Jun 21 2018

Shooting Board Choices For Woodworkers

Published by at 4:09 pm under Hand Tools,Shooting boards,Woodworks Store

We get questions about our shooting boards, and it seems like a good time to try and answer a few and share the information with everybody who may be pondering a shooting board from us in the near future.

Our Combi Shooter

We are often asked about the Chute Adapters. Here is what you need to know.

All of our Chute adapters utilize a universal mounting system. So no matter which adapters you decide to purchase, to match the plane that you intend to use with your shooting board, you are not locked into that choice forever. Everything is 100% interchangeable. This means, you can easily remove the adapter if you would like to use the board without it, which will accommodate nearly every type of bench plane, or install the adapter of your choice, we have them available, for the Veritas shooting plane, the Veritas LA Jack, the Veritas miter plane, the Lie-Nielsen 51, 9, and any makers version of 62 Low Angle Jack.

Mounting is very straightforward, three button head cap screws on Standard sized boards, four screws on our Wide Board series, and six screws for our Long Grain, Dual Chute, And Combi shooting board models. The 5/32 hex key is all you need.

The next common question we get is about how do you decide which shooting board would be best? It’s a broad question but there are some ways of narrowing things down.

It may seem somewhat philosophical, but think of who you are right now as a woodworker. Where is your current skill set, and what kind of projects are you doing. Then think about your future as a woodworker, and think of where you would like your skill set to be, and what kind of projects you aspire to. Oftentimes this will help you decide what you need to consider in terms of a tool for future projects.

It may be helpful for you to know, that we offer a very wide range of options when it comes to shooting boards. Different lengths, multiple options for shooting angles, and in all our models, precision accuracy that you can count on and calibrate in any season, in spite of temperature, humidity, and wood movement.

Regarding precision and accuracy, all of our shooting boards are quality checked for accuracy where surfaces will be providing precision for your shooting. Fence edges are calibrated before 0.001-inch tolerances, as is chute flatness, and coplanarity with the top of the shooting board. All of our fences have a calibration slot built-in, with +/- 4° adjustability, which allows you to calibrate to sub-minute angular accuracy, or allowing is slightly off angle calibrations, for matching miters that are not quite precise. We feel it is the most accurate shooting board available and gives you the capability to keep it that way, seasonally, no matter where you live or work.

A word about the lengths. First, all our shooting boards are 14-3/4 inches wide. Our Standard Size shooting board is 14-3/4 inches long. Wide Board models are 22-1/8 inches long, and our Long Grain/Combi models are 29-1/2 inches long. A lot of options from shooting end grain two being able To joint boards with the grain two approximately 26 to 28 inches.

Most of the time, our clients generally choose their shooting board one of two ways. They are either minimalist, where they believe the only real need they will have for angles are 90 and 45°. As such, they select our basic models. Somewhat more often than that, people select our top-of-the-line models, because they believe that their skill set is going to continue to grow, and their imagination has wanted to take them into extravagant projects in the future that they hope to complete.

We offer Standard Size shooting boards that have the capability of shooting from two to eight mountable angles. The options are 15, 22.5, 30, 45, 60, 67.5, 75, and 90° angles. And you can choose from multiple models that provide you with five different options for purchasing the angles you feel you’ll need. This model has the capacity to shoot approximately 11-1/2 inches wide at 90°.

Our Wide Board Shooter is a popular model, because it is the same length as the original Stanley 52 shooting board, and it is available in three different versions, with up to five angles between 90 and 45°. Most of our clients select the multi version, which contains all five of those angles. This model will shoot approximately 18 inches at 90°.

Our Combi shooter has been very popular since its release last year. It is basically two shooting boards in one, and while it is our largest board, it is a space saver, because it is the only board that many woodworkers feel they need. What’s cool about it? It’s a combination of our Wide Board Shooter and our Long Grain Shooter. I’ve just described as the former, and the latter is the Long Grain model, which comes with a fixturing caul for arbitrary angles and a 90° fence at the top, for fixturing rectilinear work. As I said earlier, our Long models can shoot lengths from approximately 26 to 28 inches depending on configuration.

In our Dual Chute models, the most commonly requested shooting board is the Master Miter Shooter. More often than not, woodworkers choose that model for its versatility. Inside and outside 45° angle’s or call it 135° if you will. It’s handy for casework as well as picture frames, and there is the ever needed 90° fence set to accommodate you for whichever hand you favor the strongest. As an added bonus, these shooting boards are available in both our standard and wide board lengths. If you shoot moldings, this is the board you’ll need. The maximum thickness for shooting on these boards is 1-23/32nds inch with a 2-inch plane iron.

What about accessories? We have developed some items that make our shooting boards even more versatile.

The Any Angle Fence allows you to shoot any angle. All the angles the board can fixture, plus if you can fixture with an F Clamp, any angle in between. It is really handy for reaching all of the unusual angles that come with building all of the different kinds of things, and particularly handy when you have to match up to pre-existing miters.

Another handy accessory that many people choose is the planing stop. Our planing stop is approximately a quarter inch tall and protects the plain iron from contact with steel mounting hardware. By itself, it will allow the thicknessing of particularly small parts or thin parts quite safely. Additionally, a piece of 1/8th MDF can be cut and placed on top of the shooting board to allow thicknessing down to 1/8th of an inch.

In summary, there’s a lot of options. Like I said before, if you’re like most woodworkers, most dream big, and go for a shooting board that allows for a lot of capabilities. On the other hand, many woodworkers know what they like, and find that the basic models are a good fit for them, and they add an Any Angle Fence for those occasions that they may need an extra angle or two.

Our shooting boards are made from Baltic Birch, a very stable material, that generally only sees plus or minus 0.003-Inches of movement seasonally. Most of this in the tangential direction. Most of the accuracy surfaces that are important on the shooting board are positioned to the radial edge, and the movement is commonly half that of tangential seasonally. We always recommend you should calibrate before using the shooting boards each working session. This always assures that the accuracy is there, and your work turns out precisely the way you hoped.

The main two links you need to sort out these options are:

The Shooting Board section, and the Shooting Board Accessory section of our web store.

I hope this helps you decide which shooting board or boards may be the right tools for your shop. We are always happy to take your questions, it isn’t any trouble at all, we are here to help you find the right tool for your shop and help you make your dreams and ambitions in woodworking a reality. So feel free to contact us via email with those questions, and we will try to answer them as promptly as we can. We are happy to say that we have been here building shooting boards for the woodworkers of the world for 10 years now. Being able to bring precision and accuracy to woodworking is a large part of that puzzle.

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