What you do to make the shooting board, or what I do anyway, is to
take a long peice of very stable ply and use it as the base of the
board. I then get a thin, 1/4" piece of luan ply and make a
straight line along the length, assuming the edge isn't straight
as it is. Lay the thin ply on the birch ply and slide it back
from the edge far enough for the lane to lie on its side with its
sole touching the edge of the thin ply and be supported entirely,
or more by the birch ply. Like this on an end view.
Glue the two peices of wood together and clamp them flat. When
they're dry, take what ever plane you're going to be using as a
jointer and run it along the edge of the upper board as though you
were jointing a board sitting on the top. This will leave the
ower edeg of the upper board as it was, but will cut a recess into
the upper board as deep as the set of your plane blade. When you
want to joint a couplke of boards, clamps them stacked on top of
the upper board even with the unrecessed edge. Now when you use
your jointer, it will remove the wood up to the point where it
touches its sole on the unrecessed edge of the upper piece of
ply. Once it gets to that point it'll stop cutting. Hopefully
the boards will be jointed, but if there are still some hollows to
be cut out, just advance the two boards a squidge further and do
it again. The nice thing about this is that if the sole and blade
aren't exactly 90 degrees, the dicrepancy will make upo for its
when you put the two baoards together, they'll be complimentary
It's harder to explain than to do, so if that didn't make sense,
tell me what was murky and I'll try to make sense, no promises
Dave in Fairfax
Good question but you've been distracted by the two differnt
Respecfully, I think you miswrote here.
Jointing is done to the side (edge to clear) of a board, or
to the edges of two boards clamped together which are to be
edge-joined to make a panel. This is sometimes done with a
jointer fence attached to the plane, but so long as the boards
are clamped together face-to-face or back-to-back the fence
isn't needed as any beveling of the jonted edges will be
suplimentary (e.g. match) to give a flat panel when edge
glued. However a long plane is a big help so as to not
crown the edges from end to end. A long straght edge used
as a guide WOULD make it possible to joint with a short plane,
a 4 1/2 for instance, but I have never seen that done or
even heard of it.
Beveling can be done with a fence on a jointer plane and the
combination of the #6 fore plane with the # 286 jointer fence
(I think that is the right number) was popular among boatwrights.
My guess is the shorter #6 (as oppesd to a #7 or #8 made it
possible to bevel the edges of longish planks while also slightly
crowning them to conform to the complex curvature of the side of
I admit to never having used a shooting board, but have seen them
used and typically a shooting board is used to clean up a saw cut
and trim to exactly the correct angle a crosscut of some ilk,
such as a miter cut. Thus a shooting board typically is used to
guide the plane while trimming the endgrain of the board.
A shooting board may be used is used in place of a miter trimmer
or a discsander with miter gague for doing the corners for picture
flames and such.
I don't see how a shooting board could be used to edge joint
a board, though I have heard jointing referred to as 'shooting
the edge' of the board, by Roy Underhill.
Interspersed comments for ease and clarity, I apologize for not
Fred the Red Shirt wrote:
I guess I missed something, I thought that I'd said that the
jointing was done to the sides of the board. As I've said in the
past, I'm a turner trying to learn flatwork, so maybe I got the
terms mixed up. I use mine to make boards suitable for gluing
together to make wider boards and to clean up the ends of a board.
No argument there, That's why I pointed out that the length of the
plane in respect to the length of the board is important. It's
also why I said that the two boards jointed at the same time would
mate up because the angles wouyld be complimentary. It's also why
I said #5 or greater.
I mentioned using a long straight-edge to check the straightness
of the upper piece of plywood. I wasn't suggesting using it as
the reference surface for the plane, and certainly not for use
with a #4.
I saw shooting boards used to square ends as well as trim angles.
If you take a look at the sketch I made, the board gets clamped to
the upper board just barely hanging over its edge, and the plane
is put on it's side on the lower board. The plane will remove the
edge of the board up to the point where its sole contacts the edge
of the upper board. At that time, hopefully, the edge of the
board to be jointed will be flat and square. I got the idea from
Jeff Gorman's website,
but it's possible that I misunderstood what he was saying. It
works, which is what I was looking for.
It's possible that I've misused the shooting board by using it for
edges on boards, but since I don't have a jointer, it'll have to
Dave in Fairfax
No, no mix up. I just thought 'edge' was clearer than 'side'.
A flat rectangular board has 6 sides, two are faces, two are edges,
two are ends. If you just say 'side' it is clear to me that you
mean the edge, but that might not be clear to others, especially
some of the feriners who read rec.nahrm, though most of them probably
read and write English better than I do.
Here's nit, please don't be annoyed, but complimentary angles sum
to 90 degrees, supplimentary angles sum to 180 degrees. You actually
want supplimentary bevel angles when edge jointing boards.
But now I do see is illustrated at a page on the website you
Live and learn.
Where do we find the sketch?
It looks to me like you got it right, and now I've been educated too.
Ah, but if you get a jointe, you'll love using it. A #7 or #8 is
an impressive tool and when you're not truing boards you can whop
pit bulls on the head with it.
Just read tghis whole thread. Topic veered into Lee Valley vesus
Lei-Nielson verus Chinese planes versus Anant planes from India. I
suggests looking at the planes from Steve Knight at
Regarding the original question: "is there significance in flatness or
speed of work between the three. Given that the different planes are
made, there must be a reason why.......".. I thinks it's just a matter
of accuracy. My feeling is that there's a significant difference
between a #6 and #7 but much less between a #7 and #8.
For readers who might have an engineering abckground, these planes
operate like low pass filters. If the length of the plane is L, then
the plane has (approximately) a low pass response which is a sinc
function whose first null is at 1/L.
So we compare 1/18 versus 1/22 versus 1/24: 0.0555 versus 0.04545
versus 0.04166. If you plotted the responses, you'd see the smaller
number means more "dc" rejection. To a first order, we can directly
compare these numbers:
the 24" is about 9% better than the 22".
the 22" is about 22% better than the 18".
Hope I did the arithmetic correctly....
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