Rabbet Plane Tune Up Questions


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Hello everybody, its been awhile.  I have been lurking, just not posting much.  Too busy building things in the shop!!:D

I picked up Craftsman(Sargent made) Rabbet Plane a couple weeks ago for a nice price at a local antique store.  I paid $20 for it, and 100% complete, first time I have found one complete. Started working to get it tuned up and ran into a few issues.  I would appreciate some input.

The bottom flattened pretty quickly, there is decent sized shallow area on the side opposite the main reference face.  Curious if this will be an issue?  I figured since the bottom is 95%+  flat and the shallow area is opposite the main reference face, then it would be no problem.

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When I started to lap the side reference face, it become apparent really quickly that It had some major problems up near the toe.  See the attached pic.  Starting just behind the blade is shallow area of around .004" and that continues up from the nicker to the opening for the bullnose.   After the bull nose though the shallow area is .008" near the bottom. It extends up about an 1 1/2"

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My question is, with a plane of this type how flat is flat enough?  Do I need this whole side dead flat, or will these shallow areas not effect use?  I could probably spend the time to get most of the shallow up to the bullnose mouth, but .008" is a lot of steel to remove, and I am not sure I am willing to put in that sort of time to get the whole side flat.  

Appreciate any input I can get.  Thanks in advance!

 

Josh

 

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Starting out your technique will be more important to how good the rabbets are than how perfect the sides are.  If I booger the side of a rabbet I sometimes clean it with a shoulder plane (the rabbet plane itself could be used but then I'd have to take off the fence or turn it around and run it the other way.)

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Normally, in that area of the plane, it's the blade that rides against the wood. It's critical to ensuring you get a rabbit wall that is straight and perpendicular to the floor. You have to set the side of the blade so it protrudes a couple thousands from the plane body anyway. Do this by sitting the edge of a steel ruler across the blade and body, tap the blade over until you can rock the ruler a small amount with the blade as pivot.  So if the blade sticks out anyway, the small divot in the body iron probably won't matter.

Highland Woodworking used to have parts for the Stanley 78, which is similar. I have a Miler Falls 85 and bought the Stanley fence from them. I had to re-cut the threads to match the Miller Falls but it works. I don't see those parts in their catalog now, but you could call them.

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Here you go:  http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/rabbetplanespursandspurscrewskit.aspx  Sorry it's discontinued and sold out.  If you find the need for one, I think there are three in the envelope I bought a while back.

I have a Record 778 that I bought new, and it's been used a lot.  I never once checked any part of it for flat or straight.

Edited by Tom King
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Thanks everyone. Got it all put back together today, and it works pretty well.  I kind of feel like the nicker protrudes down to far, it is difficult to get the iron to engage when using the nicker.  It sort of rocks on the nicker.  Since it has 3 sides, thinking I would file one down a little and see if it works better.  

 

Here you go:  http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/rabbetplanespursandspurscrewskit.aspx  Sorry it's discontinued and sold out.  If you find the need for one, I think there are three in the envelope I bought a while back.

I have a Record 778 that I bought new, and it's been used a lot.  I never once checked any part of it for flat or straight.

Tom, thanks for the help but I found it complete.  I just had the nicker out for cleaning.  

 

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Have you used a nicker before? Draw the plane backward a few times to cut the nicker a trough before going forward to engage the iron. 

I have not, but did some research on how to do it.  That is exactly what I did.  It has three different nicker lengths, the shortest extends below the bottom of the plane about a 1/16".  On softwood it works "ok" on hardwood it is a show stopper.  

Either it is to long, or it needs to be sharper than it is?  Thoughts?

Josh

 

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It is important to recognize that a 78 is a tool for rough work, to hog off material; while fine work can be done, it's tolerances are pretty flexible.  Totally flat sole is not required.  Once you have the rabbet in fairly good shape, take a router plane to fine tune the depth to what you are looking for.  As far as the nicker, if its too proud, I second your impulse to file it down a bit, and it should be pretty sharp.

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