Dec 28 2012
What’s in a name? In this case all paths lead to the same place. It’s mostly a spelling convention, or in this case, perhaps a misspelling convention. Alternatively, and more likely, this spelling convention is mostly due to an evolution of terminology, in an effort over the years to best describe the tool.
Our 51 Shooter Deluxe with LN-51. M. Handrinos Photo
The Shooting board is a fixture that has a “Chute” on it which guides a handplane. This chute should be straight and coplanar to the work. Often this chute is used on the end grain of boards, perpendicular or at any required mitering angle to the work, such as 45 degrees. Depending on the length of the board and it’s chute, long grain trimming is also desirable for when the workpiece has to be made as accurate as possible, and as safely as possible.
So what’s in a chute, and where did those funny looking words come from? Names are often something that get made up, in an attempt to best define what something is, or what is happening in a process, quickly. Unfortunately sometimes, words such as these defy normal spelling conventions. Luckily, in this particular case, all the various spellings lead to the same place, and the fixture itself has come to be called by two different names. First, the “Chute” Board, because the fixture is made with a chute that guides the plane. Second, the more popular name, the “Shooting” Board, because “Shooting” is a correctly spelled word that sounds like the word Chuteing, as if Chuteing or Shuteing were actually a dictionary word. “Shooting” best describes the fixture when in use; the act of precisely guiding a handplane to make fine, accurate trims to the work.
A couple of the coolest things about shooting boards is that any sharp hand plane will leave wood with a smooth accurate finish, which is equivalent to approximately 600 grit smoothness if compared to sandpaper, but with none of the burnishing to the wood that comes from sandpaper. I often use a Stanley 60-1/2 Block Plane on mine, and with that I can easily shoot up to 4/4 board thickness with it. There is no need for an expensive plane to buy into shooting; the accuracy is in the shooting board. Any sharp plane can play. Some of my personal favorite shooting planes would most likely be a Low Angle Jack, or a Skew Block Plane. The bottom line is, you can use what you’ve got.
Some woodworking processes are hard to make accurate, or accurately enough. A shooting board can be and often is used to correct all those little issues into straight, square or angled perfection. It can make your skills look good, and even help you develop better woodworking skills.
Here at Evenfall Studios, we offer a number of different shooting board styles that will best fit your style(s) of working wood. Our boards will fit most any plane made on the chute, and help you shoot most any angle you will ever need to with high accuracy. The beauty of our boards is built in, using the very best materials and construction methods. They offer Calibratable High Accuracy, Seasonal Stability, Durability, Multi-Angle Configuration, Accessories to Enhance Flexibility, and Replacement Parts, for Consumables like Fences, which are subject to wear and tear.
Our want is for you to be able to calibrate your shooting board and go right to work in any season, knowing that without further concern or further fumbling and testing, that your boards are coming of your shooting board exactly as you require, from the first shot going forward. Our boards deliver on that. That’s not only saving your time, but saving your wood. Let’s face it; wood is far more expensive than tools. This is why having good tools where it really counts matters. Our shooting boards are a real value!
Hand made attention to detail, quality assured throughout the build process. This is the woodworking fixture made to make every workpiece right, with accuracy in the 0.001 inch range for both squareness and angular accuracy for that final perfect fit. You wouldn’t want to compromise for your project, and I won’t compromise for the tooling we make for you. I select the best materials I can find, meticulously process them to create each part, and assemble them precisely to assure our shooting boards will transfer high accuracy to your work, so your work remains at it’s best. That is the difference that having quality tooling can make.
Whether you are Shuteing, Chuteing or Shooting, we care about how well you are able to do it. Not worry about it, Just do it good.
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© Copyright 2012 by Rob Hanson for evenfallstudios.com All Rights Reserved.