Introduction: Make a Shooting Board

About: I have been working with wood since I could stumble into the shop with my dad. About a year ago I moved into a house with no space for a full shop so I decided to take up all hand tool wood working. That start…

The shooting board is a tool that disappeared when hand planes stopped being used by most woodworkers. But with the return of hand tools to the average shop, this gem of old world Woodworking is coming back too.

A shooting boad allows you to trim down the end of a piece of stock. quickly and easily giving you an end that is perfectly plumb and square as well as smooth and good looking without forcing Sawdust into the pores.

Tools needed:

Hand router:

#4 Hand plane setup for smoothing:

Low Angle Jack Plane:

Panel saw:

Supplies needed:

White Oak or whatever wood you prefer: from the scrap pile in the garage.

Boiled Linseed Oil:

Past Wax:

Wood Glue:

Step 1: Assemble the Base

You may be able to make a base out of a single piece of wood or as I did join together two pieces to make a solid sheet 3/4" thick, 18" long, and 14" wide. this size can change to whatever you need or want but those are the dimensions of what I made.

Step 2: Layout for Groove

I start by marking a line from top to bottom in about 3" from one side. If you are right-handed that will be in from the right side, and in from the left if you are left-handed. Next, I measure the height if the side wall of the plane I want to use for the shooting board. Last, I draw a second line parallel to the first that same measurement away from the first line. This will be the two walls of a groove that capture the side wall of the plane as it slides.

Step 3: Cut Out Groove

Next, I use a router plane to slowly remove the waste between the two lines. I take it down a step at a time untell it is down to the max depth I wanted. That depth will be slightly more than the distance from the side wall of the plane to the side of the iron. This way when the plane is in the groove the edge of the iron will be slightly below the deck of the shooting board.

Step 4: Cut and Attach a Stop

The height stop should be slightly less than the width of the iron. and should be as long as the distance from the groove the the opposite side. Some people like to screw this in place so it can be changed in the future and some, like me, like to glue the stop in place. It is important that the stop be both square to the groove and the deck so before the glue sets, check it with a square and adjust as needed. I like to clamp mine in a vice and tap it into the perfect place with a mallet, then, leave it in the vice overnight.

Step 5: Attach Bench Hook

You will want to glue a strip along the front under the deck of the board so that it can hook on the front of the bench. this peace does not need to be more than 3/4" x 3/4" and glued in place.

Step 6: Chamfer and Finish

I like to give all outside corners a bit of a chamfer just to make them look and feel good. then finish it with Boiled Linseed Oil and Past wax. you will want to make sure there is enough wax in the groove so the plane slides easily in it.

And there you go! an easy project that will serve you well for years to come.

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