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Shooting Boards 101

Shooting Boards are Over Valued

This session may have some unpopular opinions and I admit it is full of hypocrisy.  I don't actually use a shooting board that much since I have gone full hand tool.  In truth I believe the shooting board to be a tool of the hybrid woodworker.  And that is absolutely fine.  But seeing as I am not a hybrid woodworker, my opinions are shaped by my experiences working entirely by hand.  I just rarely reach for the shooting board and when I do I'm probably doing something that could be done more efficiently.  But old habits die hard and over the years I have built quite a few shooting boards so why not use them from time to time.  

In truth, I can't think of a time outside of a butt joint where I EVER need to use the end grain of a board as a reference surface.  So having a perfectly square and plumb end of a board just doesn't come up much.  

Still, I do walk through the basics of using a shooting board, how I have built the ones I have and what makes the manufactured board I have such a nice tool.  I discuss which planes to use and why and how to correct some mistakes that can pop up with a more basic shooting board design.

Shooting Boards are Best for Non 90 Degree Angles

The real benefit of the shooting board is in refining an angle on the board for something like a miter.  45, 22.5, 37.678, whatever the angle you can saw it close then dial it in on a shooting board.  So I go over my angled boards and how I have used them to create unusual angles too.

Learn More in The Hand Tool School

A lot of the information I share in these tool 101 broadcasts is covered in detail in The Hand Tool School.  I build 4 different shooting boards and have multiple lessons on shooting technique and even for how to deal with unusual angles.  Its all part of membership. 

So I have a deal: use "rwwlive" to save 10% at The Hand Tool School

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