• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Plane squareness to sole

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
7,852
Reaction score
1,252
Location
PA, US
Jacob – you’re quite right but I didn’t want to say it, I never ever had a shooting board, with a finely set nr4 I just plane the end in a vice.
Same - I made several shooting planes. They are too dirty with dust to use at this point. It's uncommon that it isn't faster to stay at the bench and put something in a vise, and on larger panel ends, etc, planing end grain to a mark is far more efficient. All planes work better upright than they do on their sides, too (you can plane hundreds and hundreds of feet of end grain before anything needs to be sharpened).

I think the draw of shooting boards is at the outset of making things, everyone wants accuracy, but it comes with skill in a lot of situations. The shooting board seems like a something for nothing tool (accuracy is available with it before skill) -the exception being maybe very small or thin work (fewer people do that than say they do, and the ones with their heads on straight make small accurate mitering. I'd bet most model makers or small bits makers now probably sand the rest off rather than shoot it).

It's in the group of things you'll see sold to beginners here, though - and that's super popular at things like amateur woodworking shows:
1) glitzy marking knives
2) really heavy planes, or odd planes of all manners
3) marking tools for routine things (dovetail markers, expensive try squares, etc)
4) various honing guides, the next best sharpening method gear (never cheap), gadgets and fixtures to sharpen other things or hold them (like card scraper holding devices, etc).
5) fixtures for shooting or planing long edges
 

Phil Pascoe

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
29 Jan 2012
Messages
21,767
Reaction score
1,914
Location
Shaft City, Mid Cornish Desert
It comes down to how much use a shooting board will get, surely? My bench is solid and flat so I just pack the workpiece off it with a piece of ply and use the plane on the bench. If I had to do it regularly, yes, I'd make a shooting board.
 

Cabinetman

Established Member
Joined
5 Jan 2017
Messages
2,180
Reaction score
1,109
Location
lincolnshire Wolds
You are right about the marketing people selling a whole bunch of stuff you don’t actually need, I have a rack of tools which I bring out from the cupboard every day, it’s not often I need something that isn’t on there. Same tools mainly that I’ve had for 40 years this hobby doesn’t have to be expensive. Ian
 

TheTiddles

Established Member
Joined
14 Oct 2007
Messages
2,702
Reaction score
620
Location
Wiltshire
Out of curious… How do people cut the mitres on a picture frame without a shooting board? I know it can be done from a marked line with a block plane, does anyone do this?
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
20,249
Reaction score
1,554
Location
Derbyshire
Jacob – you’re quite right but I didn’t want to say it, I never ever had a shooting board, with a finely set nr4 I just plane the end in a vice.
Exactly. It's so easy and you can work it from both ends in a vice.
Thing is - why does anybody need to plain the end grain on anything, before the thing has been constructed?
 

Cabinetman

Established Member
Joined
5 Jan 2017
Messages
2,180
Reaction score
1,109
Location
lincolnshire Wolds
Ah, mitres, Well I suppose I do have a shooting board, call myself a liar lol, but it’s not the flat on the bench type, mine is upright and the wood and the gizmo are held together tight in the vice, homemade but works really well. Ian
 

TRITON

Established Member
Joined
5 Oct 2014
Messages
1,157
Reaction score
601
Location
Sunny Glasgow
Out of curious… How do people cut the mitres on a picture frame without a shooting board? I know it can be done from a marked line with a block plane, does anyone do this?
I'd say miter trimmers, not just a fancy modern morso. There are loads of effectively antique miter trimmers you see pop up on ebay and gumtree that look like theyre 100 years old at least, which shows that system was the favoured system for cutting them right back to the era of fine cabinetry, 18th,19th centuries.
 

TheTiddles

Established Member
Joined
14 Oct 2007
Messages
2,702
Reaction score
620
Location
Wiltshire
Ah, mitres, Well I suppose I do have a shooting board, call myself a liar lol, but it’s not the flat on the bench type, mine is upright and the wood and the gizmo are held together tight in the vice, homemade but works really well. Ian
Sounds like a donkey’s ear shooting board?
 

johnnyb

Established Member
Joined
13 Nov 2006
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
237
Location
Biddulph staffs
I use shooting boards for 45s on panel beads. it just works and makes them super tight. I'll sometimes shoot thin stuff at 90. it's mostly as a fitting thing tbh. so get it within a mill then shoot next to the thing and keep trying until perfect.
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
20,249
Reaction score
1,554
Location
Derbyshire
Cut mitres with a saw. Adjust with bench hook and plane. Much the same as a shooting board but simpler.
 

