DID YOU KNOW…

Restoration can sometimes be quite tricky for the beginner woodworker – even at the best of times! For example, do need to fix a broken handle, turn up a new knob, repair a wedge or true the wooden sole of your favorite hand plane? Check out our tips and tricks on a range of restoration and repair jobs.


MuJingFang Rabbet Plane


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This ebony rabbet plane from MuJingFang might be considered by some to be a little rough in places but, coming in under $30, you can forgive a little crudeness here and there. Michael Brereton tries it out.

The body of this particular plane measured 6-1/4 inches long and 1 inch wide and looked like a nice "select" piece of jet black ebony, free of defects. The roughly finished blade was bedded at about 46° and was made of HSS. At just under 1/8 of an inch thick it needed a little flattening, sharpening and honing before I felt it was suitable enough to use. Of course this would be expected of most planes, let alone one at such an inexpensive price.

Once the fettling had been done it was down to the testing. The plane did a surprisingly good job of planing whatever I threw at it, probably due to the mass of the ebony and the fact that the mouth was nice and narrow at just a little over 1/32 of an inch - excellent for a wooden plane I felt.

Like the palm smoothing plane reviewed earlier, this plane also felt nice to use, providing a comfortable grip which was made easier by the presence of shallow channels milled on each side of the plane, coupled with nicely rounded edges and corners.

The one criticism I have of the plane though is the rough finish of the wedge. It seems out of place with the rest of the plane and feels more like an "afterthought" than anything else. It seems strange that, with so many nice touches to this plane, the manufacturer would cut corners by not cutting corners on the wedge's finial. Overall it looked a little too square to me - especially considering that the rest of the plane is so nicely rounded.

This is a small complaint however, and one which can be easily rectified by a competent user. At $29 for a rabbet plane though it sure represents good value!

MuJingFang Rabbet Plane
$29

Review by Michael Brereton.

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