No matter how many times I have relearned this lesson, every time I buy a new hand tool I think I am going to get perfect results out of the box. That happened again when I bought my Veritas skew rabbet plane. It is a truly great tool, but my results weren't truly great at first. The rabbets sloped in and down.
When I had some free time, I set about figuring out what I needed to do to get good rabbets. I learned from the company's video that you want the blade to be set proud of the side of the plane body about the thickness of a piece of paper. That helped, but didn't completely solve the problem, and it wasn't hard to figure out why: I was having trouble keeping the plane consistently vertical.
Try as I might, I just couldn't find a grip that felt right. I tried every way I could think of to grasp the front knob but couldn't find one that worked. Frustrated, I went online to look at some videos of the plane in use and found this one by Chris Schwarz. Watch very closely. Notice anything? He took the front knob off! I immediately went back to the shop, took mine off and the improvement was immediate. My hand fit comfortably on the plane body and it was much easier for me to keep it vertical.
This is a puzzling thing to me. I am a big fan of Lee Valley and they obviously know what they are doing. However, this front knob seems absolutely awful, at least for someone with big hands like me. If you look at the company's video, Vic doesn't seem to use it either. I have absolutely no idea what it's for. Perhaps some of you use it, and, if so, I'd like to hear from you in the comments.
There is one other thing you should notice in Chris Schwarz's video. It's very beneficial to keep the edge you are creating the rabbet on exactly flush with the side of the bench. This is one time when it's nice to have an end vise. If you want to, you can also add an auxiliary fence as an aid in keeping the plane vertical.
There is one thing he does wrong though: he is using the plane in the wrong direction. Take it from me, the left hand one works better. :)
Finally, in the catalog, the company shows the plane being used to raise panels with the help of an angled auxiliary fence and some longer fence rods. I see how this is done in principle, but I think it would be quite difficult. I'm off the hook, though, because I like to raise panels with regular rabbets. You can do this in the arts and crafts style with the rabbet in the back, but it also looks really nice with the rabbet in the front.