B.F. Haley Rabbeting Plane
Rabbets or rebates are an integral part of cabinetmaking and
the other associated woodworking trades that create casework.
The ability to make a slot with uniform depth and width in the
middle or on the edge of a workpiece is a very important skill.
Numerous versions of this type of tool have been used for more
than 400 years. Methods used could be something as simple as
a chisel or cutter fixed in a block, a wood or metal plane with
scoring irons and a depth stop, or a different version of the
tool with an adjustable fixed-width blade, as shown. Typically,
in the modern shop, this type of work is done with an electric
router or perhaps on a table saw with a special set of blades.
B.F. Haley, of West Palm Beach, Florida, with his patent of
May 5, 1925 (#1,536,096), claimed to have invented certain new
and useful improvements to the rabbeting plane. A close read
of the patent specifications shows that his provable claims
were based on a small outrigger part that allowed the blade
mechanism to be moved outside the body. It is not clear if the
intent was to use the side of the main body as a registration
point for cutting longitudinal slots. Sliding the collar up
reveals a through hole, as per the patent specifications, for
the extra bar to extend the cutter outboard of the main body.
The small hole in the base is perhaps for a registration pin
to locate the extra bar. This piece was not included when this
tool was obtained for the Lee Valley collection, and remains
|Through hole to attach the outboard cutter.
much discussion in the papers describes a V-shaped groove for
the cutter, this feature had already been used by Stanley in
its popular 71 and 71-1/2 routers, with that same basic blade-holding
concept patented in 1884. No mention is made in the patent claim
of the material used to manufacture the router.