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Shooting Board (Chuting Board)

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Project by mot posted 2513 days ago 10210 views 30 times favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch

WayneC and I have been discussing some our much needed shop projects lately. He was needing a bench hook, and I was in need of a new shooting board (some say chuting board.)

A shooting board is used to dimension and square stock with a hand plane. Shooting boards are a time proven way of eliminating compound errors with squaring smaller stock. There are some excellent descriptions at the following link:

http://www.whitemountdesign.com/ShootingBoard.htm

The ramp on my board is made using 3/4 laminated particle board. Typically you would wax the plane a bit to allow it to slide easier. Wayne and I were discussing the efficacy of using melamine in order to facilitate this same thing. The baseboard is 1/2” baltic birch with the fence and cleat (hook) of red oak. All pieces are shop scrap. My ramp does not extend past my fence as I typically make my boards this way. The link shows the ramp extending past the fence which is a decent idea to continue to support the plane past the fence.

As you can see in the second picture, the blade isn’t the full width of the sole of the plane, therefore with the plane on it’s side, there is a ledge that is formed. This is how the shooting board keeps from getting eaten away as you dimension stock.

Shooting boards can also be made with the baseboard at an angle downward to the fence. This would allow for a bit of a tangent cut as well. I normally don’t go through the trouble. I make a new one of these when I drop my old one too much. This is a quick project which really makes small projects a cinch. I just seem to always kick the darn thing around as I have no wall space to hang it. I hope this one sticks around a bit, but that melamine is a tad fragile. We’ll see.

I’ve been typically clamping the bench hook in my front vise, but it’s not necessary. The first pic shows the hook clamped.

Thanks for looking.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)





40 comments so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12262 posts in 2730 days


#1 posted 2513 days ago

Very nice. Any thoughts to adding a removeable 45 degree fence similar to the one posted in the Lie-Nielson site.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2669 days


#2 posted 2513 days ago

Wayne, yes. I’ll be adding a 45 degree fence tomorrow night. I just ran out of time. I’ve also decided to edge band the melamine as it’s pretty sharp the way it is. I played with some cherry and am very happy with this one. It’s heavier than the MDF boards I was making before, so I’m even happier about that. Clamping it in the front vise makes it as stable as the bench is. It should be a worthy tool. I’m going to dimension some cherry parts and make a small box later to test if for square. It should be bang on, but there’s always a chance it’s not, typical of anything that I build. LOL

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2595 days


#3 posted 2513 days ago

That’s a good looking board, Tom. Wayne has an incline on his. They say it makes the plane shear more. I didn’t put one on mine because I thought of it after I was done. The one I built uses cabinet plywood for the base and I waxed it pretty heavily. I think your laminate would be better and never wear. I need to build a longer one like yours for edge work on small parts. I finished mine and used it on the face frames on a set of cabinets right away. I have a #3 that is a true 90. It sure made those pocket screws go together tighter.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12262 posts in 2730 days


#4 posted 2513 days ago

Mot, I hear that low-angle Jack plane calling your name. : ^ )

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2595 days


#5 posted 2513 days ago

Oh yes, yes, Mot. mournfully calling, calling…...............

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2669 days


#6 posted 2513 days ago

I was just thinking that, Wayne.

Tom, I really like Wayne’s ramped one, it’s just too much trouble for me. LOL. That laminate slides like greased lightning. I’m very pleased with it. I really like the longer board as my bench is sort of low and I really like to get my forearms down on the bench so I use the longer board to accommodate the reach. It’s the longest one I’ve made and seems to be doing what it was supposed to do.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2595 days


#7 posted 2513 days ago

And when you get that low-angle jack it will realy work better.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1140 posts in 2624 days


#8 posted 2513 days ago

I have a stupid question regarding planes. How do they work? I mean I know how they work, but when the board/edge is flat what prevents the blade from digging/gouging the surface? On a jointer the outfeed is the same height as the blades so I can see how that works, but a handplane just seems to be an upside down jointer with an incorrectly set outfeed table… What is it that I’m missing? In essence why doesn’t the plane just keep on cutting the shooting board once the edge is flat?

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12262 posts in 2730 days


#9 posted 2513 days ago

Basically the plane blade does not go to the edge of the plane. There is a 1/4 inch or more of the shooting board that is not touched.

Check out the video in my bench hook post. Chris Schwarz explains it well.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/3000

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2595 days


#10 posted 2513 days ago

Damian,
I’ve got to think on that one. I don’t think you’re missing anything. A well tuned plane takes such a thin shaving that in-feed/ out-feed is of minimal consequence. Many hand plane users sharpen a camber on the blade and then proceed to use it to make perfectly flat surfaces. David Charlesworth does the face of boards this way as a reference surface.(latest issue of FWW). a plane shears the surface and there by produces a far superior finish to sanding. By the way your question is not stupid. Many woodworkers have tried to use a poor plane that was not sharp or tuned or adjusted and threw it into a corner and forgot about it. With all the power I have in the shop I still rely on that rack of planes to do what they do best. Today I was fitting and installing cabinet doors. I still don’t know what was the reason but I seemed to have a plane in my hand way too much today. They are inset doors and they now show the proper reveal and fit. It would have been immeasurably more difficult without the planes. I’m sure the jointer would have taken too much and an edge sander would also. With the plane I could customize exactly where I needed to take off more or less. Try a well tuned and sharpened plane and a whole new world of accuracy in woodworking will open up for you. Not that you don’t do excellent work already. Your work is very good.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2531 posts in 2590 days


#11 posted 2513 days ago

I’m with you Damian….I need a hand planes for dummy’s book….but that is a sharp looking jig/board Tom. Thos., I fit inset doors by dry fitting with shims and marking the high/wide side, then use paper shims on the opposite corner and run it through the table saw till the reveal is correct…but i guess a hand plane could accomplish this..just work the high side a little with the plane….like I have said before hand planes are a mystery to me!

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2621 days


#12 posted 2513 days ago

By far the best book I have seen on hand planes is this one: Making & Mastering Wood Planes
Everything you ever needed to know about hand planes including how to use them.
It’s mainly about wood planes but does go into metal ones also. A real fantastic book.

http://www.amazon.com/Making-Mastering-Wood-Planes-Revised/dp/140272022X

And for the price of $12.21 it’s a steal.

Gary

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12262 posts in 2730 days


#13 posted 2513 days ago

I second Gary’s recommendation. It is a great book.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2654 days


#14 posted 2513 days ago

Good man Tom.
That’s still on my list .
Good move to use the laminate as a slider.
p.s. You should have made two. <g>

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2669 days


#15 posted 2513 days ago

Damian, I tried to show in the second picture why that doesn’t happen. With the width of the planes blade being about 1/4” to each side, narrower than the sole of the plane, the initial passes on the shooting board make a ledge. As the plane rides along on it’s side, it can’t continue to cut any further into the baseboard than the depth of the blade. They work really well, and the book and resources that Gary and Wayne have mentioned are really invaluable.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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