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Nov 06 2016

What is a Woodworking Shooting Board?

First let’s sort out some ambiguity. This is a tool used in woodworking, and not to be confused with things that are used in the sport of hockey or firearm related sports.

Ultra Plus Shooter
The Ultra Plus Shooter.

A shooting board for woodworking is a tool which is sometimes referred to as a woodworking appliance, but for the most part it is simply a very important tool that makes a big difference in a woodworkers kit of tools.

It is a tool that consists of two separate functions while using those functions in ensemble to facilitate its operations. It is a combination of Fixture, and Jig. The fixture half of the tool is the “lift” and “fence” which is the part that the wood rests on and holds the wood still in a specific angular position so that it is “fixtured” or stabilized for trimming. The jig half of the tool is the “chute” part that a hand plane slides on or in and when pushed through the workpiece, trims a slice off of the end or edge of a board.

You could think of a Shooting Board with Plane as being similar to a Miterbox with Saw, Where the gimbal is the “Jig” that holds the Saw at a specific angle and the Box “Fixtures” the wood. The main difference being here that the shooting board is far more accurate and the hand plane creates a nicer finish on the work.

Why is this “Shooting” necessary? There are several reasons. Accuracy, Fitment and Finish being the main ones. It also allows a woodworker to safely trim work pieces, even very small ones very accurately without risking injury to their fingers with a Power Tool or Shop Machine. A powered machine would likely snatch the part from your hand and perhaps injure your fingers in the process. With the Shooting Board, the woodworker is the supply of power and discernment. The tiniest sliver of wood can be taken to make pieces the perfect angle, straightness and size all at once. It is the safest and most accurate precision tool of it’s kind.

Wood is a solid yet fibrous material. It’s hardness and fibrous qualities vary from species to species and even from board to board within a species. When it is cut, often the edge is left rough from the tooling that cut it. Additionally, while layout lines can be precise, The edge of a saw cut is often times rough, not accurate enough to be considered finish quality.

Enter the shooting board. After the board is sawn to the length or shape required, it can then be fixtured on the shooting board and trimmed to final shape and surface finish quality. It is the important difference you notice in high-quality craftsmanship.

Shooting the Work
Shooting a Workpiece.

Functionally, what’s happening is that the board is being held still, and at a selected particular angle by the fence. The edge of the board is slid over to the edge of the “chute” so that the Handplane, set to take a thin shaving can be pushed past the workpiece to trim the edge.

On the “lift and fence” half of the shooting board, the fence can be positioned to fixture the workpiece so that any number of angles can be precisely trimmed. Traditionally, shooting boards were built to fixture work for one angle. Multiple boards were employed so that additional angles could be used. Most commonly, 45 and 90° angles were what woodworkers needed most, and a shooting board was made for each angle. Today, we offer shooting boards that allow the woodworker to choose from 2 to 8 different angles for common fixturing, and we have an accessory fence, that allows woodworkers to fixture at nearly any angle between zero and 90° that they need.

On the “chute” Half of the shooting board, the hand plane being used is usually set for taking a thin shaving, somewhere in the thickness range of 0.001 inch. End-grain wood fibers are tough, somewhat difficult to cut, so the thin shaving not only helps accomplish the cut, but also provides a high-quality finish on the surface of the edge. Usually it takes several passes to completely clean up the edge being trimmed, and the finish quality of the edge once it has been finished is equivalent to the polish left behind from 5 to 600 grit sandpaper.

Straight Chute
Chutes Straight to 0.001 inch.

There are additional benefits. The “chute” of a shooting board is straight. The shooting boards we offer have chutes that are straight to 0.001 inch over the length of the chute. What this means, is that the hand plane can glide through the wood in a perfectly straight line, Transferring the straightness from the shooting board to the work, truing the board along it’s edge to a highly accurate angle and surface quality.

This is not only great for the finish but also great for the fitment of how parts fit together in any woodworking projects such as furniture, jewelry boxes or what have you. It is the one woodworking tool that allows for the manufacture of wooden parts to the accuracy level that is usually only approachable by machinists in steel.

The shooting board is the woodworking equivalent of machine shop accuracy. It’s the one tool that can clearly help anybody step up their woodworking game. Are you ready?

Simple, Straightforward Calibration at 30 degrees.

We make shooting boards, because woodworkers need a long lasting, high accuracy tool that is simple to use, and allows them to quickly calibrate accurately for shooting a wide number of angles they may encounter in their woodworking. Woodworkers needed an accurate and versatile tool that didn’t take up a lot of space, yet would allow them to simply make things with high accuracy every day of the year.

We make a number of different styles of shooting boards from which to choose:
Shooting boards in Single and Double Chute styles, Left and Right Hand models, Standard, Wide Board and Long Grain Lengths, Options for using “Enclosed Chute” style Shooting Board Planes on every model, including Single and Double Chute, Standard, Wide Board and Long Grain Models. And dont forget to check out our Versatile Shooting Board Accessories that help make Shooting on any woodworking job easier and more accurate. We manufacture to 0.001 tolerances, and offer end user calibration capability to less than one degree and is calibratable in just seconds. That is sub minute angular accuracy for woodworking. All the woodworking control is in your hands.

Please have a look in Our Store, check out the different shooting boards we offer, as well as the accessories that help them work even better! There’s probably a Shooting Board there that’s right for you!

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Thanks for visiting Evenfall Studios!

© Copyright 2016 by Rob Hanson for All Rights Reserved.

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Jul 29 2016

The Woodworking Accuracy Solution

We’ve received some email from a few woodworkers and makers lately who wanted more woodworking accuracy, but they were not sure they could get to the accuracy they hoped for without CNC. Interestingly enough, most woodworking CNC setups will not work to 0.001 tolerances and handplanes with our shooting boards will do exactly that and do it day in and day out. They didn’t know, but now they do! It doesn’t cost anywhere near what CNC does. If you need precision and accuracy, Our Shooting Boards can help you achieve that with repeatability, all four seasons of the year.

