Projects – Shooting board – Part 1

I’ve been ill for the last three or four weeks, so the combined pressures of work and family life have conspired to keep me out of the workshop (that and the nasty cold making me not want to spend any time in there!)


Other than a bit more fiddling about with my planer thicknesser (more on that another time), I’ve been reading and thinking about shooting boards.

There are some good links on the Cornish Workshop here, but the one that really struck a chord was this post on a Sawmill Creek forum, which I believe is based on this plan from White Mountain Design.

Accuracy concerns

With a relatively small single garage workshop, the idea of one shooting board for all eventualities (square, mitre and donkey ear) is really attractive, however the boards shown in that post only work one way round.

This means it’s impossible to shoot both ends of a piece of wood with the reference face and edge against the deck and fence respectively (you have to flip it so either the face or the edge will be changed).

This video on the Logan Cabinet Shoppe blog mentions the above issue and recommends flipping the faces, so the reference edge is always against the fence.

Because of concerns about accuracy, I’m considering a double mitre, so that any inaccuracy in the 45 degree angles is cancelled out.

Making a start

Proto shooting board

The base is one of the 18mm MDF off-cuts I got from Wenbans and the smaller deck on top of that is part of a sheet of some thinner MDF I’ve had for ages.

I’ve not decided what to use for the fence yet.

The base seems nice and square, but the deck will need some work.

As the corners of the sheet were obviously not square I left a few milimeters extra so I can use a router to trim it flush with the base on three sides.

The edge the plane runs against needs to be nice and straight in its own right, so I concentrated on getting my cut as straight and smooth as possible using my Bosch PKS46 circular saw with a Faithfull 40t TCT blade and my zero clearance base against one of my guide clamps.

I’m not yet sure how – or indeed whether – to improve on this finish – I’m currently leaning towards shaving a tiny bit off with my router and a guide clamp.

If I had a router table and a nice straight fence I think that’d probably be better, but I don’t.

This entry was posted in Jigs Fixtures & Appliances, Projects, Setting up shop, Shooting board and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Projects – Shooting board – Part 1

  1. Pingback: 2013 Workshop projects | Aggravated Wood Butchery

  2. billlattpa says:

    Funny, I was thinking about making a shooting board/bench hook this morning. My bench hook is good but works best for smaller work. I don’t have a shooting board at the moment. The last one I had ended up with a half a can of paint spilled on it so I tossed it out.

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