All planes eventually go out of flat, both wood and metal.
Metal planes take a long time to distort and also take a long time to fix. Wooden planes go out of flat seasonally and are a one-minute fix.
In this post we will address tuning a wooden rabbet plane.
How do you know when a plane’s sole is no longer adequately flat?
The first sign of a plane’s sole no longer being flat will proceed in this manner: You set the plane to take a predictable shaving, but it does not. You then blame yourself and your inadequacies, only to set the plane to take a slightly more aggressive shaving. Then the plane only removes wood from the first and last 1/2 inch while still underperforming your expectations. You continue with this process, constantly setting it more aggressively and still being unimpressed with the not performing plane…
Eventually, you again set the plane to take a slightly more aggressive pass and your plane is taking a heavy, aggressive, and uncontrollable shaving throughout.
At this point you know that your expectations were originally correct and your plane’s sole needs to be addressed.
How do you address the sole? Do not fear, wooden planes are easy:
Now throw some wax onto the sole and get back to work!
Note: I will be posting instructions to win an ‘X-out’ plane in the coming day(s)/week(s). I go out of my way to keep the winner as being a current blog reader and ‘in-house.’ If you’ve made it this far into the text then I’ll encourage you to keep reading my upcoming blogs, knowing that any publicity you give this future contest will ultimately reduce your chances of winning and my desire to pay my readers with these contests. I am, intentionally, not striving to increase my social media exposure. So, let us keep this quiet, or I will cancel the upcoming contest.