Correct iron width and side protrusion on shoulder/rebate/rabbet/bullnose planes?

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Forum topic by AESamuel posted 09-12-2019 01:49 PM 481 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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105 posts in 2106 days

09-12-2019 01:49 PM

Hi there,

I’ve read conflicting comments about how wide the iron should be, and how far (if at all) it protrudes out the side on things like shoulder planes. Some people say they should be wider than the body and stick out quite far, some say they should be exact width and perfectly aligned with the side of the plane.

While I have some old wooden rebate/rabbet planes that I’m restoring, the main plane I’m wondering about is a record #75 which seems to still have factory sole, sides, and iron. The blade is just under 1mm / 1/32” wider than the body.

It seems to me that the iron should be the same width as the body and align to the sides, otherwise the blade will register against the work and not the plane body. Before I take any drastic action, it would be great to get some advice!


3 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

19726 posts in 3451 days

#1 posted 09-12-2019 09:33 PM

i think the real world answer is it’s going to depend on you. In theory it should be the exact same width. If it was mine I’d leave it just like it is on a #75. A little wider allows you to control it. To narrow just doesn’t work, and geting and keeping it exact is almost not doable.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Sylvain's profile


1083 posts in 3382 days

#2 posted 09-13-2019 12:23 PM

see “blade width” in the middle of this Paul Sellers blog

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View chriscarter's profile


29 posts in 974 days

#3 posted 09-13-2019 12:58 PM

While I don’t know that particular plane, if it’s like all the others the iron should be a hair wider than the body. When setting the iron, it should stick out on the rebating side just a hair. While flush sounds good in theory, in practice it will cause your rebate to move away from the edge slightly on every pass.

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