Veritas Side Rabbet Plane - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

A joy to use, you'll find this plane surprisingly easy to hold in a vertical position


Veritas Side Rabbet Plane

Whether you cut grooves on the table saw or router table, invariably you end up having to 'fine tune' their width (or the edge of the panel that is being inserted into the groove). You can head back to the table saw or router to do this, or you wrap a piece of sandpaper around a length of stock slightly narrower than the groove and sand the groove wider (or sand the edge of the panel narrower).
A more elegant, quicker and more satisfying way to do this is to use the Veritas Side Rabbet Plane (SRP). This handy gem makes quick work of adjusting any groove as narrow as 3/16", and as deep as 1/2". It also excels at trimming rabbets.
The SRP is part of the Veritas line of high quality hand planes. I've used quite a few of their hand planes over the years, and have always been consistently pleased with their quality and performance. The SRP is no exception.

Handle easily pivots from side to side
Loosening a tension knob enables you to adjust the depth of cut
The 4-1/2" long body is machined from ductile cast iron, the knobs are solid brass, and the two blades are 01 tool steel (hardened to between R58 and R60). The handle on this plane pivots from one side to the other, which means that you can use it left or right handed, depending on the grain orientation of the wood. A depth stop on the back side of the plane enables you to set the depth of cut. When using the other side of the plane you simply loosen the knob and rotate the depth stop. The toe of the plane is removable - this enables you to create a chisel plane so you can trim stopped dados. Two indexing pins align the toe precisely with the body of plane.

Depth stop
Wave washer
The blades are 3/32" x 1/2" x 1-3/4", and come perfectly lapped, though you will want to hone them before using. You adjust the blades manually on this plane - there isn't a micro adjustment mechanism. On many other Veritas planes you'll find set screws that prevent the blade from shifting - you won't find them on this plane. However, they have installed a wave washer under the cap knob that helps to keep tension on the blade while you manually adjust it. I found it easiest to open the cap knob just slightly, and exert pressure on the end of the blade with my thumb. It takes a few tries before you get the sense of how much pressure to exert.

Toe is easily removed
Without the toe the SRP serves double duty as a chisel plane
You want to take the lightest of cuts with this plane, so it's wise to spend the time to adjust both blades before you begin using the plane. Once I had the blades nicely adjusted I found that they extended past the bottom of the plane. Veritas suggests grinding the bit of the tip that protrudes. Otherwise the tip scores a visible line in the bottom of the groove or rabbet. I haven't found this to present a visual anomaly yet, but if it does, off go the tips.

Blade tip extends past edge of sole
Blade mounted in Vertias Mk.II with registration jig
The blades are ground at a 30° skew and set at an 25° bevel angle. You can hone them by hand quite easily. To re-sharpen them you'll want to use a honing guide that enables you to accommodate skew and bevel angles. I use the Veritas Mk. II honing guide with the Veritas skew registration jig. There are a lot of other honing jigs on the market, but I haven't used any that are easier to use and more versatile than the Veritas. The Veritas skew registration jig makes quick work of aligning the blade for proper sharpening.

The SRP is a joy to use. It's surprisingly easy to hold in a vertical position - the bottom side of the sole rides against the inside edge of the groove or rabbet, and the top of the depth stop exerts downward pressure on the work piece, keeping the plane vertically aligned. And at 1 pound, it fits unobtrusively in an apron pocket.


  • 4-1/2" ductile cast iron body
  • Two O1 blades (Rc58-60)
  • Blade skew of 30° and bevel of 25°
  • Left or right hand configuration
  • Trims slots as narrow as 3/16" to 1/2" depth
  • 16 ounces (.45 kg)

Manufacturer:Veritas Tool Inc.
Available From:Lee Valley Tools
Retail Price:$139.00
Model #:05P44.01
Made In:Canada
Carl Duguay, November 2010
Discover more great woodworking reviews!
Subscribe Now and get instance online access to our library filled with exciting woodworking information.
Continue to stay connected to the latest tool reviews with our bi-monthly woodworking magazines!