Busy weekend! I finally got with the programme and made something……well two things actually. I started on making the shooting board and got as far as the 90 degree element (dado cut and fitted with wedge). The wedge fits perfectly and the angle is, as far as I can tell with the combination square I have, bang on 90 degrees. I was pretty stunned, although I did follow Paul’s instructions to a tee.
One of my challenges though was that I had huge problems clamping the workpiece to chisel out the dado. I made it extra wide and long to handle bigger bits of stock (given my usual lack of accuracy in sawing and planing…..I need all the help I can get), but the problem then was that my vice only opens to approx 7 inches and the board is a foot wide. I don’t have a long sash clamp like I’ve see Paul use for wider bits of stock (now on my shopping list!), so I struggled through by clamping it to the bench with rachet clamps, which was far from ideal. So last thing yesterday I made myself a bench hook from some old scrap wood. It works an absolute treat at stopping the workpiece sliding around whilst chiselling. Anyway, I finished off the two 45 degree dados and wedges and, much to my extreme surprise, seem to have got them spot on too.
I’ve not really had much of an opportunity to try the shooting board yet, but one thing I have noticed is that it’s a bit of a challenge to keep the plane perpendicular to the edge of the board and therefore the stock that you’re edge planing. I have an old No. 4 Stanley which I bought off eBay. I’m not sure if this is usual, but when it’s lying on it’s side it’s a few degrees off perpendicular in the direction away from the board. That means that in order to run it square with the workpiece you have to tilt the uppermost edge in toward the workpiece. This raises a number of questions:
is this usual or should the plane be completely square?
should you try and fix it by adjusting either the plane or the shooting board, or do you work around it by altering your technique?
if you make an adjustment, do you make it to the plane (by lapping the side flat until it is 90 degrees) or do you make an adjustment to the board? I wondered if laying something like a steel ruler (or a suitably shaped shim) on the base board at the right distance from the board holding the workpiece, you’d create the necessary angle?
I’d be interested to know if/how people get around this issue.
Jon (knackered but happy)
Yorkshireman currently living in Hampshire