|Project by BigMP||posted 01-15-2014 04:16 AM||3050 views||9 times favorited||6 comments|
I picked up a Lee Valley Varitas Shooter for Christmas. I have a feeling a few others also ordered one because mine was on back order for a few weeks! During that time, I spent some time designing a shooting board to go with the plane. I researched a lot of designs and and came up with an a few ideas that I wanted to implement into my new shooting setup. So, I’ll describe it a little here as well as give my thoughts on the plane.
Because the plane is dedicated to shooting, I felt like I needed to get the most out of a setup. This is why I wanted to have a 90deg stop and a 45deg stop. Someone (sorry I forget who – I did search too) posted a link to a board with wedges that make the correct angles. I thought this was a great idea that allowed 2 angles from one board.
I used some phenolic plywood as the main base and used hard maple, attached from the bottom and with slotted screw holes, to the plywood base.
To make the right side of the track, I installed (2) 1” “T” track slots perpendicular plane direction and drilled holes in the track board. This allows me to continuously adjust the track width to keep a slop free run for the plane. Because phenolic is slippery, I adhered some sand paper to the bottom of this board and, as a result, it holds very well.
Pictures 4 & 5 show the magnets I imbedded into the plywood. I put those in after testing the board and not being completely satisfied with the stability of the cut. The plane seemed to rock to the left (into the workpiece). Also, the skewed cutting angle potentially lifts the plane out of the slot (although this wasn’t so evident). With the magnets installed, the cut is much more stable and, perhaps, more forgiving. I did not notice much additional friction from the extra downforce. This was something that I have’t seen before.
Which leaves me with pictures 1 & 2:
After getting the plane in hand, I realized that there was only about a 1/8” bearing surface that would act to guide the plane because the blade extended that close to the bottom. This is my only gripe about the design… I assume it has to do with plane going hand-in-hand with the Stanley shooting board that is made of metal.
To fix this, I decided to grind off the corner of the iron. Now I have a 3/8” bearing surface. This may not be a solution for everyone; however, I just didn’t feel comfortable with 1/8” of wood as guide that will hold up for a lot of punishment.
I have to give Veritas a big thumbs-up here! I am very pleased with the fit and finish of the tool. This is my first LV plane as I have usually stuck with LN.
This is also my first PM-V11 iron. So far, I am impressed with it too. This particular model is very hefty. Like approaching 3/16” thick. It was lapped very flat front he factory and took minimal work to polish.
If you are looking for a dedicated shooter, I would definitely recommend this model. I am a firm believer in the low-angle option rather than the standard frog setup.
Thanks for looking – Ill be happy to answer any questions you have about the board too.