Wooden Rebate Planes

wooden rebate plane
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Review By: I.Ball

Manufacturer: Various

Tool Type: Wooden Planes

Plane Type: Rebate

The old British wooden rebate plane also called the wooden rabbet plane is the forerunner to the iron shoulder rebate / rabbet plane.

The wooden rebate plane has a rectangular shaped hardwood body which has a window cut the whole way through the side of the plane body where the cutter lays.

The cutting edge of the cutter spans the full width of the plane to ensure the plane can cut right into the corner of a rebate / rabbet. The cutter is secured in place with the use of a wooden wedge.

The curved window shape is designed to curl the shavings and let them escape through the side of the plane quickly and easily.

old wooden rebate plane

The wooden rebate / rabbet planes were produced in many widths usually ranging from 10mm (3/8 inch) to 38mm (1 1/2 inch). The planes were produced with a square mouth and with a skewed mouth.

The old wooden rebate planes are usually made from Beech as this was the cheapest and most readily available of the British hardwoods.

The wooden rebate planes were occasionally made in other materials such as mahogany, boxwood and rosewood.

The wooden rebate planes were sometimes fitted with a steel sole. The main reason for this was it extended the life of the plane greatly as the sole of the wooden plane is more susceptible to damage.

There were many, many manufacturers of rebate / rabbet plane, below is a list of some of the makers:

old wooden rabbet plane

Marples (William)
Preston (Edward)

The manufacturer's mark (if present) can virtually always be found on the front nose of the plane. If the plane is quite mucky or you hadnít realised, this is the place to look to identify who made it and if you wish to delve deeper there are a few books out there to help identify the age of the plane.

The authority of these books has to be W L Goodman's 'British Planemakers fom 1700 Ė third edition' book but be prepared to pay some money for this book as it is no longer available to buy new (at the time of writing this) and secondhand copies of the book are in demand.

The wooden rebate plane is a tool which has been produced in slightly different forms in various regions around the world.

old wooden rabbet plane

The old wooden rebate planes went on to be manufactured in many forms of iron shoulder plane, much of which were sold side-by-side with the wooden rebate planes. The first metal types were the infill shoulder planes such as the Norris 7 shoulder plane and then the iron shoulder planes such as the Stanley 92 shoulder plane, the Edward Preston shoulder plane and the Record 073 shoulder plane.

For a long time all three types of shoulder rebate plane were sold side-by-side. It wasnít until about the 1950ís-1960ís when the wooden rebate plane and the infill rebate plane production virtually ceased and the iron rebate plane became pretty much the sole rebate plane on the market.

Many of todayís shoulder plane are based upon the early iron shoulder planes such as the Clifton 420 shoulder plane and the Lie Nielsen 73 shoulder plane.

Veritas Tools have designed their Veritas shoulder plane with an appearance which would have looked amazingly futuristic in the days of the wooden rebate planes.


Manufactured Dates

<1700 - 1970>


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