Veritas Skew Rabbet Plane – Techniques & Troubleshooting
Here are some helpful tips for getting the most out of your plane, as well as answers to the most common questions.
My rabbets are tilted. What am I doing wrong?
The key to getting accurate results is to keep the plane upright and the fence firmly registered against the work. Some woodworkers prefer to use the front knob to grip the plane, while others find grasping the sole adjacent to or just in front of it gives them a good sense of whether they’re holding the plane vertically and allows them to apply lateral force. Try both and see what works best for you.
Image left: Grip using the front knob. Image right: Gripping the plane body for applying lateral force.
I’m getting tear-out in cross-grain cuts. How do I fix this?
This is the result of misalignment between the projecting corner of the blade and the nicker. Use a straight reference such as a rule or thin slat of wood to assess the issue and adjust the nicker or blade position accordingly.
Can my plane do things other than rabbeting?
Yes! You can use an accessory fence or attach a wooden wedge with double-faced tape for controlled, accurate bevelling and chamfering. In some applications, such as panel-raising, you may need to install longer fence rods to use the full width of the blade.
What ongoing maintenance should I perform?
Apart from sharpening the blade, rust prevention is the biggest maintenance issue. Avoid planing wet wood, especially woods with a high tannin content (e.g., oak).
After a working session, take out the blade and use a soft brush to remove lingering shavings and dust. Periodically apply a silicone-free wax to the body to seal out moisture. Boeshield T-9 and Veritas Tool Wax both work well. Every so often, strip the plane down completely to give it a thorough cleaning and lubricate the moving parts.
If there is a risk of the tool jostling about in a toolbox, wrapping it in an old towel provides some protection.