Hand plane for dados

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Forum topic by BalsaWood posted 02-14-2019 09:44 PM 546 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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157 posts in 1665 days

02-14-2019 09:44 PM

What type of hand plane could cleanly expand the width of a dado and stay straight as well?

7 replies so far

View Mosquito's profile (online now)


9847 posts in 2798 days

#1 posted 02-14-2019 09:47 PM

Side Rabbet.

Stanley #98 and #99, or #79. Other manufacturers made similar as well. Veritas, Lie-Nielsen, and Woodriver also make some, or there were some wooden versions back in the day as well, depending on your preference.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

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Bill White

5227 posts in 4467 days

#2 posted 02-14-2019 09:50 PM

Sometimes called a moving fillister. Mos has ya covered.
Mine is a Sargent.

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View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16190 posts in 3125 days

#3 posted 02-14-2019 09:54 PM

Bill, I’ve not seen side rabbets referred to as moving fillisters. You’re thinking the #78 maybe? Those don’t work dadoes.

Side rabbets like the 98 and 99 are tricky to fettle, but do work when they’re set up right! Get the fenced version.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View OleGrump's profile


496 posts in 851 days

#4 posted 02-14-2019 10:12 PM

You could probably accomplish this with a good old #45 combination plane, with an iron the width desired to expand and the fence set to run parallel to the existing dado. Best to make a test piece from scrap first and try this method before attempting it on anything good. If the distance between the edge of the board and the dado is wide enough, perhaps the cam attachment could be employed to help keep the plane upright. I’ve never done this myself, so I can’t make any blanket promises, but this would be the method I’d consider using.

-- OleGrump

View KYtoolsmith's profile


87 posts in 366 days

#5 posted 02-15-2019 02:14 AM

Hey Balsawood! Great question… I had to go out to the shop and try it… Widen a dado (cross grain) with a hand plane. The Stanley 79 will not do it… As Stanley’s catalog listing states, it’s a “side rabbet” plane. Great for widening a groove with the grain… Doesn’t cut well on the end grain of the side of a dado. So neither will a No. 98 or 99 work. I was able to widen a 1/4” dado to 3/8 using a Stanley 39 3/8 dado plane. The 39 series planes have skewed irons just for cross grain work.

Regards, The Kentucky Toolsmith!

-- "Good enough" is just another way of saying "it could be better"...

View Jeremymcon's profile


366 posts in 1186 days

#6 posted 02-15-2019 04:46 PM

Yup – side rabbet. Or you could use a dedicated dado plane (they’re uncommon) and setup a fence so that the blade only cuts part of the wall of the existing dado.

But I usually hit the board that’s going to be set into the dado with a smoothing plane until it fits – much easier.

View waho6o9's profile


8767 posts in 3083 days

#7 posted 02-15-2019 04:49 PM

Maybe a router plane with a fence?

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