Friday, March 22, 2013

Free Wooden Rabbet Plane Plans

So in the spirit of getting everyone in the shop and cutting up some wood I decided to post up a measured drawing of a 3/4" wooden rabbet plane in the 18th century style.

It is all wood with the exception of the blade which is easily gotten from Lie-Nielsen here. It features a conical escapement and some simple embellishments that a hand plane, chisel, and #7 sweep gouge can handle.

The plans are basic with a few things that can be easily changed if you like. Such as the bed angle is shown at 55˚, for hardwoods, but could be 45˚or 50˚or even 60˚. I show boxing on the plane but it is of course not a must especially if you are using a hard wood like beech in the first place but it will increase the life of the sole for a heavy user if you decide to add it. And of course you can increase or decrease the width.

I only have one request and that is if you want to post these anywhere else online please link back to this page/ post. I offer these as a free download but they are not intended for commercial use. Again please limit the use of this design to your personal use and please don't be silly and try to sell them on Ebay. It is FREE! and it is © copy right protected.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE DOWNLOAD PAGE. (Click on the download button in the upper right corner of the new page to begin download.)

Have fun ya'll!

NOTE: The plans are in PDF format. If you don't have a PDF reader Adobe Acrobat is a free software that will make it viewable and printable. The plans are 11"x17" and any print shop can print this or just print it in two pages on your home computer. Make sure where ever you print it that the "scale" is set to 100% or the measurements won't be accurate on the print.

If I made any errors anywhere in the plans please let me know so I can update them.

UPDATE: 3/25/13
Hey all, I for some reason I noted 1” where it should have been 3” on the drawing for the mouth location along the sole of the plane. The drawing is still correct but the stated length was a typo. I corrected it. The updated version has a title ending in 3/25/13.
That is what I get for editing my own work. Sorry. Download again if you are in doubt otherwise the error should be very obvious and the physical measurement otherwise is correct either way.


  1. Caleb, I was hoping you might share how you form the conical escapement. Do you carve this or do you use a reamer, or perhaps some other method. I am hoping to start making a few rabbet planes but I haven't settled on the "best" method for cutting the conical area. It seems some makers didn't even bother and cut straight through the plane body but I would think one would one to use this area to direct the shavings away from the work and lets face facts, it looks better than cutting straight through. Thanks.


    1. Brian,
      I agree it does look better and it does work better if the escapement is conical. I have an old rabbet style plane that is from like 1826 (I think) that is straight and you have to clear them.

      So I carve and then use a half round Auriou rasp. It is a 7" / 13 grain. I use that for lots of things that other wise might require 180 grit sand paper. Then I only have to lightly sand the surface to smooth out any lines left from the rasp. If you learn to push the rasp in the the right direction it will almost leave a perfect surface.

      Hope that helps!

    2. Hi Caleb,
      I'm going to be making a Rabbet plane soon, one quick question: how many mm on the #7 gouge?

  2. The link to the iron gets a 404, which one is it?

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  4. I am very happy to see these free Wooden Rabbet Plane Plans. i was searching for a good and reputed source for a long time. you are doing some very fantastic job here. Good luck!!!

  5. Thanks Caleb for your great article. I have found a helpful article on electric planer:

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