Plane for Shooting

Shop time has been limited, yet nonzero, in the last couple of weeks. Other than a bunch of cleaning up down there (which has gotten much easier as I find better ways to organize), I finally set out something to do about the plane that I use for shooting. I’ve been using a low-angle block plane for a while, but have wanted to try out something with a little more heft.

While doing some of the aforementioned cleaning, I came across a Millers Falls No. 18 (Stanley #6 equivalent) that I bought years ago but never did anything with. The sides were already nicely square to the sole, so I decided that maybe I could try it out with the shooting board.

It was was fairly rusty and completely filthy. A couple of hours spread over a few days with rust remover dealt with that. The iron was badly pitted, so I dug out a Hock replacement that I had on hand. And so somewhat surprisingly, everything went together fairly quickly today:

No one’s going to mistake this thing for a completely restored plane, of course. And it may not be one of those neat specialized planes with the low-angle skewed blade, but it has the advantage of being available for service right now. We’ll see how it goes.

New Shooting Board Notes

Earlier, I’d spewed some psychobabble about making a new shooting board, and I finally followed through on it. After reading through all of the relevant articles in “The Woodworker Volume IV” book and thinking through the inadequacies of the board I made a long time ago, I got to work and came up with this:

[Edit: Here’s one of those articles.]

The articles all generally said to build it out of a “hard wood.” This makes sense for the stop, and the attachment to the top, because you can easily flex it out of true. However, most of the hard woods that I have on hand are flatsawn and I am worried about seasonal movement. So I made a base out of quarter(ish)sawn yellow pine, and laminated a thinner piece of maple to the top. I don’t know if the base will be durable enough for all the metal that will be sliding on top of it, but we’ll see.

The bottom has a stop for butting up against the bench, and I made that bench stop just a bit smaller than the gap that my tail vise can open, so that I can lock it in place with the vise. I attached this with threaded inserts, with the thought that I could easily change the location if it didn’t work out:

Here’s the shooting board in the vise position on the bench:

So far, so good. Here it is in use:

Yeah, I’m still using a low-angle block plane for shooting. Maybe I’d like to get a specialized chute board plane or miter plane sometime. For now, this works.

The “eagle-eyed” may have noticed the small chamfer that I’d planed to the bench stop’s interior face:

This allows for hanging the shooting board on a french cleat:

I retrofitted that modification to my bench hook on the right.

I made another shooting board, this as described in “The Woodworker” for (basically) jointing smaller work. Having no experience with that kind of board, I decided to make a quickie prototype in “hem-fir” to see what I could learn from it. I have nothing to share about this at the moment; I’m planning out improvements for the next version.