Shooting board

A Shooting Board for Squaring & Miters

A Shooting Board for Squaring & Miters

One of the most used work aids for hand tool woodworkers is the shooting board. While you can get quite close to perfect miters with a lot of practice, or using a miter box, nothing beats the accuracy of a shooting board.  I decided to make a new shooting board that does both miters and squaring – storage space is at a premium in my workshop.

I made the shooting board out of two pieces of mahogany plywood, both 24″ long and the bottom piece 10″ wide. The top piece was 7″ wide, leaving a ramp of 3″. I glued and screwed the two pieces together. The next step was to make two dados, one square to the ramp and the other at 45 degrees to the ramp. I marked the dado’s out using my most trusted combination square, a Starrett 12″ that I rely on a lot.I left around 8″ under the top fence for the angled fence, in order to ensure angled pieces have enough support underneath.

Shooting board for miters

The completed shooting board

The completed shooting boardI cut the dados out using a table saw, as I was working with plywood. With the dado’s done, I cut out the oak fence pieces. Oh, one thing to keep in mind – make the dado’s a little wider than you need to, in case things shift while cutting. That will leave some space for fine tuning the fence angles exactly.

I then applied liberal amounts of glue to the underside of the fences, and placed them in the dadoes, and using my combination square to set the angle perfectly, clamped the pieces in place. After a couple hours I countersunk and screwed in three brass screws into each fence piece. I covered the screws with some walnut plugs, as I liked the contrast and the screws in the fence were too utilitarian looking for my tastes. I also applied some oak edging to the sides of the board, before adding a stop block underneath the shooting board that I can clamp in my leg vise to keep the board from moving during use.

The final step is to apply a few coats of paste wax to the ramp, and the shooting board is done. Before using it the first time, I used my low angle block plane on the ramp and took a few fine passes on the side of the top board. This set up the rabbet that the blade will actually ride in during use, as there is a gap between the edge of the plane and the edge of the blade. I now only have find space for one shooting board instead of two.

Posted by Prairie Artisan Woodshop in This and That, 0 comments