TheTiddles

Established Member
Joined
14 Oct 2007
Messages
2,702
Reaction score
620
Location
Wiltshire
I'd say miter trimmers, not just a fancy modern morso. There are loads of effectively antique miter trimmers you see pop up on ebay and gumtree that look like theyre 100 years old at least, which shows that system was the favoured system for cutting them right back to the era of fine cabinetry, 18th,19th centuries.
So a sliding blade with a reference face, and some kind of ability to hold the workpiece relative to it… sounds familiar somehow
 

TheTiddles

Established Member
Joined
14 Oct 2007
Messages
2,702
Reaction score
620
Location
Wiltshire
I use shooting boards for 45s on panel beads. it just works and makes them super tight. I'll sometimes shoot thin stuff at 90. it's mostly as a fitting thing tbh. so get it within a mill then shoot next to the thing and keep trying until perfect.
Me too, I’ve just (re)made one for long grain as I have some tiny drawers to make, I’ve got another large one for veneers as well as the endgrain and mitre one
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
20,249
Reaction score
1,554
Location
Derbyshire
Yes they have their uses bit it's really easy to improvise something ad hoc. If you are regularly producing the same thing then I can see you might want to make up a reusable little rig.
 

Ttrees

Iroko loco!
Joined
18 Nov 2012
Messages
3,021
Reaction score
299
Location
In me workshop
My next regular one, I might attempt to make it flippable, with one face for really tiny stuff and a low angle block plane.
I have use for shooting long crossgrain plugs for patching up timbers.

Charlesworth has suggested using a sacrificial stick in front of the cleat instead of feeding and dressing the ends often-ish.
Worth mentioning even if you just happen to have your fence off a bit, or if its getting loose.
I found it worked for quite a while, although I wasn't looking for the fully supported feature at the time.
Food for thought
 

Chris Hawkins

Established Member
Joined
23 Feb 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
28
Location
Chippenham
@Phil Pascoe is spot on. The tolerance you mention is very easily compensated for. The key is to measure the result (the piece) not the tool system. Compensation can be achieved in many ways - blade lateral adjustment, blade grind (not that I would do that), adjusting the track (where the plane sits), adjusting the bed (where the piece sits) or adjusting the piece itself (say by adding tape). I use a shooting plane and board every single day and achieve tolerances that are beyond my ability to measure. FWIW I use a Veritas Shooting Plane, which is approx 0.08mm out of square - the same as yours (OP) - it's simply not an issue. Enjoy your shooting :) Regards Chris.
 

Phil Pascoe

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
29 Jan 2012
Messages
21,767
Reaction score
1,914
Location
Shaft City, Mid Cornish Desert
A tip I remember from another thread is if you're making a shooting board, make it with a very slight end to end hollow on the underside. It stops the danger of inadvertently making it hollow on the upper side, which allows the body of the plane to fall slightly sideways out of vertical - which it will if bearing only at the toe and heel.
 

Zag73

Established Member
Joined
5 Apr 2021
Messages
31
Reaction score
3
Location
Leeds
@Phil Pascoe is spot on. The tolerance you mention is very easily compensated for. The key is to measure the result (the piece) not the tool system. Compensation can be achieved in many ways - blade lateral adjustment, blade grind (not that I would do that), adjusting the track (where the plane sits), adjusting the bed (where the piece sits) or adjusting the piece itself (say by adding tape). I use a shooting plane and board every single day and achieve tolerances that are beyond my ability to measure. FWIW I use a Veritas Shooting Plane, which is approx 0.08mm out of square - the same as yours (OP) - it's simply not an issue. Enjoy your shooting :) Regards Chris.
Thanks for the info. I think , as is the case with many newbies, I’ve been overthinking everything.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
7,852
Reaction score
1,252
Location
PA, US
Thanks for the info. I think , as is the case with many newbies, I’ve been overthinking everything.
Getting good at things isn't necessarily not thinking about things - it's learning which things to think about. Your job at this point, though, is to get experience and improve little bits at a time, and notice what leads to improvement and what doesn't. What's sold or described by gurus and merchandise sites is generally not the same thing as what leads to improvement.
 

Zag73

Established Member
Joined
5 Apr 2021
Messages
31
Reaction score
3
Location
Leeds
Getting good at things isn't necessarily not thinking about things - it's learning which things to think about. Your job at this point, though, is to get experience and improve little bits at a time, and notice what leads to improvement and what doesn't. What's sold or described by gurus and merchandise sites is generally not the same thing as what leads to improvement.
Indeed! I’m having to restrain myself from running out and buying stuff I don’t need! Too much YouTube viewing!😂
 

IanB

Established Member
Joined
13 Dec 2019
Messages
41
Reaction score
9
Location
Twickenham
I'm struggling to visualize exactly what those who advocate just putting it in a vice, or a bench hook, mean and how that gets accurate results - at least without years of practising planing technique? Do you just mean planing accurately to a marked line?

I've just used this makeshift shooting block to easily plane this small piece of cherry to an exact square and dimensions and with edges perpendicular to the face. It's just a piece of 6mm mdf clamped to the bench to raise the workpiece and provide a straight edge for the plane, and a piece of ply with a known exact 90° corner clamped on top and checked with a square. If I'd tried doing this in a vice to a marked line, no way would it have ended up the right size with 90° corners and perpendicular edges!
IMG_20210731_121254~2.jpg
 
Top