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I made a poor-man's rebate plane following the approach shown by Paul Sellers in his blog and video

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It is made from pine (construction timber, probably spruce) so isn't likely to be accurate or durable but it seems to work

I tried it out on another piece of spruce and am having a couple of problems,

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  • I find it hard to control the depth of cut, tapping the chisel usually results in a very coarse shaving.
  • The rebate depth is hard to control to get uniform depth from end to end, I guess I need to add a depth stop.
  • The side wall tends to be very rough and has some shreds of shaving attached.

My reason for making this was to see if it would serve as a plough plane to make a new frame for a garden cold-frame. I need to make a housing (dado) to hold the plastic glazing. Since this isn't fine furniture I'm not too concerned but I do have the same problems I'd like to eliminate

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Here's some early coarse shavings and some newer thinner ones

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How can I improve the results I get?

  • A picture of the shavings might help diagnose your issue, too. Especially relating to my item #2 in my answer. – grfrazee Apr 20 '16 at 13:37
  • @grfrazee: I've added some pictures of shavings. – RedGrittyBrick Apr 20 '16 at 16:55
  • 1
    Those are really thick shavings. Don't think you have a choice with SPF but your shavings are supposed to be fine. – Matt Apr 20 '16 at 17:04
  • Updated my answer to account for your shavings. The thick ones really tell the tale. – grfrazee Apr 20 '16 at 17:12
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How can I improve the results I get?

Based on your pictures, I surmise that it's due to a combination of:

  1. Your chisel not being sharp enough,

  2. Planing against the grain,

  3. Not having the edge of your chisel slightly proud of the side of the plane body, and

  4. Taking too thick of a shaving with each pass.

I find it hard to control the depth of cut, tapping the chisel usually results in a very coarse shaving.

This is the nature of wooden planes. They take a bit of fiddling to get set right. Once you get the depth of cut set correctly, it should glide through spruce with no problem.

The shavings in your first updated picture are much thicker than I would look for if you're going for a fine finish. If you're just trying to hog off wood, those thick shavings are probably ok, but your surface finish will be worse off as a result.

The rebate depth is hard to control to get uniform depth from end to end, I guess I need to add a depth stop.

A depth stop would help you get a consistent depth of cut. However, it can be a crutch that keeps you from developing the proper technique.

You can also mark lines on your piece to shoot for the correct depth and just keep cutting until you get to that depth across the entire cut. This will probably result in you having to work only parts of the cut at a time when things get uneven, but again, this is the nature of wooden planes.

The side wall tends to be very rough and has some shreds of shaving attached.

See numbers 1-3 above.

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  • One other observation - the tool that RGB (OP) made does not appear to have a nicker, which would tend to score the wall of the rabbet ahead of the plane blade, making for a smoother wall. In fact, with a nicker-equipped rebate plane, it's common practice to make a few passes backward in order to make an initial score before beginning on the surface. – user1457 May 6 '16 at 16:24
  • @JeffM_A1, for grooves along the grain, the nicker doesn't matter as much. – grfrazee May 6 '16 at 16:35
  • @JeffM_A1 good point. Do you think using a marking or cutting gage would work about as well as the nicker? – Jon Fournier Oct 10 '16 at 18:07

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