Episode 92 Amana Tool Dado Blade

Episode 92 Amana Tool Dado Blade

Click here to see the blade at Toolstoday.com  Don’t worry that the blade is not blue – the photo has not been updated yet to include their latest coating that is now standard on their blades.


It’s been a little while since I had a good look around the HNT Gordon website.  I’ve known about some (but not all) the new planes in the range, but haven’t mentioned here for some time.  I have a number of HNT Gordon planes in my workshop – certainly plan to have some more in time!

First plane to mention are the dado planes.  There are three sizes available (1/4″, 1/2″ and 3/4″)

HNT Gordon Dado Plane

Dado plane detail

This could be the most complicated plane in the range!  From front to back (and in the second photo, this is from right to left), there is a scoring blade (called a nicker), which slices a groove with twin knife-edges on either side of the dado.  This ensures a very clean, crisp edge to the dado, with the fibres scored and sliced rather than chipped.  The amount of extension of the nicker is controlled with the knurled knob on top of the plane.

The next feature back is a depth-control plate. When the dado is precisely to the required depth, the plate rubs on the top surface, preventing the dado plane cutting deeper.

Third and finally is the blade, which standard for HNT Gordon planes cuts at a 60o angle with a thick blade to avoid chatter.  What is different is the blade is skewed at 20o, so it slices rather than chips.

The next plane I’ve found on the site is the Radius Plane

HNT Gordon Radius Plane

Radius plane sole

This plane is one with a single purpose.  Well all planes could be described that way, but this one is made specifically to shape the seat of a Windsor chair (and any other similar function).  I have seen all sorts of jigs to try to get a router to scallop out a chair curve, but sometimes the traditional way is the best way, and that is what this plane is all about.  No ridges, powdered timber, extensive sanding, excessive noise.  The subtle “schick” sound of a well tuned plane functioning perfectly.

Terry has also tackled moulding planes, with a set of hollows and rounds from 1/4″ to 1 1/4″ in 1/4″ increments, and a snipe bill plane to start the process.

Moulding plane set

It is surprising just how many profiles can be created with a few hollows and rounds.  There is a new book on Lost Art Press just on the topic of creating a wide variety of profiles with such a set.

Terry Gordon also has developed some spokeshaves in the past few years.  A larger one, either flat-bottomed or curved, and a fine spokeshave for getting into the tightest of spaces.

HNT Gordon Spokeshave (curved or flat)

Fine spokeshave

Other planes to come include a moving fillister (also known as an adjustable rabbet plane), a dovetail plane, and a plow plane.  A plow plane is the precursor of the modern router for joinery – cutting grooves and narrow rabbets).  Will be very interested to see how Terry tackles each of these.

So that is it (at this stage), so many planes to tempt you, made from stunning timbers and each that work better than you could possibly expect.  They can be found, and ordered from the HNT Gordon website.

The Rabbit of Caerbannog

Otherwise known as “The Grand Rabbet” (Probably better known as the “Legendary Black Beast of Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh”, but that is another matter).

Grand Rabbet

The kit from CMT (sold in Oz by Carbatec) consists of a 2″ rebate bit, and 16 different sized sleeves to produce a wide range of rebates, with a final sleeve with a matching diameter to the bit itself, turning it into a giant pattern copying bit. There is also a packet of spares for the actual double bearings, spacer sleeve, washer and hex bolt that are used as part of the assembly.


Working from left to right, you have the 2″ rebate bit (which is obviously of significant size!!), heavy chunk of carbide on each flute and a decent shear angle as well, so the bit creates a slicing action rather than a straight chipping one (producing a better finish/less tearout).  The first bearing is then added, along with the spacer sleeve (this fits in between the two bearings, and sits in the middle of the rebate sleeve).  You then have one of the range of rebate sleeves to choose, depending on the size rebate required.  A second bearing fits in the top recess of the rebate sleeve producing a very smoothly operating product.  The is capped off with the washer and hex bolt to lock everything onto the router bit.

Rebate Set

One of many different setups, this one produces a rebate (rabbet 😉 ) that is 2″ – 1 3/8″ = 5/8″ / 2 = 5/16″

Or if you prefer, 50.8mm – 34.92mm = 15.88mm / 2 = 7.94mm

You need to divide the answer by 2 to get the final rebate depth.

17 different rebate variations, plus the flush trim in the kit as provided.

So in the immortal words of Tim, the enchanter, I give to you “Well, that’s no ordinary rabbit.” The Grand Rabbet from CMT.

Tim, the Enchanter

Double Rabbet

Had a quick try of the twin rebate bit (in this case the one for the thin glass (3mm))

Picture Framing Bit

Took it in a couple of passes, but the bit didn’t have any problem anyway, and the finish was good.  Particularly given this is meant for the back of the picture anyway.

Twin Rebate

The principle behind the bit is to cut two rebates at once.  The first (narrower) one is for the glass, the second is for the backing.  You could certainly do this with two bits, or two fence positions, or two different sized bearings, but if the intention is to make a few frames, getting to do it all at once saves a lot of effort, and ensures consistency from job to job

Router Bit Kick

On a bit of a kick at the moment, each router bit is like a new tool because they work so differently one from another – some do edging, some shaping, some copying, rebating etc etc.  And there are so many interesting ones out there 🙂

Some that have recently caught my attention, and will be covered individually shortly are some Flai bits, to see how they perform compared to the brands I am currently useful.

Computer Depiction of a Flai Router Bit

I haven’t tried the Flai bits yet – I have a couple, and will be interested to see if they, and particularly their edges perform as well as their saw blades.

Double Rebate

This bit is one of the new ones in the Carbatec range – a double rebating bit.  It is used for picture framing, as it cuts a rebate for the glass (either 3mm or 6mm depending on which of the 2 you choose), and a second, wider rebate for the backing board.

One very useful addition for bearing guided bits is a set of bearings of different sizes.  This allows fine-tuning of how the bits work, increasing their versatility even further.

You can buy a set of bearings – there is a set in CMTs range for example

791-703-00 Bearing Set

But for the price, there is a better way: a rebate bit that includes a set of bearings.  The CMT bearing set is $77, for $22 more you get the full rebate set.

835-001-11 Rebate Set

However, what really caught my eye (when I was shown it by a friend) is

The Grand Rabbet Set

835-503-11 Grand Rabbet Set

Now it may not look as impressive in the photo here, but that is in part because you don’t have a scale reference.  The rebate (or rabbet in American) bit itself is 2″ in diameter.  What’s more, those are not bearings in the box – they are a kind of sleeve.  And the concept is significantly cool.  Instead of having a whole set of actual bearings in the range of sizes seen here (which would be very expensive), these are solid, machined sleeves that fit a bearing top and bottom so they run exceptionally well. The bearings themselves are replaceable (if it ever is needed) at a comparatively low cost.

With the cutter at 50.8mm (2″), there is also a sleeve that is the same diameter, turning the rabbeting bit into the largest flush-trim bit/pattern copying bit that I have ever come across.

Looking forward to getting to try the kit out – bring on the rabbet stew!

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