Archive for the 'Shooting boards' Category

Jun 29 2015

Shooting Any Angle You Like

Any Angle Fence

While it is true that the traditional shooting board is most often made for shooting 90° and on occasion some are made to shoot 45° as well, we offer shooting boards that not only offer those two angles, but the ability to fixture a fence at up to eight different angles all in one board. But we didn’t stop there.

The reality of woodworking and cabinetry requires special tools for special situations. Not everything we make is perfectly square, nor is it necessarily perfectly angled. Sometimes we have to match angles that are caused by any number of different things. So while the actual angle it is whatever it may be, we may still need to divide that angle by half in order to create the complementary angles for a miter. Often this can lead us to angles that most shooting boards can’t reach.

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Jun 12 2015

The Ethos of Woodworking Precision and Accuracy

There are a lot of different opinions floated out about accuracy and precision in woodworking, and further, about how it applies in handtool woodworking. I’d like to take a few moments and help add some additional perspective from a toolmaker, and from someone who has also had a long career as a journeyman tradesman. This read is a little long, but I feel the perspectives will be helpful to us as we develop our craftsman skills.

I don’t want to overstate what others I’ve read are saying, but cumulatively I read a lot of woodworkers who write say things like: “wood has too much movement for a need to work accurately”. “Measuring is unnecessary, just match things up so that they are good enough”. I could go on, but I am sure we are all aware of what I am referring to.

On it’s face, sometimes these statements may be true, maybe only true for those who state them, but they can be precarious things to say in a context where the reason why is not well prefaced. Let me explain.

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May 16 2015

The Hollows and Rounds Dilemma

You’re almost there. You scrimped, saved and waited for a half set of Hollows and Rounds custom made for you that cost over $3500.00.

Or maybe you hunted eBay, outbidding massive competition and sluthed many tool dealers for your set and it took you months, maybe years to find them all.

You have your sharpening gear, and you have honed all the blades to perfection. You have tuned the plane bodies and wedges and set the irons in the plane bodies perfectly.

You have the book for how to make the moldings. You have your books on molding shapes and designs. You made a sticking board so you can fixture your work and plane your own moldings. You have all this on the awesome bench you made for your shop.

You select a gorgeous stick to cut the moldings from, rich with all the color and figure.

You work at it all with great care, and your molding is shaped to perfection. Everything is almost perfect.

Almost.

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May 08 2015

Lutherie Shooting Boards

Published by under Hand Tools,Jigs,Shooting boards

Recently we’ve had some inquiries about shooting boards for use with lutherie, and so I thought I’d take a few minutes and talk about this, and shooting long work. The short answer is, Yes, we can help with Lutherie!

Long Grain Shooter

We offer shooting boards for lutherie and long grain jointing work called the Long Grain Shooter. It has the capacity to shoot lengths to 24-26 inches depending on how much care you want to take to accomplish it. We offer this board in single chute only and you can order it for Right or Left Handed use as per your preference.

It’s a versatile tool! Read on!

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Apr 30 2015

Tools for Creativity, Productivity, Art, and Fun

Some of the fun of being a toolmaker, is getting to be a woodworking evangelist. Talking with woodworkers and listening to what they hope to do in woodworking. Stories of wishing it were easier to make something, but oh for the lack of this tool or that. I understand. I always enjoy hearing from clients who have had their tooling we custom made for them awhile and to hear how it has made the different things they wanted to make possible, and easier.

Some of the things that have been shared with me are interesting. Epiphany level stuff a lot of the time. On the shooting board equation I recall things like; “I have thousands invested in hand planes, but I am also expecting high accuracy from a quickly made jig from scraps. I’m finding that doesn’t work a lot of the time.” “I’m on my fourth shooting board now, and I am just tired of trying to get or keep accuracy.” “I want to make intricate things with small parts, but my machines seem too risky to use for that.” “I have so many ideas, but my tools don’t seem to be able to get me close enough to accomplish it.” Making a high accuracy shooting board is harder than it seems.”

On the topic of Sharpening, I’ve listened. I hear things like: “I know I should sharpen more often, but it’s a bother, and so messy.” I spend so much time having to maintain my water stones that I hate to use them”.”I just wait to sharpen until I can’t get my tools to work anymore, because working is way more fun.” “I have such a small shop, there’s just no room to sharpen and have it be easy.”

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Apr 23 2015

Imagine Woodworking – Easier

Woodworking is a field of endeavor filled with imagination. Wood has not stopped capturing our imagination for centuries.

Wood has been used to build bridges that carry trains and large wooden ships. We have shaped it into airplanes. It has been used for housing, barns, aircraft hangars, and other large buildings. We cut and shave it into veneers and small delicate pieces that form beautiful images, and screens. We dye it, stain it, paint it, weatherize it. We ask everything of wood from engineering to art, and it rarely disappoints.

Wood asks a few things of us in exchange for forming and shaping it as it yields to us and our requirements.

