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weekend_woodworker

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I recently made my first shooting board, which I was very proud of, unfortunately it doesn't seem to be as square as I think it should be and I am not quite sure why, so I was hoping others with more wisdom and experience might offer some advice. I made the board with two bits of decent birch ply. I have been using my Record No 7 with it, but as you can see from the picture it is not quite square when on its side.


IMG_0915.jpeg

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I wasn't sure if it was the plane being slightly out of square, so tried it with the No. 4 1/2 I recently got back to working order and that is out also. Finally I tried it with my No. 5 and that also seems to be out.
IMG_6007.jpeg

The No 4 1/2 and 5 seem to be less out than the No 7. Has anybody experienced anything like this? Do you know what the cause was and more importantly how to fix it?

Many thanks,

Mark
 

MikeG.

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Offer your square up to the sole and side of each of your planes. I've one I can definitely never let anywhere near a shooting board. There is no good reason to assume they're square. If you've got another square, you could put them back to back on the shooting board, one on the high plateau, and one on the lower level, and see if the problem lies there. I had to adjust my shooting board after making it because the two plateaux weren't parallel.

Within reason, it doesn't matter if the sole of your plane isn't perfectly at right angles to the upper board, because using your lateral adjustment lever you can make the blade correct even if the plane sole isn't. It's a faff, though, to do this every time, so best find if you have a plane in your collection which has a good right angle.
 

weekend_woodworker

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Thanks for the ideas. I think the No 7 is not quite square, but I had not thought about using the lateral adjustment leaver to correct the little bit it is out. I will give that a go and see if it Improves things.

i don’t think the board is bowed, but I had wondered if all else failed whether I should put it on the router table to re cut the part the plane travels on to ensure it is absolutely parallel with the upper surface.
I think though I will try the lateral leaver first though.

Thanks

Mark
 

Phil Pascoe

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Thanks for the ideas. I think the No 7 is not quite square, but I had not thought about using the lateral adjustment leaver to correct the little bit it is out. I will give that a go and see if it Improves things.
We were taught at the ripe old age of thirteen to check that the actual cut piece is square after the iron has been honed and replaced - there is no guarantee you'll set the iron at exactly the same angle as it was before you did it. You are aiming/hoping for perfection - the position of the cutting edge is more relevant than the angle of the sole, and very few planes would be so far out of square that the cut couldn't be corrected by lateral adjustment of the iron.
 

MikeG.

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Thanks for the ideas. I think the No 7 is not quite square, but I had not thought about using the lateral adjustment leaver to correct the little bit it is out. I will give that a go and see if it Improves things.

i don’t think the board is bowed, but I had wondered if all else failed whether I should put it on the router table to re cut the part the plane travels on to ensure it is absolutely parallel with the upper surface.
I think though I will try the lateral leaver first though.
Lever, not leaver.

Don't adjust anything until you've checked everything. Know what your problem is before you attempt to tackle it. As I said, try to find a square plane first before you compensate with the lateral adjustment, because setting that up every time is a pain. Check everything on your board with a straight edge, and do the back-to-back square thing to check that the two levels are in fact parallel. When you've done all that and know what the issue is, then either crack on and fix it or come back here for further advice.
 

NickM

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You might want to watch Rob Cosman's video on YouTube about making a shooting board.

He makes the point that if you have a slight "valley" in the part of the board the plane runs on, the plane has a tendency to tip away to the right. The problem is that the plane is supported at its ends but not in the middle and so it "falls over". That would be consistent with there being a bigger issue with a longer plane.

His solution for this is to form a slight crown on the shooting board when you glue it. He just uses layers of masking tape and clamps the board to a flat surface when doing the glue up.

I tried this and it seemed to work well enough, although I still have to play with the lateral adjustment lever a bit.
 

MusicMan

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Good points all round. As MikeG says, you can compensate with the angle of the blade (that's the only thing that matters, not the sole). Note, incidentally, that for a shooting board the blade has to be ground square with no camber. While it is also a faff to check the blade angle every time, you at least have to check that the blade is parallel to the mouth (which you will have checked is at right angles to the side).

Steve's point about "bi-wood strips" is quite valid, but unlikely to be the problem with birch ply. The glue thickness could be higher on the left than the right, though.

NickM makes an interesting point from Rob Cosman. I'd never considered that but it is quite right. If you don't have a straight edge, use the plane itself and see if there is a gap in the middle.

If you have three straight edges of similar length, one of which could be fixed such as a saw table, you can check them all by seeing if they all fit together (A to B, A to C, B to C) without gaps. If so they are all straight (the Whitworth test, essentially the foundation of precision engineering).

