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Veritas Skew Rabbet Plane – Initial Set-Up


A sharp blade is only part of the equation for a plane that cuts well. The other key element is the setup. This plane is more challenging than many others, as there are a number of settings that need to come together for the plane to perform well. Take your time, and make test cuts on scrap pieces before committing to working on your project.


Cutting a rabbet along the edge of a board.

How do I set the blade?


The lever cap screw should be snug enough but not overtightened. A quarter turn after full engagement is plenty. Never torque it down – this may damage the plane.

Begin by setting the blade parallel to the sole. Start with the blade slightly retracted and the cutting edge approximately parallel. Advance the blade slightly, and use a small scrap of wood (about 1/8" × 1" × 2" to 3") to test the cutting edge as it emerges. Run the scrap wood past the cutting edge at both corners of the blade.


Testing the blade projection with a thin strip of wood.


If the blade doesn’t take a shaving, advance it slightly and try again. Since this plane lacks a lateral adjuster, you’ll need to back off slightly on the lever cap screw to shift the blade. You’re aiming for both shavings to be the same thickness. Once you’re satisfied the blade is parallel to the sole and projecting the correct amount, use the side alignment screws to adjust the blade laterally. To cut a rabbet with a sharp corner, the leading edge of the blade must extend just beyond the side of the body.


Adjusting the blade’s lateral setting screws.

How do I use the nicker for cross-grain cuts?


The scoring spur or nicker is designed to score the wood ahead of cross-grain cuts and should be aligned precisely with the projecting corner of the blade. Remove the fence rod and loosen the locking screw in the toe of the plane. Insert a small slot screwdriver in the fence rod hole to engage the adjustment screw for the nicker. When you’re happy with the nicker’s position, reverse the process. This can be a tricky set-up and may require some trial and error.


Checking the alignment of the blade corner and nicker.

Using a thin scrap of wood to check the alignment of the blade and scoring spur.

How do I set the fence and depth stop?


You can use a ruler, but it’s much easier to use something with a registration surface, such as a rule equipped with a stop or a combination square.


Image left: Using a combination square to set the fence position. Image right: Using a combination square to set the depth stop.

Using a double square as a reference for setting the fence and depth stop positions.


With the blade sharpened and the plane properly adjusted, it’s time to make shavings. In the next section, we’ll show you how to overcome the most common issues when using this plane, and give some tips on how to look after it so it performs well for years to come.

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