Shooting board

Well, I finally decided to build a good shooting board, one that is straight and square and that can really try up board with a plane.
I had a smaller version in the past, but I did not really pay attention to the trueness, not really knowing what it was.  I’ve been subscribing to Rob Cosman Online classes and in the power tools section, he builds a shooting board and  a bench hook (which is next on the list).  I really like the techniques that he uses to square up the fence to make sure the all is true.
The version I build only covers 90 degree and has no provision to handle 45 degrees yet ans this is not something  I have to deal with a lot.  Eventually, I might need to include such a provision, but not this time.
As far as materiel goes, I had some left over of birch plywood (3/4″ and 5/8″) left over from other projects.  As with Rob’s build I used purple heart as fences, also leftovers from another build.
The choice of a plane here, I believe can be of 2 choices :

  • Dedicated shooting plane.  For new planes, Lee Valley or Lie-Nielsen sells them
  • Long plane for the mass.  Here any longer plane, say jack plane and higher should do the trick

For now, I use my 5 1/2 jack plane as my shooting plane, but I can’t say that I might look at a dedicated shooting plane in the future.
Few little tricks :

  • Keep the iron sharp.  Specially shooting end grain to square up the ends of the boards, sharp irons are key here
  • Waxing the part of the shooting board where the plane rides, makes it easier to push the plane as it does what it needs to do what it needs to do.

I chose to build a version that resembles pretty much Rob Cosman’s version, but  you could build any other version out there.  There are tons of version out there on the net that you can base yours out of.
But you can also buy a commercial one on the net.  Some people will sell different versions for different tasks.  That’s ok if you chose this route, but I personally believe that shooting board, at least the basic version offers good lessons to build on your own as a good shop project.

Bruno Quesnel

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