"My rabbet gets further away from the vertical wall with every pass, creating steps," said mommy woodworker.
"My rabbet is juuuust right!" said baby woodworker.
I've been doing some practice work with mouldings. And when you use hand tools, that means cutting lots of rabbets. When using a rabbet plane or a shoulder plane to cut rabbets, the iron should be just a little proud of the right side of the plane. But how much is enough / too much?
Here is my shoulder plane.
|The shoulder plane|
|View from the plane's sole showing iron just proud of side|
|Starting the rabbet with plane edge riding in gauge line|
|Creates a little tiny shaving on which I can see the pencil mark I added to the gauge line|
|Arrow points to the "new" vertical wall location|
|Abandoned the first rabbet and gauged another line for 1/4" x 1/4" rabbet|
|Stayed very close to the vertical line|
|Looked very good at the far end, too|
|Vertical wall needed a little bit of cleaning (with shoulder plane on its side)|
|This came out very good with little or no clean-up needed|
|The far end looked good, too|
|The Record #778|
|(Ignore the chipped corner) The first pass got me way past the gauge line!|
|Edge by my thumb nail is chamfered|
|Started rabbet with the shoulder plane ...|
|... and finished it with the Record to remove material more quickly|
|Nice square rabbet, but went past my vertical gauge line at the beginning ...|
|... and at the far end|
|Plane held vertically, left thumb on top, left fingers under sole acting as a fence|
|About 1/32" deep|
|After I got to the depth line, ...|
|... I cleaned up the vertical wall with a few passes of the shoulder plane|
|It's very easy to sneak up to the exact vertical gauge line that way ...|
|... and get a perfect rabbet|
The moral of the story is that if I want to cut rabbets, having the iron about 0.002" proud of the side is probably about the right amount. But I can remove all doubt by rabbeting a little away from my vertical gauge line and cleaning up the vertical wall with a few strokes with the plane on it's side.
And Goldilocks said, "What nice rabbets you are!" And they all lived happily ever after.