A rabbet is a recess or rectangular groove cut lengthways in the edge of a piece of board, plank, or other timber (Fig. 284). It is usually better for the amateur to get such work done at a mill, when practicable, rather than to do it by hand. The rabbet-plane is, however, a very useful tool to have. In some cases, as at the end of a piece, the saw can be used, the lines for the rabbet having been carefully marked with a knife or chisel. The chisel can also be used to make a rabbet, much as in cutting a mortise, taking pains when driving the chisel down next the line not to cut under or jam the wood beyond the line. In the final trimming to the line, the chisel should be held with the flat side toward the line. In removing the wood with the chisel, it is often best to pare across the grain rather than with it.
A strip of wood can be clamped across the piece exactly on the line as a guide for the saw and the sawing be done with the heel or rear corner of the saw, keeping the latter close up to the gauge stick, and pieces are sometimes even clamped to the saw itself to guide it, but such arrangements, though useful expedients under some circumstances, are hardly the most workmanlike methods.