Monday, September 30, 2013

make a shooting board...

A shooting board is a simple device that allows a hand plane to square the ends of boards, provided your box design is not quite as critical on dimension as some are. The object is to provide accuracy that is hard for some to achieve using hand tools. To make it as simple as possible, glue a piece of 1/4 in Baltic birch plywood onto thicker plywood stock. In this case, I'm using 3/4 in. plywood for both the base and the stop. The dimensions I used were based entirely on the size of materials I had on hand and are:
  • Base... 3/4 in. x 13 1/2 in. x 26 in.
  • 1/4 in. Baltic birch ply 11 in. x 26 in.
  • Stop... 3/4 in. x 6 in. x 13 1/2 in.
Don''t bother to wax or finish the surface of the Baltic birch ply, as having a bit of ready grip to it will come out to your advantage.

Hand made box - closed
I used a vacuum press to glue the Baltic birch to the heavier plywood, but you can also simply apply glue to thinner stock, line it up on three edges to the base and put weights on to hold it in place as the glue sets. Be careful that the top layer doesn't shift position as the pressure is applied.

Hand made box - open
When the glue has dried, use a framing square as you screw the stop in place, so that it will be perfectly square to the edge of the Baltic birch.  You can apply wax to the surface where the plane slides.

The box shown above was made today using hand tools and the shooting board.

Make, fix and create...

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