When we think of a shooting board, we may think of a few scraps nailed together. We think of how wood moves and that the board will only be accurate for a little while. We think of it as a short time tool which helps us make our project.

Standard Shooter
Standard Shooter.

There is a better way to think of shooting boards. We’d like you to think of them as robust tools, built to last for years! That’s the way we make them. As a heirloom tool which is versatile and built to last. We build them to 0.001 tolerances to help you work to the level of control your layout and checking tools can provide you.

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May 13 2016

Save Time Sharpening With A Strop

The Old School of thought is to use your tools until way past dull when they start damaging the work, then break down and haul out your sharpening gear for a long messy sharpening session.

Now I know we all love the old school tools and ways of building things, but lock up your brakes here, stop the insanity.

What insanity? If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. In this case it’s a long dirty sharpening session. Are you ready to rethink this process? Good!

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Apr 28 2016

Tightening Up Your Craftsmanship

Craftsmanship in a word is just a word. We envision the ensemble of things we understand it to mean when we hear it, or think of it. We know what it is when we see it, on it’s face, we recognize it, but it is more than just a few simple words.

Busting a 2×4 in half with a sledge hammer is not an example of craftsmanship, it is however an example of demolition. The important thing to understand, while many people are capable of performing demolition, far fewer are capable of performing craftsmanship, even though they have the ability to recognize it, or even purchase such things for themselves.

But we all have the capacity to learn and do if we apply ourselves.

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Apr 13 2016

Cool Shooting Board Features and Capabilities

A Shooting Board is commonly known as a fixture that holds a board at a specific angle, such as 45 or 90 degrees, and allows most commonly the end grain to be cut accurately, but this is not the limit of what a shooting board and it’s potential capables are. Let me share with you what our shooting boards do differently, and better!

Setting Angles.jpg
Pick angles as fine as you’ll want to, and set the fence. Simple and accurate as that.

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Jan 24 2016

Tour a Steam Powered Sawmill

Published by under Documentary,Woodworks Library

The Phillips Brothers Mill has been a sawmill in operation since 1897 in and around Oak Run California. Oak Run is located approximately 25 miles east of Redding California. The Mill started as water powered, and was moved around to a couple different locations during the early part of the 20th Century, and has been powered by a Steam Boiler at the same location since 1933. Today, it is the last fully steam powered mill in America, and still owned by the Phillips Brothers family. Today it is part of a Phillips Family Trust and resides on a forest preserve of 920 acres which is meant as a sustainable forest for use by the mill. In 2002, the mill was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

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Dec 16 2015

Our Shooting Boards Make A Difference

When it comes to shooting boards, Traditional designs come with limitations that have to be accepted. The downside to this is that these limitations become part of the mental lexicon that woodworkers carry in their mind when they consider the capabilities of the shooting board. I’d like to take a moment or two and address how our shooting boards help overcome many of these limitations.

A Versatile Shooting Board

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Dec 01 2015

Shooting Boards for the Veritas Miter Plane

Yep, We’ve got them!

Veritas – Lee Valley released their new Veritas™ Miter Plane earlier this year. Think of it as like the LN-9 Iron Miter, a low angle block plane with a 2 inch wide iron, Veritas styling and improved ergonomics. It is ambidextrous and cuts great from either the left or right hand. It even comes with a great ergonomic handle which improves controllability and helps it feel great to use in the hand. Another big plus is that the blades for this plane are available in both 01- and PM-V11 steels. I prefer either of theses steels to A2 because they sharpen to a sharper level, and PM-V11 has incredible durability and edge retention which is critical for planing end grain. We opt for the PM-V11 when we can.

The Veritas™ Miter Plane
Photo Courtesy of Lee Valley Tools.

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Nov 09 2015

Thank You Veterans!

Published by under Uncategorized

Veterans Day is this week and I wanted to take a moment and thank my fellow Veterans for their service! This service is a generational legacy, and a bond we all share, whether we did it or are still doing it. Standing up for our country is beyond the job. It is knowing you will answer any call, any time, any place, anywhere.

It was an honor to have served with those I served with, and an honor to recognize all who serve and served. Thank you for the legacy of honorable service and sacrifices each of you have made and continue to make for our country’s freedom and liberty!

In good times and the bad, your service matters!

We try to keep the word out that every day is Veteran’s Day at Evenfall Studios. We offer 10% off to Veterans for all our craftsman Made Tools, no limits, 24/7/365. A gift from our family to you.

All you need to do is Shop our Online Store and pick out the tools you’d like custom made for you. Contact Us, Tell us about your U.S. Military Service, and tell us which tools you are interested in and we will get a PayPal invoice to you for your approval. Simple as that. No forms to fill out, or hoops to jump other than letting us know, and we’ll take it from there.

Thanks for visiting Evenfall Studios!

© Copyright 2015 by Rob Hanson for All Rights Reserved.

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Oct 28 2015

Maintenance Sharpening is Faster Sharpening.

Published by under Sharpening

Sharpening. To many, it’s do or dread and do anyway. Listen, it doesn’t have to be the chore that it can be, you just have to change the approach. We did and we offer the tools we developed to help make it easier for everyone.

Many of us have used the approach of working a tool until it is good and dull. The reason why is that it can be a lot of work to sharpen, so we hold out till we have to. There are two downsides to this. It is a lot of work to resharpen once you let tools get this dull, you sometimes have to rebuild the edges over again, and the other is that the indicators that we are this dull are that the tool is pushing hard, doing a poor job, or even starting to damage our work.

Why do we wait so long to sharpen?

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