I must start with a confession. I can’t saw a straight line. Someday I will get better, but today I can’t saw a straight line. I rely very heavily on my chuting board used with a No 6 LV plane. This results in a sore thumb or sore palm depending on how I hold the plane. I am going to purchase a dedicated chuting board plane. Does anyone have experience/preference with the LN vs. LV chuting board planes. Yes the LN cost more. My primary interest is usability and quality of cut.
Well there is the Lie Nielson shooting board plane. There is also one by veritas. They both have handles which are at an angle so you grip the handles while they are on the shooting board. They are both very expensive.
However, my recommendation is to wait a little while. Paul has a series coming up on how to make a bench plane using the blade and frog out of a regular stanley/record plane. Use that series and modify it slightly to make a plane just like the Veritas/Lie Nielsen.
I am also fairly new to hand tools and share your troubles. Too many times I have relied on waayyy to much shooting board work to get my boards square; I find jointing with the grain is a much easier task.
What I decided for myself was to stop throwing down more money (my old wood working ethos) and concentrate on developing sound technique (my new woodworking ethos). Pauls method of putting the board in the vice vertical and using a sharp plane to plane down to a knife wall does work really well, and yes I’m still perfecting it. What also helped me was simply cutting a lot of scrap boards for random on the fly projects I came up with. Each time I can see myself bearing down on the saw just a little less, and holding the line a little more.
My two cents, save your money and dont buy a dedicated shooting board plane. Use the money you were going to spend and buy some nice lumber, a bullnose plane, or some sweet molding planes, or a quick release vice (I really wish I had one of those).
Here’s a couple of pages on making a handle for your plane to help with shooting. These are base on the Low Angle Jack plane, but should be transferable to what ever plane you are using.
Here’s another version I stumbled across today.
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