iMyFone LockWiper

Comb. Planes


Woodworking with Diego de Assis


Specialty Planes

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Diego de Assis
Contact:  Diego



In addition to surfacing planes (scrub plane, smoothing plane, jack plane, and jointer), there are many specialty planes, with specific cuts for different purposes.

Some of the many examples are tongue and groove planes, molding planes, plow planes, and rabbet planes. They have been used since early times in traditional cabinemaking, and are still used today by the few craftsmen who maintain antique technologies made extinct by modern industry.


According to Leo P. McDonnel, in his book Hand Tools for Woodworking (published in Brazil by Record in 1962), “Specialty planing tools are necessary for mortise and tenon and half-lap joints, and for moldings on trim and frame work.

On the left, top to bottom: 3 irons from molding planes, 4 irons from round planes used in making molding profiles. On the right, top to bottom: 3 irons from rabbet planes, 3 irons from match (tongue and groove) planes, and 3 irons from plow planes.

For this article I have chosen a few planes in my collection, acquired mainly in Rio de Janeiro flea markets, to describe their basic functions. Most of them are antique wooden bodied planes, of diverse origins, made by anonymous craftsmen—the co-authors of this overview.

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Combination Planes

Sandusky Planes


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