I'm a bit fanatical about shooting boards. The Stanley Chute (Nos. 51 and 52) I have always considered the perfect system:
Metal construction, adjustable angle stop, skew shooter plane with handle at comfortable angle. Not made since 1943 and would cost about £1500 now if you could find one.

My poor (but not very poor) man's equivalent is made from MDF, Veritas shooter plane, running in Veritas aluminium track, the angle stop adjustable over a few degrees and checked each time for anything critical. I'll post a pic later. It is a total treat to use.
 

Chris Hawkins

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Hi, this might be my first post on the Forum, despite been a lurker for many years. I can't add to what has already been said by clever and experienced people. It might make the OP feel better if I share my experience. I have the circa £600 combo of a Veritas Shooting Plane and Veritas Shooting Board. Both were out of square when I received them. To make matters worse they were out of square in opposite ways that exasperated the problem. I swapped out the shooting board with Veritas (shipped a new one from Canada - very impressed with Customer Service), but it had the same problem. Bizarrely, they said that the plane was at the extreme edge of their accepted tolerance - quote:

"The shooting plane is designed to be a little bit "open", in the sense that the two faces of the sole are at a little bit less than 90°. Therefore it is normal to see a little bit of light at the top. If the faces were over 90° the plane would be unusable, therefore it was decided to err on the safe side. The tolerance is that the vertical surface must be open at the top by 0.003" or less. That being measured on a reference surface. You need to angle the blade just a little bit to ensure a square cut."

My plane was actually 3 thou out of square and the board was 5 thou. Providing a result that was 0.008" out of square. That is a lot and compensating with lateral blade adjustment created its own problems with the size of the mouth opening. I solved everything by dismantling the board and placing masking tape under one side of the track until the plane was perfectly square with the board. It's now a dream to use.

If you use a single plane an option for you may be to run a strip(s) of UHMW tape along the track in a manner that squares things up. Prior to using the Veritas setup I used my own boards and a WoodRiver Jack Plane. I don't think I had any problems - but my own accepted tolerances have tightened with time and experience.

Best Wishes

Chris
 

Ttrees

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This is why I have a pair of no. 5 1/2's, one is used for shooting only.
On my shooting board, I messed around with the surface that the plane rides on.
I think in the end, it got scraped back to the same plane as the other surface.
Having that angle made things go higgildy piggildy for a bit.:)
I used a shoulder plane to fix all the mess that made.

On a similar note, I heard Rob Cosman mention that a crown in the middle of the board can be helpful to keep the cheek of the plane in maximum contact and not the other way round.
I hadn't seen this tidbit before the decision was made to make adjustments to suit my plane.

All the best
Tom
 

Ttrees

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In this case though, putting a bit of tape on the underside of where the plane rides
isn't gonna feed his family.
I might try it for my Bailey when I make another or make modifications to my shooting board.
Having a plane ready to work on the board after sharpening within two or three shavings every time would be a pleasure.
Even taking a few shavings on some tough thicker timbers is enough to roll the edge.

As you say though, it may be a non existent problem,
I haven't tried yet.
It may just be impossible to keep the plane 90 degrees to the work
even with this "trick" and a totally square sided plane, the stop still may get
a facet.
Rob always planes a chamfer before flipping the work, so that might hint that it is not the definite answer.

I wonder if those with large mitre planes or shooting planes of old can comment
on breakout elimination and facets from tipping in the long term use of the tool.

Tom
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Rob Cosman is great at inventing problems which don't exist, and then selling high-price solutions to those non-existent problems.
I absolutely agree. I watched Cosman building a shooting board. He does this with a great deal of precision and care ... a lot of this is showmanship. Hell, I have used my bench top as a shooting board ....




... and the proof of the pudding ... the book matched joint was flawless ...



I have a number of shooting planes, and never checked one of them for square ... ever. These include a Veritas Shooting Plane, Stanley #51, LN #51, a wooden strike block plane, and Veritas LA Jack. I have no idea if they are square or not. But they all work perfectly.

I have built many shooting boards over the years, both flat and ramped, and sold some internationally. Here is one with a wooden strike block plane I built ...






The secret to a successful shooting board is this little side fence ...



I began posting about this many years ago having discovered how useful it was on the Stanley #52 I have ...



What may also be missing is technique - how to push the plane, how to hold the work piece, where to apply pressure ...

There are ways to make even the most basic shooting board work. One fixture I have on my bench and use a lot is this simple bench hook ...



It also makes a great shooting board (note the side fence) ...



Regards from Perth

Derek
 

David C

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I have come up with a sacrificial stick which is held against the main fence with a toggle clamp.

This may be advanced and the end perfected (shot) before each use.

Spelch or splintering is almost entirely eliminated, as the gap of plane sole to fence is now one shaving..

Best wishes, David
 

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