Shooting Board

Shooting Board

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In this episode Paul Sellers shows how to make a shooting board. This is an indispensable piece of hand tool shop equipment and we will be requiring one in future projects. So, click below and learn how to make one.


  1. Gary Palmer on 2 November 2012 at 9:46 am

    Nicely done 🙂

  2. norbikahu on 2 November 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Simply Excellent!

  3. john coyne on 2 November 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Brilliant! thank you!

  4. grahamb on 2 November 2012 at 9:04 pm

    brilliant! what you are doing for our craft is simply excellent,

  5. Rich Harkrader on 2 November 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Classic! I’ll be making one this weekend. Thanks Paul!

  6. Ken Haygarth on 3 November 2012 at 12:09 am

    Thanks Paul, nice job. 🙂

  7. John Poutier on 3 November 2012 at 3:47 am

    A master craftsman and teacher; a true gift. Thank you.

  8. John Guengerich Jr on 3 November 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Great demonstration on making the miter/square shooting board. Super use for some larger and smaller cut-offs that I have laying around.

  9. Lee on 3 November 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Going to try this thanks Paul.

    As a suggestion and by no means a criticism, when you show your cut lists I take a screen shot on my iPad to store in my photo gallery to refer to later, however the lists are only part complete and not necessarily named for which parts. Maybe a full cut list with the name of the pieces/sizes could be shown then a picture can be taken and printed, could be a nice touch.

    You have those no4’s running so well, yet t have mine quite how I want it!

  10. Mike Moloney on 6 November 2012 at 3:49 am

    Thanks for that, much appreciated.

    • Ken Haygarth on 6 November 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Joseph, great job I’m sure it will be a great help to us all. Many thanks

      Very Best

  11. George Bridgeman on 6 November 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Made mine at the weekend. Been meaning to build one for a while so this was a wonderfully well timed and informative video. Great project and a very useful appliance. Works a charm!


    • Joseph SellersTeam Member on 6 November 2012 at 1:00 pm

      Hi George,

      Post a picture on the forum if you get chance. We would all love to see how it turned out.

  12. ballinger on 6 November 2012 at 3:57 pm

    This is just wonderful to watch, thank you Paul for sharing your vast skill and experience.

  13. STEVE MASSIE on 12 November 2012 at 10:08 pm

    I am enjoying these videos immensely and am so glad to see you using pine on your projects since this is what is readily available to me. Hasn’t been my favorite wood but it is growing on me as I learn and use my hand tools more.

    Thank You for your efforts and looking forward to many more.


  14. Bill Byrd on 25 November 2012 at 3:27 am

    An overhead camera would be a wonderful addition. On some of your work I can only imagine what you are doing.

  15. Kevin Mahoney on 25 November 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Once again excellently done… enjoy the way you describe the fine details as you move through the project.

  16. dpaul on 29 November 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Fun! Thanks for the freebie. Look forward to the online classes.

  17. Jerry Jorgensen on 19 December 2012 at 2:56 am

    Thanks. Good video and good explanations on the little things.

    What type of wood do you recommend? And what is the thickness of the boards?



    • Joseph SellersTeam Member on 19 December 2012 at 7:30 am

      Thanks Jerry,

      You can use just about any wood. In the video Paul used Pine but you could use a hardwood as well. You can use any thickness between 5/8″ and 1 1/2″ but I suggest you stick with around 1″ thick.

      Hope this helps.

  18. Florian on 19 December 2012 at 12:53 pm

    How do you shoot the end of wider boards like for example the mitred joint of a loudspeaker box? Is is just a 45 degree ramp with a fence?

    • ausworkshop on 28 October 2013 at 1:55 pm

      I know its an old question but thought I would try to answer. Do a search for donkey ear shooting board and I think you’ll find what your looking for. I plan to build a donkey ear attachment to mine soon, will post pics when I do.

    • RL on 28 October 2013 at 2:33 pm

      Do you have a tail vice? I made a video recently showing how I use mine to shoot mitres.

  19. Darren McEvilly on 1 January 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Happy New Year to all on the forums …!!
    Just a quick question on the shooting board design – when squaring a piece of wood do you not get end grain splitting away on the portion of your piece of wood that sits above the wedge or should the wedge always be thick enough to sit higher than the piece being planed square?

    • schumie on 7 December 2015 at 8:46 pm

      Second this question…

      • ehisey on 2 July 2016 at 8:08 pm

        Based on Paul’s comments about making it thick in the video, the answer seems to be yes the fence needs to be as tall as the piece you are shooting.

  20. Scott Kidd on 13 January 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Great video Mr. Sellers. One question for you though. The piece you screwed onto the bottom of your board, I noticed you glued it too. Is that just a (good?) habit you’ve gotten into or does the glue actually assist the screws holding power?

    • Adam Magers on 31 January 2013 at 1:12 am

      Hey Scott, I know you addressed the question to Mr. Sellers, but glue will form a stronger bond than the screw will. Anytime you’re permanently joining wood, its a good idea to put some glue on there.

