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Thread: Benchhook / Shooting board design feedback

  1. #1
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    Benchhook / Shooting board design feedback

    I'm planning on building a bench hook/shooting board similar to the one in FWW/Taunton's "Hand Tool Skills" (the article first appeared in an issue of FWW in 2008), but due to material limitations, I'm going to make a few minor changes.

    Specifically, rather than using a single piece of hardwood for the base, I'm going to use a piece of 1/2" Baltic Birch for the base (which the shooting plane will ride on), and then use hardwood for the rest of the unit, including the "built up" portion that the workpiece will actually be resting on.

    Can anybody think of any reason I shouldn't do it this way?

    Also, what's a good length (front to back) for a shooting board?
    It came to pass...
    "Curiosity is the ultimate power tool." - Roy Underhill
    The road IS the destination.

  2. #2
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    Lie- Nielsen has a PDF plan you can down load from their website. Look up the low angle jack plane and you will see the link there. your plan sounds good though.

  3. #3
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    Many of the plans I've seen use MDF/Plywood for both base pieces because it will stay flat. I think most use hardwood for the fence and probably the hook too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    The length should about as long as the length you plan to shoot added to the length of your plane. You want the plane stable and on the shooting board before and after the cut.

    The width of the track should be enough to safely leave the plane on. Otherwise you could easily knock it off, onto the floor, if parts project past. The width of the shooting board table should be wide enough to trust the board will be held square and stable. If you have a square that you are comfortable with, It might be the width for you.

    A track on each side can be nice if you are cutting odd angles. This way you can keep the fence at high angles while avoiding grain issues.

    I would make your first entirely from 1/2" or so baltic plywood. Even if it is a total failure, it will make a good platform for drilling, painting, sawing and the like. After you know what works for you, then you can get fancy. A shooting board, even a sloped one, is a pretty easy project. After you like a board, then make a pretty version.

    Bob

  5. #5
    Hi John,

    The advice given so far is quite good. I made some shooting boards based on an article by Mike Dunbar in Popular Woodworking. Mike advocates cutting a dust groove in the lower platform along the shooting edge of the upper platform. It leaves a space for some of the wood shavings/dust as you plane.

    Food for thought,
    Jim

  6. #6
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    Lie-Nielsen Shooting Board Plans

    Hi John,

    I recently bought the new Lie-Nielsen Shooting Plane. With it, came plans for several shooting boards. I can tell you what the measurements were for the board I made if that helps.

    The board is made of a lower shelf of 3/4 mdf and measures 20 in (width) x24 in (length) with an upper shelf of 1/2 mdf measuring 12 in (width) x 24 in (length). The hook is 3/4 x 1 x 20 and the fence is 3/4 x 2 x 12. I still need to add an adjustable track guide on the right hand side of 1/4 mdf to create a shoot track. But it works great. Happy hunting!

    Ben

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    My blog: http://www.sawmillcreek.org/blog.php?70802-Ben-Arnott

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Make the fence adjustable. Keep the size reasonable so it's convenience to use/store. Keep an extra piece of stock (same thickness as the board) to support long pieces.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by John Sanford View Post
    Can anybody think of any reason I shouldn't do it this way?
    The only thing I question, John, is why the original plans recommend hardwood in the first place. Personally, I would use MDF over Baltic as even Baltic has more tendency to warp than MDF does, but either one will be superior to hardwood in terms of function in my opinion. I personally use honduran mahogany for the hardwood stop and maple for the hook. I also make the part that the plane's sole rubs up against a piece of mahogany screwed down to the MDF base. This is so I can replace it if it gets beat up. It's really not necessary but that's just how I did mine.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Coloccia View Post
    The only thing I question, John, is why the original plans recommend hardwood in the first place. Personally, I would use MDF over Baltic as even Baltic has more tendency to warp than MDF does, but either one will be superior to hardwood in terms of function in my opinion. I personally use honduran mahogany for the hardwood stop and maple for the hook. I also make the part that the plane's sole rubs up against a piece of mahogany screwed down to the MDF base. This is so I can replace it if it gets beat up. It's really not necessary but that's just how I did mine.
    My guess is they recommend hardwood because of a) tradition, and b) it's "real" wood, not fake. Hand tool folks do tend to be a bit more hung up on these issues. Also, moving to the "next level" with one of 'em by making the shooting surface ramped is easier with solid wood. Not that they recommend it, but 'tis true.

    As for me, I would use MDF if I had any on hand, but I don't, so I'll some of my copious BB.
    It came to pass...
    "Curiosity is the ultimate power tool." - Roy Underhill
    The road IS the destination.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Look here:

    http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ShopMad...%20Board4.html

    Also here for other links for information and tips on shooting boards:

    http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ShopMadeTools/index.html

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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