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I've decided I'd like to buy a side rabbet plane and am seeking a bit of advice. The choices seem to be limited to the Veritas ($139), the Woodriver ($75) and the Lie-Nielsen pair ($225). The LN seems too pricey to me and I like the idea of having just one plane instead of two. I lean toward the Veritas one, but the Wood River seems to be almost identical for quite a bit cheaper. Has anyone used the WR? or the Veritas?
Thanks.

WoodRiver: http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/151239/WoodRiver-Side-Rabbet-Plane.aspx
Veritas: http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/page.aspx?p=60012&cat=1,41182,48945&ap=1
Lie-Nielsen: https://www.lie-nielsen.com/product/joinery-planes/side-rabbet-plane-pair?node=4169
 

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For as much as I love Veritas hand planes I would steer you toward the WoodRiver Side Rabbet plane mainly because of price. Both are extremely well made . The only caution I would have is the sole being flat on the WoodRiver as I am not a big fan of lapping any plane.
 

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I can't speak to this exact plane, but I've been pleased with a shoulder plane I bought from Wood River. For fifty bucks more I could have gotten an LN, I later wished I had. not necessarily because I believe that particular plane would function better, but from a branding/value retention perspective.
 

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Why buy the plane at all? It is really a gimmick plane. If your board does not fit in the slot take a block plane and make the BOARD narrower not the slot wider. I keep a not so nice block just for planing rough materials like particle, MDF, and plywood. Save your money for something you really need.
 

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They really are seldom-used unless you make a lots of
stuff with finely fitted dados. That's a style of work.

Anyway, they are useful but seldom called for so I think
you'll find the quirks of any of them tolerable. Being
sort of premum resale value should be pretty good too
if the particular model you buy really gets on your nerves.

One can, these, glue or tape sandpaper to a thin board
and widen dados that way. It is not as quick or elegant
as using a special plane though.

If Iwasaki made a pair of files with side offset handles they
might outperform these funny planes in many applications.

The old Stanley and Record models were generally plated
so not a plane you would be expected to lap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the excellent advice everyone. As I think about it a bit more: the Canadian dollar is not very strong, so if I can get the Veritas during a free shipping event it'll be only $15-20 more than the WoodRiver, which seems worth it to me. If only to get North American made, plus the original rather than the reverse-engineered copy.
I know it's a seldom-used plane, but it's happened often enough that I needed to adjust a groove or rabbet that I decided I wanted one. I hate trying to go back to the tablesaw or router and take off another 1/16th, especially when it's a groove that you want centered, which halves the amount to take off.
It's true too that a file can probably be made to work for this job.
What waho says concerns me a bit, but I don't see a fence on the plane - do you mean the depth stop, or are you possibly referring to a regular rabbet/plow plane? or is there a fence with this plane?
 

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I think waho is referring to the depth stop. I've got the same one and you have to be really careful when setting it and, as he notes, it can still move a bit on you. Luckily its the type of plane where the depth stop moving generally just stalls the cut rather than removing too much material.

I still use mine for the exact reasons you noted above, but it's not a breeze to set and then forget like most Veritas planes are.
 
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