Woodworking Aids #1: Shooting board design

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Blog entry by kennethw posted 08-15-2009 02:30 AM 4717 reads 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Hello fellow Lumberjocks! I wanted to share a shooting board design with you folks before I start cutting. :) I’m a hand tool guy so far (except for drilling and the occasional jigsaw cut on large stuff) so a good shooting board is essential. I already made one, but the fixed (glued) fence was somehow off by 1 degree, and the paste wax that I used on the runway tends to burn, so this time I’m not messing around. :)

Following are a few 3D renders of my intended design. I’m not set on the measurements yet, or the materials, but the renders imply that it’s solid wood. I’m thinking ply for the base and the runway layer though (I have a few small pieces of a beautiful mahogany ply that I have no other use for). The fence would be a solid hardwood. I also may bring the fence away from the end a little to give a bit more room for the plane to travel after the cut. All that momentum can work against you!

The intention is that the fence is bolted on, with one pivot bolt near the runway, and an adjustment mechanism at the far end. This would be used in 2 configurations. With an angle cut on one side of the fence (which would be reversible) the fence also become the mitering jig. There’s a bolt hole placed in the appropriate spot in the center of the board, allowing for rotation of the fence to that location, and the adjustment still works in that configuration. The fence itself could be flipped over so that the miter on one side is exposed to the plane when in miter mode, and a square is exposed when doing right angles.

The hole in the board for the miter mode also becomes a mounting point for the corner jig, which also bolts through the fence. All of this is slightly adjustable using the adjustment on the fence.

So, that’s the plan! :)

Front view with corner miter add-on

Back view with corner miter

Back with frame miter adjustment

10 comments so far

View Luke's profile


545 posts in 3293 days

#1 posted 08-15-2009 04:15 AM

Man! nice drawings. Wont the little chamfer on the fence let the wood chip out at the end of your boards if your doing endgrain? I’ve never used one of these but that looks like it might be a problem?

-- LAS,

View kennethw's profile


50 posts in 3306 days

#2 posted 08-15-2009 04:41 AM

Thanks! 3D is part of my day job, so it’s a handy tool for me. I have far more designs than actual things built. :)

The fence will be reversible, so that angle will face the opposite direction when shooting edges, and the 90-degree edge can face the plane’s path. I didn’t do all of the tweaks to the 3D that would be required to show that working properly.

Even then, the perfect edge will be planed away in use on any shooting board. You can either carve a tiny chamfer on the far side of the workpiece to counteract this, or use a sacrificial sliver of some kind to provide a solid backing.

View Praki's profile


199 posts in 3996 days

#3 posted 08-15-2009 04:49 AM

Have to agree with the commenter, very nice diagrams. I use a very simple shooting board when I make boxes and such. The idea of making the fence adjustable is very handy. That is what I did with my cross cutting table and other jigs.

I do have a question about the diagrams. What software did you use to render them?

-- Praki, Aspiring Woodworker

View kennethw's profile


50 posts in 3306 days

#4 posted 08-15-2009 09:25 PM

Thanks Praki. I use a professional 3D app called modo. It is used in film and television, architectural and design visualization, etc.

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3576 days

#5 posted 08-23-2009 02:47 AM

Those are great well done

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View kennethw's profile


50 posts in 3306 days

#6 posted 08-28-2009 03:50 AM

Thanks Jim. :) I’m going to build this board in about a week, after the mom-in-law visit…

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3159 days

#7 posted 05-07-2010 04:56 AM

Well, you must be a lefty. Maybe add a cleat on the bottom so you can use it without clamping it down?

And what’s the little button on the edge of the fence? I can hardly make it out.

Oh, and as for the burning… don’t plane so fast, you’re not trying to start a fire. :D

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View kennethw's profile


50 posts in 3306 days

#8 posted 05-07-2010 05:11 AM

Hehe, well when you’re trimming a lot of cuts you have to do it with conviction or spend way too much time doing it. :)

Believe it or not, I still haven’t built this thing. The old one is working well enough and I’ve gotten busy with other stuff. It will definitely have a hook to grab the bench.

The thing sticking out of the fence is a bolt. It’s one of 2 mounting points for locking the miter jig down, relative to the fence so it’s still slightly tweakable.

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3287 days

#9 posted 05-10-2010 03:39 AM

very nice, all are great ideas i might take one from ya if you don’t mind?

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View DrTebi's profile


265 posts in 3265 days

#10 posted 11-09-2011 03:36 AM


I am planning to build a shooting board, and came across your design. Have you ever built it? I would like to see it and hear about your experience with it!

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