Home > Tools > Different Plane – Different Shavings

Different Plane – Different Shavings

If you haven’t noticed I take a lot of pleasure in watching the shavings curl up from a plane. There is something magical about moving a piece of iron across a board, watching shavings curl up past your hand and seeing a groove or rabbit appear behind. This is something that I missed when I was using power tools exclusively. As I reflect back over the last year I am also realizing that unless you are performing a repetitive task using the hand planes is not much slower. Let me introduce you to a few of the planes in my tool box (soon to be tool chest).


Plow plane – This has to be my favorite specialty plane. I use a Veritas Small Plow Plane available from Lee Valley Tools. A couple of months ago I really extended the usefulness of this plane by adding on the conversion kit which adds on an additional skate and allows you to use wider blades and most importantly cut tongue and groove joints. The second addition to this plane is the fence attached to the side. Veritas manufacturers the plane with holes for this attachment and I strongly urge you to add it soon after purchase. It greatly enhances the planes stability and therefore accuracy.


Skew Rabbit Plane – Moving Fillister or Rebate Plane. Lots of different words for this plane and yes they do have meaning. I have two rabbit planes a Stanley  #78 and the Veritas Skew Rabbit Plane (pictured). Both of these planes are very capable of producing rabbits of varying widths. I find the Stanley #78 to be finicky and I have trouble maintaining the setting (mostly my fault, not the plane’s). When I first purchased the Veritas skew plane I had difficult leveling the blade for a 90 degree rabbit. I have since fixed this by paying more attention to the set up and adding a fence just like I did on the plow plane. What makes this plane a moving fillister is the addition of the spur which scores the work prior to cutting. This makes for a very clean crosscut. The skew blade pulls the plane tight against the face and cuts easily through the wood and the shavings are super cool…..

I have a fairly complete arsenal of planes, the vast majority of them used Stanley’s and I would have it no other way. Bringing a  plane manufactured in the late 1800’s back to life and producing the same shavings as was made by a proud owner 200 plus years ago is a special feeling. I found that when buying used planes on Ebay or at tool meets, the standard planes are reasonably priced and readily available it easy to tell the condition of the planes and parts are available. The planes above were tougher to find and priced much higher (if you are on the East Coast you may have better luck). When putting together the Stanley #78 I had to go to two separate places for the fence and cutter. When you add in the shipping and parts there was not a lot of difference in price.  The planes above are obviously new  and were purchased after looking for their equivalent used counterparts. I decided that due to the complexity of these planes, difficulty in determining condition of the used planes and availability of parts that I would buy new. That was my personal decision and If you are looking for used planes there are many sources on the web, a great one is Hperkitten.com. If you haven’t found Patricks Blood and Gore you need to look. The other source is my father in law who does an excellent job of finding gems, but I’m not sharing that contact.

Categories: Tools
  1. Harvey
    January 1, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks for last line! Hope I can find some more gems! Harveydad

  1. January 6, 2013 at 11:57 am

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