Thursday, September 18, 2014

Video. Making a shooting board. In real time.

In real time. Not quite of course, I don't let you watch how the glue dries in real time. And I cut the parts on the table saw first. Otherwise, this is how you make a shootingboard in 10:40 minutes, without being in a hurry.

The materials. Birch ply wood 18mm (3/4") for the base. The same stuff in 12mm (1/2") for the plateau. An offcut of the 18mm ply is the cleat and a piece of Jatoba I had is the fence, about 3.5 cm square.

I use a few corns of grit in the glue to prevent the fence from slipping around when you tighten the clamps. Otherwise the glue acts as a lubricant and makes it very difficult to precisely position the fence. You can also use some coarse sand, or even coarse salt cristals. Not much, just a pinch. Let the fence stick out into the running surface just a tiny bit, so you can plane it in line with the edge of the plateau after the glue dried. When the fence isn't exactly square after assembly you will have to use a rabet plane or a shoulder plane to correct the error.

The only things critical in a shooting board are the straightness of the fence, the straightness of the edge along the running surface, and the square position of the fence in relation to that edge. The rest can be crooked, doesn't matter. The dimensions don't matter either. Don't finish the board, a rough surface gives grip to the wooden objects to be shooted. A bit of wax on the running surface won't hurt though.

Shooting boards are very simple. When you need one with a 45 degree angle, just make it. No need for fancy adjustable add on fences. A simple fixed board won't go out of allignment in a hurry, and when it needs a tune up that is easilly accomplished with  the rabet plane.

Or maybe skip it all together. Apart from precise miters, a shooting board is mostly a luxury that you can do without in most circumstances.

PS: Sharpen the blade before you make a video. That saves a lot of agravating screeching noises....

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