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Cutting a Long Grain Rabbet with Cutting Tools and a Shoulder Plane
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Marking out long grain rabbet with cutting tool Step 1: Use your cutting tool to mark out the area where you will plane the long grain rabbet.

1. Mark out the rabbet on both edges with the cutting gauge. The gauge is prone to wander as it encounters different densities of tissue. The solution is to push the fence quite hard into the workpiece and to move the gauge more slowly. This step is critical — if an error occurs at this point in the process, it is difficult to correct. Take the time required to mark out the rabbets properly.

Planing along the long grain Step 2: Start your planing moving with the grain smoothly, with a tight, full grip on the plane.

2. Plane with the grain and make the first few passes with the blade set fine. The grip is the same when cutting with the grain or across it.

Establishing vertical rabbet fence Step 3: As you cut, you will establish a fence along the rabbet, as you do this you can increase the depth of your cut.

3. Once you have established a wall that acts as a fence, you can increase the depth of cut and, in relative terms, “hog it off.”

Controlling the cut along the grain Step 4: Cutting along the grain of the wood is going to be much easier, but keep a firm grasp on the plane as you go.

4. As with other wood-shaping tasks, cutting with the grain is much easier than cutting across the grain. But don’t lose concentration; full control is still required.

Finished long and end grain rabbet cuts Step 5: Without much more work you will have a perfect and smooth long grain rabbet cut.

5. You will have a basic long-grain rabbet — clean and accurate.

posted on August 1, 2008 by Ian Kirby
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