For best results, wood has taught us it’s best methods for working it through practice and observation. If we learn these ways, and pay attention to the details while we work things come together pretty nicely, most of the time.

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Apr 21 2015

Shooting Boards and thinking outside the box.

Woodworking is a lot of different things to many people. Collectively, we use woods in many artistic and engineered ways when we apply it to our projects and the things we make.

Want diversity from materials? Ok, we can use hardwoods, or softwoods, exotics or domestics. We can vary colors, shapes and textures, while building period furniture or puzzles, jewelry boxes or tool chests. We can veneer and make parquetry, we can make instruments, and kitchen gadgets. Curves and tangents in three dimensions. We may focus on some part of this or dabble in a lot of it from simple and necessary to extravagant and ornate.

Want more diversity? Ok. Woodworkers are also varied in their tastes, design eye, and their use of tools as well, and so what they shoot and shoot with on their shooting boards is as varied as they are. With so many materials and projects, we likely only describe the half of it.

Where many things come together in nearly any project, is where the need for base line precision has to be laid out of boards, and then the cuts that have to be worked to those lines. This can mean measuring with rulers or stepping out with dividers using ratios, but fitment is important, and line and angle accuracy can become important, because this is still geometric work and often in three dimensions. Layout from any inaccurate baseline can be a disaster. This is the essence of making anything, and the need for high precision for continued good fitment as you build depends on a lot of things, but the closer you take the work to fine, the greater becomes that need.

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Jan 21 2015

Shooting Board Questions and Answers Volume One

I get questions about our shooting boards from time to time, so I thought I’d help out by sharing the Q&A stream with you.

Q: Why do we use shooting boards?

A: Shooting boards have been pretty common in woodworking for the last 200 years and were widely taught for use in Educational Sloyd. Shooting devices certainly predate 200 years ago, but were less common when furniture was less complex. They are tools that help reduce the workmanship of risk, reduce the complexity of difficult work such as specific needs for straightness and angles, and help enhance woodworker safety, particularly on small parts.

Making anything from wood means working to the lines and begins with layout lines on accurate boards. Lines are then sawn closely on the waste side and finished to the line, smooth with planes to remove the saw marks. When the need for a line is to fit parts precisely with other parts, that line is planed with a shooting board. The shooting board and a sharp plane can improve upon any sawn line whether it was cut by hand or machine, removing all the tearout and leaving a crisp edge and smooth surface. It also reduces risk to work the further a project progresses. Shooting boards offer a great deal of surety in the work.

Q: Why offer Shooting Boards as a tool, Don’t people make those from scraps around the shop?

A: A shooting board is a device that can offer accuracy to woodworkers that rivals machinist accuracy. This is really handy for fine work in woodworking. Historically, as the woodworker has acquired tooling of higher precision, the appearance of their work has reflected it. To make a tool capable of this precision with repeatability in accuracy and durability requires a specialized manufacturing process. The shooting board has to be more accurate than the things it will be used to make.

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Jan 16 2015

Evenfall Studios Toolmakers News

I have been considering an occasional column on our blog, just for sharing some various thoughts and news with you, so welcome to Volume One, 2015.

For small businesses, it is often challenging getting the word out. I want to touch on the scope of our blog. It wears several hats. We are a small family business, a one man custom tool making shop. I make precision tools for woodworkers and makers. Some of the ways we use the blog is to provide methods for working that have a lot of application on any project. We also use it to help teach and inform about our tools and methods that can help woodworking become easier and more accurate for you.

Getting the word out to woodworkers all over the world about what we do and what we may be able to help you do in making is a big part of our blog. I’m remiss about not blogging more often and I do try, but it happens. Client work in the shop and the matters of life are something we all can understand in our own way. We appreciate all our subscribers and readers. Our blog is aggregated by Leif at the Norse Woodsmith Aggregator and has been for years. Recently our blog has been aggregated by Siavosh over at woodspotting.com, which is a new form of Aggregator that is growing fast and allows people to submit blogs to it. We really appreciate both of them for their their support in helping us network and get the word out. If you enjoy our blog or use it as a reference, please feel free to bookmark, subscribe directly via RSS or email as well. This helps us stay in touch and we appreciate your support.

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Nov 25 2014

Shooting Boards for Your Shop

Through the years, I have fielded quite a few questions about shooting boards, and so I thought it might be nice to share some of the considerations with you, for your own thinking process.

Make or Buy?

That is a biggie, and it’s multifaceted. If you can make a shooting board accurately enough to suit what you need it to do, you may not be considering buying, but there are hurdles to leap.

LA Jack Wide Board Shooter

Ask a few questions:

What is your time worth? You have a busy life, a full time job, a family that deserves quality time. When you get shop time, do you want to spend it making tools, or projects like furniture, jewelry boxes or cabinets? Time for most of us is in short supply. If you want your time spent making beautiful things for your family, then tools that can do what you need done, and directly are really nice to have.

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