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Thread: shooting board material

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Central (upstate) NY
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    1,457

    shooting board material

    Ken viciously twisted my arm to get me to go with him to the recent woodworking show in Saratoga. While we were there, we had the chance to see a live demonstration of a shooting board. I think this demonstration / seminar was of far, far more significance to me than to Ken. Anyways, the speaker had brought his demo board, which he had made from a particle board.

    Ken got talking to me later and mentioned that he'd be concerned of such an engineered material prematurely wearing out the plane iron that time and effort was taken to sharpen.

    So I was thinking to make one from some wide ash I have (11" or so).

    I started jointing my ash plank Thursday, but then today got to wondering if seasonal movement might end up making the fence not perfectly square over time. I'm going to also be making 45 degree miter and bevel attachments for my shooting board in order to be making miter joinery, so am now wondering if I might be served better with a particle board shooting board and just breaking down and learning to sharpen my irons.

    What do the rest of you think?

  2. #2
    Why couldn't you use something like baltic birch or mdf. I just looked up what a shooting board was and once you make the first pass or two the plane won't be cutting into the board anymore unless you extend the iron some more.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bucks County PA
    Posts
    149

    Plywood or MDF

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Kosmowski View Post
    <snip>Ken got talking to me later and mentioned that he'd be concerned of such an engineered material prematurely wearing out the plane iron that time and effort was taken to sharpen.

    So I was thinking to make one from some wide ash I have (11" or so).

    I started jointing my ash plank Thursday, but then today got to wondering if seasonal movement might end up making the fence not perfectly square over time. I'm going to also be making 45 degree miter and bevel attachments for my shooting board in order to be making miter joinery, so am now wondering if I might be served better with a particle board shooting board and just breaking down and learning to sharpen my irons.<snip>
    IMHO it's the seasonal movement thing that'll be a killer. It doesn't tale all that much to throw a shoot board out of kilter. And having the shoot board made from solid wood is asking for movement. Personally, I'd save the ash for another project and get some nice birch ply. After you're done making the shoot board, give it several coats of penetrating finish (I used Watco's Danish Oil). That'll protect it!



    Last year I used some birch plywood to make mine and so far have only had to adjust it slightly. If I were to do it again, I think I'd have covered the "plane ramp" in laminate so that it would be slicker. I used UHMW and have noticed it picks up the wax/oil from my planes way too easy.

    BTW when you learn to sharpen your irons to perfection, give me a call so you can coach me through it. I've yet to be able to replicate an "atom splitting edge" without LOTS of work.
    See ya around,
    Dominic

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    12,251

    Check this link out

    Hi Mark

    I have not got the answer but check out this great link and full story.

    http://www.whitemountdesign.com/ShootingBoard.htm

    Best of luck with what ever you decide to do.
    cheers

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Villa Park, CA
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    Whatever the shooting board is made from, the blade of your plane should not cut into it beyond the first time when you "season" it. After you use it the first time, the plane will ride against a ridge at the bottom of the slot and your plane blade will only cut the wood you're trimming. So there's absolutely nothing wrong with making a shooting board out of MDF or plywood or anything else.

    Solid wood does move so I favor some kind of man made product, but our ancestors used solid wood and it worked fine for them.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    Over on Wood Central, Australian Derek Cohen has recently posted some pictures and a tutorial on the making of his ramped shooting boards. His are solid wood - Jarrah, or Sheoak, I think - and have an adjustable fence and a 'donkey's ear' accessory.

    You might want to take a look over there.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    Over on Wood Central, Australian Derek Cohen has recently posted some pictures and a tutorial on the making of his ramped shooting boards. His are solid wood - Jarrah, or Sheoak, I think - and have an adjustable fence and a 'donkey's ear' accessory.

    You might want to take a look over there.
    Just a comment - there's no advantage to a ramped shooting board except it "might" allow you to use more of your blade. But that's only if you shoot thin material. Ramping reduces the maximum thickness that you can shoot.

    It absolutely, positively does not give you a skew cut (which some people believe).

    Mike

    [In case anyone thinks it offers a skew cut, see this thread at Sawmill Creek where it was discussed to death.]
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 04-21-2009 at 12:35 AM.
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Central NY State
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    Mark, actually I wouldn't want a portion of the sole of my plane rubbing on particleboard. Less worried about the blade, because it doesn't run against the shooting board. Worst case scenario,, in my mind, is that the plane gets alot of use on its side, rubbing the 3/4" or so against the p-board, and loses a tiny fraction of flat. Sound OCD to you? It does to me. Oh well.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Catalunya
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    HI Mike,I don't know whether there is a skew motion on a ramped board or not, I've read the post on SC twice and I still have my doubts either way.

    Anyway, here is mine, it is not ramped, it is made of mdf and masonite and it serves me well.
    I do not have a miter accessory but I might make one someday.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails SB01.jpg   SB02.jpg   SB03.jpg  
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bellingham
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    Mine is made of MDF with a hardwood fence. I don't think I would use particle board; not very flat or smooth.

    I still need to incorporate Dominic's nice micro-adjusting fence. I liked it the first time he posted it and it still looks good to me.

    Mark, a low angle bladed plane works best, but I have used my normal jack and jointer plane and it worked fine; you just really need to make sure they are sharp and not try to take off too much. Actually that advice goes for any plane you use, but especially a normal angle plane.

    Dominic, Mike or Ken, have you made a mitre block yet? It is next on my list of fixtures. Just curious how it worked out.

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