Shooting Boards from Evenfall Woodworks
|Fig. 1: Illustrations of Different Shooting Boards|
One of the most common tools in the arsenal of pretty much every hand tool shop is a shooting board, a couple examples of which you can see illustrated in Fig. 1 that are based on illustrations from one of Charle's Hayward's writings, "The Complete Book of Woodwork".
I don't know how many of these I've cobbled together over the years. Usually from scrap, and often - because I'm usually more worried about the project than how I put together the shooting board - thrown away not long after because I don't take the time to make it properly.
Essentially, a shooting board (or 'chute' board in some lands) in its simplest form a simple fence that allows one to plane an edge or end on on a piece of wood to a known angle, commonly 45 or 90 degrees. It provides a shelf to place the wood on to raise it so the blade of the plane used is fully exposed to the wood (if it isn't a rabbet plane, the blade doesn't go all the way to the edge of the plane).
The plane used can be a specially made "miter plane", made just for the purpose - one such as Lie Nielsen's iron miter plane, but usually it is just a standard bench plane whose sole has checked to be perpendicular to its side.
|Fig. 2. The Evenfall Woodworks Shooting Board|
Rob Hanson (no relation) has come up with an interesting product - one he's been selling through his blog page at the Evenfall Woodworks web site. You can see his version of a shooting board in Fig. 2 at work with a low angle bench plane.
If you look closely, you'll notice a series of holes in the body of his shooting board. This is what makes Rob's product devilishly clever - its fully adjustable to different angles.
I'm impressed. It's bloody ingenius.
|Fig. 3: Adjusting the fence to the different stock angles|
Besides the standard perpendicular setup, Rob's shooting board can be reconfigured to 15, 22-1/2, 30, 45, and 60 degree settings. Accuracy is assured if you incorporate the use of a pair of cheap plastic drafting triangles, available in any good office supply store for just a few dollars. You can see how it's done in Figure 3.
It's a good idea to have the triangles around anyway to check angles - being an architect, I've been using a set in my shop for many years and find them invaluable.
The shooting boards are constructed from quality baltic birch plywood to reduce movement. The design includes a groove to collect the dust so it doesn't interfere with the plane. T-nuts are epoxied into the board at the appropriate locations and the fence is held in place with a knurled brass nut. I'll let Rob's own page on the shooting board go over the details further:
I've seen shooting boards sell for $95 that were only capable of doing perpendicular miters. Rob is sellng these shooting boards for $120 (if you order before May 31, he'll give you an introductory price of $90) which is a real value considering the time and materials that go into each shooting board.
|Figure 4. Cian Perez caught this shot of A Ron Brese plane being used on one of Rob's shooting boards at a recent galoot event.|