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Thread: Shooting Boards Do I really Need Them?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark R Webster View Post
    I ask because my impression is that others who use hand tools and power tools (as I do) seem to use and like shooting boards. Jim's response make sense to me thanks Jim.
    I'm a hybrid guy and I like shooting boards for fitting some parts. You don't have to have one but, I use them enough to have a couple and dedicated planes. We all do things differently so not having one, or having one, doesn't make you better, or worse off, than the other guy.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Mickley View Post
    I have never owned a table saw. I made a shooting board around 1982. I used it a few times and put it on a shelf. It is more efficient and quite a bit more comfortable to do your shooting with the wood in a vise.

    Traditional uses for the shooting board included shooting joints for very thin wood or shooting miters on small pieces.
    Hi Warren,

    I have shot end grain as you describe in a vise when the pieces are too big or awkward for a shooting board. Given the experiences I have had, I am curious how you avoid spelching while achieving a full-end shoot? Not doubting but hoping to glean wisdom from an expert.

  3. #18
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    shooting plane.jpg
    By clamping a scrap of wood to the exit side.....damage the scrap, not the good.

  4. #19
    It was primarily developed for hand planes. Similar to sleds for a tablesaw.

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    shooting plane.jpg
    By clamping a scrap of wood to the exit side.....damage the scrap, not the good.
    Or on the fly, put a small chamfer on the exit end; won't work well if the material to be shaved off is too small for a chamfer.

    Simon

  6. #21
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    A few years ago I posted about the history of shootingboards https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....+shootingboard

    It seems that they are a rather recent development (mid 19th century) for normal woodworking. In veneering stuff and for miters they were used in older times too.

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Kees Heiden View Post
    A few years ago I posted about the history of shootingboards https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....+shootingboard

    It seems that they are a rather recent development (mid 19th century) for normal woodworking. In veneering stuff and for miters they were used in older times too.
    Thanks for a nice history, Kees. I would have said routine use of the shooting board was a late 20th century development. In the 1970s a lot of people used block planes on end grain, and believe it or not, they thought that the block plane at 12 degrees cut at an angle of 33 degrees lower than a bench plane at 45 degrees. I was twenty years a woodworker before I heard of anyone using a shooting board other than for very thin stuff. When I read the joiner and cabinetmaker book (about seven years ago), I felt that it was written by an amateur.

    I think it is a lot faster and less awkward to do the work in a vise, and to use a bench plane rather than a block plane. A block plane is kind of crampy if used for any length of time.

    For stock preparation, I true up the ends of the board before cutting to width. That way I can make a small chamfer at the end of the cut. I believe the corner comes out a little nicer than on a shooting board.

  8. #23
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    I almost never use a shooting board anymore. I don't find them to be the best solution, thick stuff is difficult to cut with a shooting board and thin stuff pulls into the cut unless it's clamped on every cut. For something really precision a paring block is a nice solution and for larger stuff I find generally I can just plane it by either clamping it or butting it up against a stop.

    My hands cramp easily, so I don't go for small block planes with exception to Japanese type.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark R Webster View Post
    I ask because my impression is that others who use hand tools and power tools (as I do) seem to use and like shooting boards. Jim's response make sense to me thanks Jim.
    When I need clean "show face" glue joints or I have mission critical glue joints - I plane the joints by hand to clean them up and candle them to verify a good tight fit for gluing... I may use a power saw to cut off the waste or rip them close to size - but my glue joint prep is usually done with hand tools.

    I started doing this with guitar work - where you can't have any gaps in the glue joints and there's no extra thickness to "make up for oops". Since I was already doing it and sorted out my process - I have continued to joint up panels this way for furniture duty work where it matters.....

    I was all hot for a power jointer till I started candling power jointed joints.... Yikes!!! Gaps everywhere! You need a SUPER precise setup on a power jointer to have any chance of a joint candling properly..... And even then it's not always good enough (for what I am used to) to glue up straight off the jointer....

  10. #25
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    Not familiar with the term "candling joints". What is that please?
    David

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by John C Cox View Post

    I was all hot for a power jointer till I started candling power jointed joints.... Yikes!!! Gaps everywhere! You need a SUPER precise setup on a power jointer to have any chance of a joint candling properly..... And even then it's not always good enough (for what I am used to) to glue up straight off the jointer....
    Setting up a jointer to cut perfectly is a frustrating act, and it applies to 99% of jointer users I know, no matter what caliper gadgets you use. Simply said, a lot of these jointers are made with budgets in mind and the tolerance factors are limiting their precision performance. To try to remedy the built-in deficiencies with tune-ups is futile.

    Simon

  12. #27
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    I think that most users probably pass the material over the jointer too quickly. Compare to the speed of a planer pulling material into the cutter and match that. If you do it in warp speed then it's going to cut but have many more ripples and lack precision.

    I went over my jointer with checking tools, but I did not need to do much. I can cut 16" wide material that is so flat it sticks together to create a vacuum seal when I stack up the boards. I don't think mine is unique by any means as it is a middle of the road machine by comparison to Martin or Hofmann or even the higher end SCMI.

    This is a joint on a short (18") board, which is difficult compared to a longer board of say 48".



    No glue, the boards are just sitting on one another.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Kees Heiden View Post
    It seems that they are a rather recent development (mid 19th century) for normal woodworking. In veneering stuff and for miters they were used in older times too.
    And shooters have never stopped coming up with ways to use the shooting board since. I know of 6 or 7 ways of using my shooting board in my work. I have not tried this, but a British furniture maker and teacher John Bullar uses a shooting board to cooper lids at consistent angles.

    Nothing wrong with people using or not using shooting boards, as long as they have a way to meet their needs. I thought my tablesaw and miter saw had met all my tricky cutting needs, until I found out a shooting board solved the same problems with much better control. I never look back.

    One point is pretty clear: If you are a dedicated user of a tool (any tool), and invest time and effort into using it, developing expertise like no others, the tool becomes an extension of yourself, and only you can appreciate the power of that tool in your work.


    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 08-02-2018 at 11:49 AM.

  14. #29
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    Well said Simon!

  15. #30
    Except for smaller projects, most of my boards are spring joined these days, whether the initial edging is done on the tablesaw with a rip blade or by hand. But no spring joints if splines are used.

    Simon

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