Veritas Detail Rabbet Plane - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Great for fine tuning rabbets and grooves


Veritas Detail Rabbet Plane

About a decade ago I purchased a Clifton 400 bullnose plane. It's a lovely little plane with a super narrow mouth and a 3/8" wide blade held in place with a Rosewood wedge. I wanted a small plane to fine tune narrow rabbets on jewellery boxes, and the Clifton has more than earned its keep in my shop. While the new Veritas Detail Rabbet Planes are similar in appearance and size to the Clifton, they are unmistakably stamped with the Veritas pedigree.
There are six models in the line-up - 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 6mm, 8mm and 10mm widths. They're available separately, on in sets of three imperial or metric. I took the 5/16" model for a spin, As with all Veritas hand planes, this rabbet plane is precision machined. The body is made of ductile cast iron, and the integrated lever cap and handle (or palm rest) is made of polished brass. The bed angle is at a common 15° brass screw holds the lever cap/handle and blade securely onto the plane body. The O1 steel blade is ground with a 30° bevel and lapped dead flat on the back side. While the blade comes fully sharpened, a few minutes of honing on a 40000 or 8000 grit waterstone isn't a bad idea.

Other side of the plane; once the clamping screw is removed the lever cap/handle swings out for easy removal
Not much here - body, integrated lever cap and handle, blade, and clamping screw
At 3" long and a mere 5.6 ounces, this plane fits very comfortably in the hand, and you can make very precise cuts with it. Adjusting the blade to remove the thinnest of shavings isn't complicated, but does take a bit of patience. The instructions from Veritas warn you not to apply too much pressure when tightening the blade clamping screw; you'll be surprised at how little torque you need to apply to the screw. Also, you can slightly affect the cutting depth of the blade by gently applying more (or less) torque to the screw. A bit of judicious testing is all you really need to get the hang of it.

As with all Veritas planes, everything is beautifully machined
The shape of the lever cap enables you to apply more pressure on the blade by simply tightening the clamping screw
I don't use a fine rabbet plane to form anything but the shallowest of rabbets, and to clean up or fine tune rabbets and grooves. Usually I cut rabbets and grooves on my router table. Which means that once I set the depth of cut on the rabbet plane I don't change it. The plane is always ready to go. Because the blade is so small it literally takes a minute or two to hone the bevel razor sharp. In fact, I've found that re-adjusting the blade to cut micro shavings takes the most time.
Shavings do tend to clog up the mouth, more so I find, the thicker the shavings are. I use whatever happens to be at hand - awl, bit of dowel - to poke the shaving free.

Bit of bottleneck - easily removed with bit of dowel or awl
Pleasure to hold and use
These Veritas rabbet planes are ideal for fine tuning rabbets and grooves, but I wouldn't likely use them for shooting tenon shoulders or for edge treatment; a wider shoulder plane and a block plane are more appropriate tools. If you can afford a set of three go for it. If not, then select the width closest to the size of rabbet you most frequently mill. I can't see anyone regretting owning (and using) one of these stellar planes.


  • 5/16" wide x 2-3/8" high x 4-1/2" long
  • 3" long sole
  • Ductile iron body
  • Forged brass handle
  • O1 blade
  • 15° bed, 30° blade bevel for a 45° cutting angle
  • 5.6 oz weight

Manufacturer:Veritas Tools Inc.
Available From:Lee Valley Tools
Retail Price:$65.00 (available in 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 6mm, 8mm, 10mm widths)
$169 (set of 3 imperial or metric)
Model #:05P75.01 to 05P75.40
Made In:Canada
Carl Duguay, June 2009
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