Shooting board question(s)

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Forum topic by Betsy posted 03-11-2009 03:44 AM 1729 views 2 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3862 days

03-11-2009 03:44 AM

Topic tags/keywords: shooting board

I’m now banned from the shop until tomorrow night while the finish dries on my cabinet project. So I thought it would be a good time to drag out my shooting board and clean up a few box sides.

First, I have to tell you that I made about 12 boxes 3 or 4 years ago. Only a couple turned out well enough to give away. The others got relegated to a shelf and have been there since. But last weekend, I got a wild hair and pulled them down. I was right – they were not very good. So I took the band saw to them and cut them apart. So now I have all these parts that I can make smaller boxes with.

Secondly, when I cut the boxes on the band saw, I did not pay any particular attention to cutting them straight. I just free handed them through the saw. I cut out all the splines, etc.

So now I have a bunch of box sides that are not straight. Hence the pulling out the shooting board. Hand tools are so much fun.

But now to my problem. Despite the pictures I’m about to post, which make my hands look like dinner plates, my hands are not so big. The result is I’m having some trouble holding my work piece on the board securely as I pass the plane over the edge.

Well, I was going to post some pictures. But I can’t get the links to work. Usually when I hit copy (HTLM) the word “copied” shows up and I can paste it into the forum/blog space. But not tonight. Not sure why – if you have an answer for that I’d be appreciative.

Anyway – back to my shooting board issue. Because I can’t hold the piece secure, I don’t get a good square edge. Now on my table saw fences, I can put a piece of sand paper to help hold the piece and it works well. But when I use this trick on a table saw – it is usually on much larger pieces. These are small pieces. So can I put a piece of sandpaper on my shooting board and it not interfere with making the piece square. In other words, since most sand paper is not perfectly even across the face – will it interfere with the process of squaring my boards?

And – how would you secure the paper? I’m thinking spray adhesive (just a little). But welcome your suggestions.

Thanks in advance.

Humm – just reread this and I just want to add that I didn’t want to paste sandpaper to my board until I had an idea if it would work. No sense messing up a good board.


-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

5 replies so far

View lew's profile


12019 posts in 3722 days

#1 posted 03-11-2009 05:16 AM


Could you clamp the shooting board and box piece to a table top, as a unit?

I was thinking if you positioned the box piece, in place, on the shooting board then clamped the box piece, shooting board and table top all together with one clamp it might hold it securely enough to do what you need.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4023 posts in 4030 days

#2 posted 03-11-2009 06:45 AM

I have nothing to offer on the shooting board aspect of the question. I just built my first one a few weeks back, and am too much the novice to weigh in. On the posting question, however, I have noticed a similar difficulty of late with my Photobucket account (I’m a Macintosh guy, running OS X (10.4.11) on a PowerPC, using Firefox/3.0.7). I have just been highlighting the HTML code line and coping the line of code to the clipboard and pasting this into the blog/project/forum as the “copied” notification was not copying anything that would then subsequently paste.

Try Control-C, Control-V shortcuts (⌘-C, ⌘-V for Mac) or the Edit>Copy/Edit>Paste function in your browser to see that works for you as it does for me.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View oldnovice's profile


6771 posts in 3334 days

#3 posted 03-11-2009 07:59 AM

I have always relied on double sided carpet tape; typically 2 inches wide (don’t use just any double sided tape).

I have found that on very small pieces I need to be careful of how much I use since the pieces may break before the tape lets go. I use a roller to flatten out and get the tape on one side then I remove the other side of the tape attach the piece and then apply pressure. The bigger the piece the more pressure.

Oh yes, make sure that there isn’t too much dust on either piece (easier said than done in a woodworking shop)!!!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3862 days

#4 posted 03-12-2009 01:12 AM

Thanks guys. Lew – I actually tried that with not much success – it was too cumbersom

Jose – I thought about carpet tape, but was worried about breaking my pieces. Some are pretty small. But I think I will give this a try and let you know how I come out.

Thanks again.

(Doug – I seem to be able to do the pictures now. It might have been that I needed to reboot my computer. Thanks)

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

369 posts in 3935 days

#5 posted 03-13-2009 06:31 PM

Hi Betsy

I now use a non-slip surface on the fences of the shooting boards I build. This is made of a non-slip powder that is added to a little marine varnish. You could substitute fine salt. Just sprinkle it on with a shaker so that it falls evenly.

Add this to the fence, then square the fence on the shooting board.

There are a few articles on my website about building and using shooting boards. Here is one ..

Setting Up and Using a Shooting Board

A recent board I made for a customer ..

The article is here.

Regards from Perth


-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at

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