Rebate Refurb

by | Jul 27, 2013 | 7 comments

I’ve managed to find some spare minutes this morning so I decided to take a quick look at refurbishing an old wooden shoulder plane which I’ve had laying around but never used. These rebate planes can often be picked up from car boot sales and flea markets for next to nothing so it’s well worth checking out just how quickly you can get one back up and running and put it to use in the workshop.

old wooden shoulder planerestoration of shoulder planeThe first job was to true the faces of the plane so they were flat and parallel. You can see just how must this face has moved over time but a few more passes took away all the aged patina and I was left with a fresh and flat surface.

flattening the plane solechecking the plane sole is square

The next step was to flatten the sole of the shoulder plane and make sure that this was square to the sides.

sharpening the rebate plane ironFitting the wedge in the rabbet plane

This shoulder plane has a skewed mouth which is ideal for planing both with and across the grain. To put some life back in to the plane’s iron I spent a good amount of time on the coarsest stone to re-established the bevel. I didn’t have time to go to any great lengths but I got the edge sharp enough to try out for some shavings and then set it in to the plane.

using the shoulder planecleaning the edge of a rebate joint with the shoulder planeThis was a bit of a rushed job but already the shoulder plane is working well to cut a nice clean and square rebate. I’ll come back and do a bit more work on the iron as well as checking that it’s seating nice and flat on the bed of the plane. For now though it’s doing a great job it softwood and I’m happy that this is going to be a very useful and cost effective little joinery plane. I took a look at cleaning up this shoulder plane because our wall cupboard video shows a lot of rebates being cut – I’m making a short follow up video after part one to look at alternative methods for cutting them.

I’ll also take a quick video snippet to add to our Facebook page later on so you can see it in use.

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About Richard Maguire

About Richard Maguire

As a professional hand tool woodworker, Richard found hand tools to be the far more efficient solution for a one man workshop. Richard runs 'The English Woodworker' as an online resource and video education for those looking for a fuss free approach to building fine furniture by hand. Learn More About Richard & The English Woodworker.


  1. Ken

    Nice job Richard. HaHa this is strange today I was given the very same plane, and it needs the very same work carried out on it.

    Thanks for this one buddy, I love em all

    Ken 😉

    • Richard

      Hi Ken, what are the chances? It’s funny how things go. I certainly hope you find the post of some use.

  2. barry oborne

    this is great stuff for me, because after I get my little john I will
    be traveling about south india and the madras area looking
    for old wood working tools that I can refurbish and use.I will be buying some primary
    tools from your company, but I want to see of I can find some hand tools that can be refurbished
    and used here. I learn a lot by watching you.
    thanks again,

    • Richard

      Thanks Barry, There is something very satisfying about using old restored tools. Some are definitely easier though than others, I’d be very interested to see what tools crop up in India.
      Cheers, Richard

  3. Kris

    Richard may I ask which sharpening stones you use please?

  4. Francesca Copeland

    Richard can you please tell me what kind this is and how much they go for . thank you


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