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Thread: Shooting Board Questions

  1. #1

    Shooting Board Questions

    Ever search this thread for shooting boards? Ample and plenty of threads about it. Too many for the time I have.

    My questions-
    What materials should I use for my SB? Ply or something else? Would I want something specific for the plane's glide path? Maybe chop up a plastic cutting board? Or MDF?

    Anyone know of a low cost shooting board? Sure I'd love a Vogt bug that's out of the picture. And given the hack nature of my skills, the wrong tool for the job at this time.
    Isn't there a low cost variant? Ample Google time hasn't located anything.

    Thanks Everyone.
    -PD

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    A suburb of Los Angeles California
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    The safest (most stable) material for making your own is Baltic Birch plywood.

    I don't think there are any inexpensive SB's for sale; there's just no room in the price point for the fiddling to get it accurate.
    AKA - "The human termite"

  3. #3
    I just made my third.

    My current is 2 pieces of melamine particleboard - because it was cheap.

    My last two were BORG plywood, and they held up fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    I agree with Chuck. I don't have a jointer so I made two shooting boards - one for edge grain and one for long grain (48"L) - using Baltic Birch. Base is 3/4", top is 1/2", glued and screwed. I used one 4'x4' sheet of each thickness. Each one has a 1 1/2"x1/4" red oak fence that runs the entire length of the SB and creates a channel to insure that the Veritas shooting plane doesn't drift. I laid 3"w self-adhesive slick strips (available in 10ft. rolls at Woodcraft) in the channels and the plane glides through the cut like a skater on ice. Later I added an adjustable fence with 2 toggle clamps to the long grain SB because it's much easier to butt and clamp the piece to the fence and plane to the line than hold the board steady while shaving a bit at a time. Cost me about $125 and 4 hours to do both boards.

  5. #5
    Sellers' shooting board might be up your alley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ypbvcxb-8M

    It is simple to make out of baltic birch ply, fits your low-cost requirement, and it functions well. I'm not crazy about all the aspects of the design, but in using it I am certainly able to true up 90 / 45 saw-cuts to make them dead-on.

    A shooting board is a very satisfying device to have.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    15,671
    What materials should I use for my SB? Ply or something else? Would I want something specific for the plane's glide path? Maybe chop up a plastic cutting board? Or MDF?
    Like many things the best material may be scrap already in the shop.

    Here is my most recent reworking of an older shooting board:

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...44777-Oh-Shoot!

    It was made to work from either side. Also the bed was made of thinner stock to allow for more blade available to cut the work.

    Some of the replies show ways for shooting angles on a workpiece.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
    Well how about that?
    Great answers in a short time. Sawmill Creek always treats me well.
    Thank you.

    I've gone the Paul Sellers SB route- not bad, though over time wasn't as secure as I'd like. (the fault laying entirely in my construction).
    The slick tape is brilliant.
    Will do, gotta be easier than chopping up a cutting board!

    -PD

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Longview WA
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    One thing to learn with a shooting board is the art of using tape and plane shavings as shims to fine tune your cuts.

    Sometimes the board will change a touch with the weather.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Dublin, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Nickerson View Post
    The safest (most stable) material for making your own is Baltic Birch plywood.
    MDF also works for parts that don't bear any load, like the base. BB ply can still warp a bit.

    My current shooting boards are made out of phenolic-faced baltic birch ply, for what it's worth. The phenolic makes the surfaces a bit more durable. I also apply strips of PSA-backed SiC film along the fences, to keep the workpiece from slipping. Finally, my fences have set-screw adjustments for rotation (I shamelessly ripped off the fence attachment design of a higher-end Logan mat cutter) and slotted-screw adjustments for engagement. The latter allows me to position the fence super close to the cut, to prevent spelching.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Austin Texas
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    Just make one out some ply scraps and hardwood leftover scraps (birch ply is very nice, indeed, but not at all required) in the shop. The only thing that needs to be "right" is the 90* fence and that can be done by: 1) Carefully laying out the dado, etc that the fence rises on 2) using shims as suggested above after you realize that you did not lay it out dead-on perfect, or 3) make the fence slightly adjustable and check it for true 90 (or 45 as applicable) before each use. This shooting board most likely will not be the last one you make and will work just fine until such time as you build the "best one". Please do not buy one. In my opinion, if you will not build a shooting board, you are just saying you cannot/will not move forward with woodworking. They are that easy to build and the basic, simple ones work very well and you would be surprised at how many years go by without replacing it with the "best one".
    David

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Chase View Post
    my fences have set-screw adjustments for rotation (I shamelessly ripped off the fence attachment design of a higher-end Logan mat cutter) and slotted-screw adjustments for engagement. The latter allows me to position the fence super close to the cut, to prevent spelching.
    If you have any images of these, I'd be interested in seeing them. Adjustment is a mild irritant with my current shooting board. I'd be happy to shamelessly rip off your designs when I build a fancier one!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    SE Michigan
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    If you're looking to purchase a reasonably priced, well made shooting board, send an email to Mark Chandler:
    missioninwood@gmail.com

    I purchased a donkey's ear shooting board from him through the auction site and it was very well made.

  13. #13
    If you want something dead simple: make a bench hook:
    1. cut baltic birch ply to size
    2. screw a piece of wood to the end square (just use a construction square).
    3. (optional) screw another peice of wood to the other side to create a slant.
    4. (optional) stick sandpaper on the top for additional grip.

    However, if you want something awesome--I'm going to give a shout out to Derek Cohen: http://inthewoodshop.com/ShopMadeToo...%20Board4.html

    That darned Aussie makes everything look so easy and beautiful! Much respect from Alameda.

  14. #14
    Here are some pix of mine. I actually like the idea of melamine for the running deck (I used it because it was scrap - not because of this because it is slick.

    Now, for the top, without a track like I have, you have to run-in the top; which may not be nice to do on particleboard.

    A lot of people have success with adjustable fences. For my money, I prefer to dado my fence into the top deck, then plane the fence until it is perfectly square to the plane sole and then screw it in from below.

    The only downside of particleboard is it's heavy to move around.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Prashun Patel; 02-22-2017 at 8:39 AM.

  15. #15
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    I am travelling, so I don't have a picture to post, but I also used melamine and it was because (a) it was readily available, (b) it was durable, and (c) it slides easily. I love it.

    I also put T-Track on mine with clamps that hold the piece in place, and I absolutely love that. No chance of the board moving while cutting. Also I can clamp in a miter block in whatever angle or a donkey ear for various different miters. It's very versatile.

    I plan to make a gigantic shooting board for squaring the edges of rough stock since I don't have a powered jointer, and I like the shooter better than a hand plane with a fence.

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