Toothed plane shavings
Planing deeply figured maple ribs can be tricky; half of each stroke is cutting up into end grain and the wood tends to tear out. To get around this problem an early genius invented the toothed plane blade. The back edge of the blade has a series of parallel grooves so that the cutting edge is notched. As it cuts, the wood between the mini blades is torn and this prevents larger tears from forming. To finish the rib a cabinet scraper is used or, for a better finish, a very fine set plane is used very delicately.
Toothed plane marks can often be found on the inside of ribs and occasionally a few can be seen on the outside. Many French makers used very fine toothed planes when trimming their rib structures for fitting the back and top plates.