Instrument Maker's Rabbeting Finger Plane and a regular


 I wondered why nobody had ever made a rabbeting finger plane?

You see finger planes all the time if you look, but they usually have rounded bottoms and are never able to clean out a rabbit. Rabbits appear on many if not all musical instruments.  No rabbit planes. Go figure.

One day I was looking at one of the wildly unsuccessful AMT palm/finger planes. These had been made in the 70's and they had some serious design problems. Obviously both the designer and manufacturer, neither one, knew how a plane is supposed to work at all.  The mouth was wide enough you could toss two cats through side by side, there is a useless slot cut up the side of the body, and the knob or palm rest is as plain and ugly as a mud fence.  But it was just about the right size piece of brass I didn't have to scrounge up.       

The lever cap on the originals was pitiful. Little more than a slip of flat brass with a screw going through. A recessed hex screw, not even finger tightenable. The blade as thin as tissue paper.

           The first thing I had to do was something about that pitiful open throat. I grabbed an old handsaw that had seen better days and cut 2 pieces to use as the sole of the plane. Spring steel is not necessary on a plane sole, but it's like chicken soup, ...It could hurt??? :-)  This was going to be pretty thin steel and I wanted it to be more than beefy so hand saw stock fit the bill exactly. I cut then out, sweat soldered them on and filed them up clean.

I made a substantial lever cap from brass and turned a little screw, stuffing it with abalone. When it came to the palm knob I started with a piece of rosewood and inlaid apple and abalone.


Here is a more normal finger plane I turned a decorative handle for. This one is very small, the blade being 1/2" wide or less. The handle was turned from tan oak wood. It has aged to a very rich color now.

yours, Scott