      • Scott Kidd on 10 February 2013 at 3:12 am

        Thanks Adam. It sounds like common sense but I never thought about it like that.

  21. Thomas Wilson on 19 January 2013 at 9:15 pm

    I liked the design of the shooting board. I am heading to the shop now to see if I can do as good a job as yourself. Thanks for the video.

  22. sch549623 on 30 January 2013 at 11:48 pm

    Finished the shopting board tonight. It was nice to get detailed descriptions of each step. It repláced my other shooting board (screwed together a few months ago) and works much better. These vidos ar great!

  23. kelly on 19 February 2013 at 5:07 am

    I finally got around to making one. Now I just need to learn how to use it properly.

    I made the base and the part that has the dados and, the cleat from a 1 x 12. I made the wedges from a couple pieces of 2 x 4.

    I *think* the “1 by” material might too shallow. But, I’ve never used a shooting board before so, I don’t know if it makes a difference or not.

    It seems, I’m able to introduce an angle to the edge of the board that’s being squared. It’s very easy to tilt the plan toward the piece (leaning onto the corner between the flat side and, the bottom of the plane). Thus causing bevel on the end of the board. I hope that makes sense.

    So, maybe I’ll make another one from a piece of 2 x 12. Whew! That’ll be a lot of work to plane the base boards down to 1 inch.

    There’s a picture at the link below.

  24. martyn smith on 20 February 2013 at 9:37 pm

    i am a new member aged 72 and these videos are great for me as i enjoy working with wood as hobby , it is a new and great experience. thank you.

  25. Mihai on 7 May 2013 at 10:36 pm

    A hundred years from now – or more , this poem will be very appreciated .
    Thank you , PS !

  26. berber5985 on 30 October 2013 at 6:33 am

    Hey Paul, I know this is an old topic, but do you usually finish your shooting boards with a coat of shellac or anything or just leave it as is? I just finished glueing up mine and I can’t decide if I should throw some finish to help protect it a little

    • Paul SellersTeam Member on 1 November 2013 at 10:03 pm

      No, I don’t find it of any real practical value. I use it as it is. I am more interested in what I can create with it rather than making it of lesser value. But that’s my perspective and others like to finish out their jigs which is fine too.

  27. pdhaslam on 16 November 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I’m hoping to get in with my shooting board soon, great video!

    Just wondering if you have any opinions on the plane to use with it. I notice you used the trusty no.4 here and seemed to work well. I bought an old record 5 1/2 to use thinking the extra weight might help. Will anything do? Does it help to have the plane sharpened to a higher grit to shoot? Although you demonstrated end grain planing with a 250 sharpened blade….

    Thanks again, the videos are great


    • Jim Mount on 16 August 2015 at 1:00 am

      Just about any plane will do. For shooting where the name of the game is accuracy, sharper is better.

  28. frankpro on 21 November 2013 at 3:48 am

    Thank you for all of these great videos! I ordered your book and 7 DVDs set and can’t wait till it gets here! This is something entirely new to me but I believe I can do this! Thanks for the help!

  29. Ed on 22 December 2013 at 4:04 am

    In this project, the saw was used to deepen the housings, but in other projects like the bookshelves, the housings are deepened only with the chisel. If the housing isn’t stopped, how do you choose between saw and chisel for deepening the knife walls?

    • Jim Mount on 16 August 2015 at 12:58 am

      I think they are interchangeable. The chisel is likely a bit more precise, and the saw is faster. Since this this is a shop jig, faster is better, but you could do it either way.

  30. Sandy on 26 December 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Great video. Thank you for making that one downloadable.

  31. Sandy on 1 January 2014 at 6:09 pm

    I made my first Shooting board this morning. It only takes trying to saw a 45 degree angle on a frame to make you realize that unless you have 50 years experience sawing by hand and have calibrated your eyes, your probably not going to get a good 45 degree joint.

    I will now! Thanks for the training and the video.

    Happy New Year!

  32. bit101 on 30 August 2014 at 8:30 pm

    My old shooting board fell apart last week, so this was on my agenda for the weekend. Went together really quickly. Finally got to really put my new (vintage) Stanley 71 router plane through its paces. I must have gotten a good edge on it, because it was slicing those dadoes like butter. The wedges are a great idea. Made mine with pine, but if it works out well, I might make another in maple or something.

  33. tompslattery on 24 September 2014 at 4:30 am

    Will 19mm thick boards work ok? I have just enough of that lying around to build it

  34. Peter George on 24 September 2014 at 4:52 am

    The first one I made was from 3/4 inch plywood so you should be good.

  35. Gareth Martin on 27 September 2014 at 8:41 am

    I bought a “cordless router” immediately after seeing this. I wish I could find out how to properly sharpen the 3 blades that came with it.

  36. BrianJ on 27 September 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I treat mine like any edge tool, but here is a link from lee valley.

  37. Dave Ray on 28 October 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Paul, you have proven again that you teach as well as you woodwork. Thank you