How To Use A Shooting Board
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If you have never used a shooting board for squaring up the ends of wood and finalising rough-cut mitres, you are in for a treat. Nothing works so beautifully for perfecting such cuts, and the pure bliss of slicing off those onion skins to seat the two faces perfectly is second to none. It’s self-explanatory to make one of these, but showing it in use demystifies how they work and why they work so very well. You must make one for yourself. It’s another lifetime piece of equipment for the cost of wood scraps and an hour of your time!
I am going to start to make one of these. Do you / can you get the perfect 90* on the sacrificial wedge by using the shooting board itself?
Thanks the last bit was very Punny
Paul (sorry, bit off topic)
Where did you get the depth gauge for your Record Power drill press please?
It came with the machine.
Anyway we can get the build plans for this shooting board? And thank you for posting this video. Very beneficial for a newbie like me
It would be beneficial for us to have a tutorial on constructing the shooting board, although it appears to be relatively straightforward
There is a video of Paul making a shooting board on this site and in other places on the internet. Looks like it is the same shooting board he is showing here. It’s about 45 minutes long.
I’m working on mine right now based on Paul’s video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ypbvcxb-8M
https://woodworkingmasterclasses.com/videos/shooting-board/ for those of you looking to make your own and aren’t familiar with the site yet.
I recently made a shooting board according to Paul’s design. It replaces an earlier, sadder version of a shooting board — which is now a bench hook. The new one works very well and I could not be more pleased.
Thanks for the design and the inspiration!
I particularly like the one stop Mitre creation whereby your shooting board transitions from the cutoff step to the shooting step without the delay of extra movements……. I do think it would have been useful to point out the little Rabbet like ledge created in the shooting board during the initial preparation of the shooting board which makes it possible to scootch up the end of your board and actually remove material from that end. You did show us the part of the plane sole that doesn’t cut but no graphic mention of this all important ledge it creates….. I could actually see the ledge in the video however.
For plans for Paul’s Shooting Board look for the free video he downloaded 8 years ago. I built mine using his instructions 7 years ago and still use it a lot.
Like Jurgen01, I also built one of your shooting boards of this design (from yellow pine and MDF) for an earlier project, but unlike him/her I was less successful in its execution, at least in the long run. On the project I built it for (last year about this time) it worked perfectly, but several months later the wedged stop on the 90 degree side loosened up and I was forced to screw it in from the bottom. I also had to build an auxiliary fence (screwed into the main fence) and shim it out with pieces of paper to get the micro adjustment on the 90 degree angle perfected. Any reactions to my ‘hacks’ or tips from the master would be welcome.
Thank you Paul….I made one years ago when you first showed it to us……because my 45 deg is a tiny fraction out I have glued a thick shaving to rest stock against and get 100% perfect mitres.
Thank you again ….John 2V
I do a lot of picture framing and I can insure you that no chop saw or miter saw is perfect enough to directly get a pristine miter. Using a miter saw, a miter might be perfectly cut at 45° and square to the edge, but any saw leaves ridges on the end grain. So my miter saw is only used to quickly cut parts in series to the correct size. The passage on the shooting board is essential to obtain a perfect miter. Alternatively, there are professional miter trimmers or guillotines, but I find nothing is as versatile and practical as the good old shooting board.
Sometimes I use a sanding block instead of the plane for delicate moldings.
Thank you, great video. I also made mine a couple of years ago but struggled to get the angles exact, so it never worked perfectly. Still, that was then good practice to try and clean up in the vice freehand. I will attempt another hopefully more accurate shooting board soon.
“This Is going to see me out I’m pretty sure….” this and the joke at the end had me laughing this morning. Thanks!
What do people do when the board that needs mitre is taller than the shooting board or the width of the plane blade? For example I have some face moulding that is 4 inches tall I’d like to mitre it, but it it is way too tall for a shooting board.
It is best to freehand this in the vise on edge if possible. Using the back edge of the board, the long point, to register the 45-degree aspect of your square against and the back face for the square front-to-back aspect.
How about making a spring board where the plane run slides at an angle? Then the board lays flat on is long side.
By spring board I meant a shooting board. Got corrected by my phone.
To Craig Medvecky:
use a mitre jack:
search for “building-la-forge-royale-miter-jack” on the Benchcrafted site
video at the bottom of the “how to” links list.
sometimes there are old ones on e-bay.
in French look for “boîte à recaler”
One can order one (not in stock) in France to gaignard-millon.com
Craig, you might want to google “donkey’s ear shooting board”. I think that will give you what you’re looking for.
The most detailed explanation of shooting boards and their use that I have seen is this video.
As noted above, Benchcrafted has blog posts on the mitre Jack and a hardware kit they sell
Lake Eire Toolworks also has a hardware kit.
And Redroseproductions makes them for sale using Benchcrafted’s design and hardware
And there are several other styles. A pretty overview is here:
It covers most styles. There are a couple more for metering box sides, my favorite of which is here:
Redroseproductions will also sell you a really nice set of plans for the benchcrsfted jack.
Does Paul mainly use shooting boards on smaller pieces? I’ve noticed a lot of times he will just plane down to his knife wall while the piece is held in his vice.
Yes, I do use a shooting board as well sometimes.
How do you make a shooting board without a shooting board? I can’t manage to get the parts that are supposed to be square, square!
It is not a problem just planing without a shooting board but consider screwing parts together to make the shooting board pieces.
Which parts are you talking about? Realistically, all you need are two straight edges fixed at ninety degrees to each other. These get put on to a baseboard that the plane will slide on. You should be able to get straight edges with the plane you have. If the problem is finding a reliable ninety degree, you can always use a sheet of paper.
Glue two boards together.the one on the bottom wider than the topso a plane rides on it.
Take a square block and glue it to the top ona 90’degree angle.
To get it square set the plane on the bottom tight against the top and put a square against the sole and the square block against the blade. Thats a way. Or watch paul make a dandy one search it out on the site
If you don’t think you can glue the block on square, Hernan Costa from Buenos Aires has a method that uses a secondary piece you can use to adjust the alignment.
I suspect that it’s speed vs skill vs precision. The shooting board was easier for me to square end grain when I was newer. Now that I’m more confident, especially in sharpening, it’s quicker to plane in the vice. When I tried it before I snapped (blew out) a lot of unsupported edges. Paul knows he’s not going to blow out the edge and he know he’s going to end up square so he cuts out the step of pulling out the shooting board. My skills aren’t there yet.
are there blueprints and a cutting list i can download somwhere? i love watching paul work and have learned so very much!!