there was tearout on the crossgrain rabbets. How do I prevent the tearout?
Geoff Martel, Hamilton, OH
The first thing you can do to prevent tearout is to always rabbet across the grain before you cut any rabbets along the grain. However, you should also make sure that the nicker and the blade’s edge are in alignment, and that the nicker cuts about 0.003 in. deeper than the blade (see the article referenced above). Then, before you cut the rabbet, clamp a sacrificial backer board the same thickness as your workpiece to the outfeed side of the workpiece. Any tearout will be on the sacrificial board and not the workpiece.