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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Which type of plane is better for rabbets and dadoes, a router plane or a plow (plough) plane?
 

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In History is the Future
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I don't have a really good answer for that, lol

A router plane is tough for rabbets. Even with a fence it leaves a bit to be desired if you make more than 6 feet of a rabbeted edge per year. To rabbet with a router is more of a gerry-rig than an intended job for it.

A router plane is fine for dados and grooves but best if presawn and the bulk removed with a chisel first.

A plough plane works well for grooves not so for dados unless presawn.

A dado plane differs from a plough in that is has a nicker / spur before the blade to score cross grain for dados. This can be retracted and used for grooves and also a rabbet with straight edge clamped to the edge of the board.

My suggestion - if you are doing a considerable amount of traditional joinery with hand tools - consider a Stanley 78 rabbet plane, a plough plane AND a Stanley 71 router plane (or equivalents). Also a combination plane such as a 45, 55 or 46 can perform the jobs of a rabbet and plough, amongst others, but I find the combination planes less enjoyable to use compared to dedicated planes.
 

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I have a moving fillister plane that I love for rabbets (long or cross grain), and it was not too expensive on eBay. I may also decide to get rid of it soon, because I've inherited a second... if you're interested, I'll keep you in mind should I make the decision. It's essentially a Stanley 78, but made by Millers Falls, and with a missing depth guide.

It's no good for dados, though; as firemedic points out, it's not designed for that. I really want a good dado plane, but for small ones you can cut the sides with a saw and remove the waste with a chisel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Andy. I would be interested.

By the way, I read somewhere yesterday that at least some Stanley 78 planes had "nickers" for doing dadoes, but that just about all of them have gotten lost along the way.
 

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Thanks Andy. I would be interested.

By the way, I read somewhere yesterday that at least some Stanley 78 planes had "nickers" for doing dadoes, but that just about all of them have gotten lost along the way.
It isn't hard to find complete ones. Just spend a few weeks watching ebay and you can get your hands on a complete one for around $30. There'll be lots of incomplete ones to sift through but more than enough with all the pieces.

For the price of the parts sold by themselves, I wouldn't bother buying an incomplete 78. You will end up spending more than waiting on a whole one.

That said, I think the blade would be too wide for most dados. The knicker is for cross grain rabbets, unless I'm mistaken.
 

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Since it has a nicker and fence only on one side, are there performance issues when going the wrong way on the grain? Or have I not looked at mine closely enough?
 

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Since it has a nicker and fence only on one side, are there performance issues when going the wrong way on the grain? Or have I not looked at mine closely enough?
I've been able to put the fence on either side of the Millers Falls one, but I usually don't bother unless it's awkward to get to one side of the workpiece. When going with the grain, the nicker doesn't matter, and to be honest I haven't noticed a difference based on which direction I'm cutting.

When going across the grain, you have to put the fence opposite the nicker, but you're going across the grain, so you're never going to get a perfectly clean cut anyway.

Thanks Andy. I would be interested.

By the way, I read somewhere yesterday that at least some Stanley 78 planes had "nickers" for doing dadoes, but that just about all of them have gotten lost along the way.
I'm willing to sell, but you don't have enough posts for me to send you a PM. I just went out to confirm the condition, and here's what I can tell you:

1) The cutter is sharp and in good shape, but about half used up. If you're careful and don't have to regrind it due to nicking it or something, it should last quite a while.

2) The nicker is in good shape. Only one of the "leaves" (it's one of the clover shaped ones) has been sharpened, and it's getting dull. I'll touch it up before I ship if you want it.

3) They body is in excellent condition, with two slight exceptions: the previous owner had it re-jappanned, and there's a small nick behind the rear cutting mouth. Neither has any effect on performance, but if you need everything to be original and perfect you're probably not interested in this one.

4) The depth stop is missing completely, along with the screw to hold it in place. This never bothered me (I just use a marking gauge to mark how deep to cut), but it is a downside.

I'm figuring to ask $20 + shipping, whatever that happens to be. If you're interested, send me an email at my user name at gmail . com, and I'll figure out what shipping would cost.
 
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