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REVIEW DC DVD Part 3: Precision Shooting Simplified

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Alf

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This is the eagerly awaited third in a series of videos/DVDs made by David Charlesworth in collaboration with the Lie-Nielsen Toolworks; reviews of Part 1 (Plane Sharpening) here and Part 2 (Hand Planing) here. Don’t let the title mislead you; this one doesn’t reveal DC’s hitherto unknown prowess with a twelve-bore 8-[ , but rather his use of simple bench appliances and jigs for the precise planing of wood whilst using the plane on its side. In short, it’s shooting, shuteing or maybe even chuteing that’s the, ho ho, target… \:D/ All right, enough of the bad jokes, and on with the content. :oops:

This video is shot exclusively in a one-to-one workshop set-up, and evidently after DC had been pretty busy teaching, or at least talking… His voice is coming and going something terrible and you can’t help but feel sorry for him :( , but it doesn’t detract from the info, once you get used to it. There’s a short introduction explaining why you may find the need for a shooting board and the stated intent to make the necessary appliances for so doing as simple as possible. Subsequently there are six sections:

The Bench Hook Shooting Board
A brief introduction to DC’s very basic Bench Hook-a-like board, clamping it to the bench and the benefits of a removable tool tray bottom for same.

Practical Application of the Shooting Board
Why the plane doesn’t plane away the edge of the board, avoiding tipping the plane and how different plane designs assist this, the benefits of a heavier plane to give you momentum through the cut, gripping a Bailey and a #9 mitre plane, adjusting a curved blade for shooting, how you might prefer to use a straight edge in a dedicated plane, the rhythm used to take the shaving and how thicker shavings help with this, using shims to adjust for out-of-square shooting board or plane, how the fence helps avoid spelching and finally the advice that shooting boards are really best at small, thin work. Yes, it’s a long section…

Mitre Fixtures
The use of supplementary fences for work angled in the horizontal plane, principally the fence for 45° mitres, using the same planing rhythm and shim procedure as for squared work and using the left hand for shooting on the opposite face of the fence.

The “Bird House” Fixture
Using a simple block of wood and fence to hold small work for shooting mitred edges in the vertical plane, such as for mitred box linings.

Shooting Freehand
Edge jointing thin stuff, such as draw bottoms, in pairs, by clamping between two boards on the bench and using the usual edge jointing technique (as in video #2) to get a straight edge, rather than running it against a guiding board. Hence “freehand”, although of course the side of the plane is guided by the bench top.

Shooting Veneer
As above, but with two leaves of veneer.

As before, this DVD is very much what it says on the box. It’s how DC does his shooting, and as such it’s clearly and calmly presented and somehow reassuring. Evidently David’s schedule in the US took it’s toll though; he’s not quite as “on the ball” as usual and the presentation is a little disjointed in parts. Only with difficulty did I resist the urge to lob Fisherman’s Friends at the telly…:wink: The demonstration, and particularly the close-ups, of how you build up a rhythm of pushing the work into the plane, locking it against the fence, taking the shaving, pushing, lock, shaving etc was excellent, and would, I imagine, be very helpful to the novice. Seeing something done is always going to be beneficial, and I can see that aspect of the video alone being worth the cost of entry as far as a lot of shooting novices are concerned. =D> However, I do have some reservations about the use of the bench top as the “runway” for the plane. :-k Not because I have anything against a different approach to shooting boards, but simply because it was never once mentioned or explained. I would guess, like me, most people have the traditional image of a shooting board with a built-in “runway” and failing to mention the lack of one or what condition the bench top should be in to use in this respect strikes me as rather a serious omission. But as far as David’s techniques are concerned, it seems to cover everything else well and in reasonable depth. The trouble is his methods have some unusual aspects that might have benefited from a little more explanation; I can see it producing considerable confusion on forums when answers based on traditional techniques are read by people who are basing their questions on the DVD, but that’ll be entertainment to come. :twisted: I predict using a curved blade to shoot with causing particular difficulties… :-s If you’re looking for information on more traditional shooting boards, step-by-step guides to building them or a discussion of the possible advantages of using a low angle plane, you won’t find them here.

In short, it’s good but like the other DVDs it’s very much one man’s approach, not a comprehensive examination of shooting in general. But when all’s said and done you just can't beat seeing it done and I can only agree with DC that it is “one of the most powerful and useful techniques in the workshop” - you really need to know how to do it if you’re ultimately to triumph over those pesky trees! :D

David Charlesworth Hand Tool Techniques. Part 3: Precision Shooting Simplified DVD 63mins £19.95.
Video also available, both direct from David Charlesworth and Lie-Nielsen.

Very many thanks to David for sending me this DVD to review.
 

Philly

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Nice review Alf! Cheers
My copy is ordered-just the waiting to do know! :?
By the time I have the "Full" collection of His DVD's it might of worked out cheaper going on his courses........
Maybe not,
Philly :D
 
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Alf":2vw43wgu said:
Very many thanks to David for sending me this DVD to review.
OK, so the one remaining detail missing from all these reviews is, how exactly do you get all these people to send you stuff for review? Is it a case of sidling up to unsuspecting stand-holders at the APTC show and

Alf":2vw43wgu said:
'Ere, Dave/Rob/Martin*, how'd you fancy a quick review, on the cheap, bargain of the century, 3 for the price of 1. Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more!
:D

*delete as applicable
 

dedee

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Alf,
will there be a competition for a 2nd hand DVD coming up?

Andy
 

Alf

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Espedair Street":6xs25t2b said:
OK, so the one remaining detail missing from all these reviews is, how exactly do you get all these people to send you stuff for review?
You know those people who go through bins for incriminating evidence? Well... :wink:

Andy, erm... No? 8-[ Well maybe. Not sure really. I do rather kick myself for giving the sharpening one away though; for reference purposes on the forum as much as anything. #-o We'll see; depends if the amount of time I took over it, including time spent on my birthday, outweighs the usual guilt... :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 

froglet

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Alf you are quite welcome to have it back if you need it, after all people are far more likely to ask you about sharpening techniques than they are me :D

Graeme
 

Alf

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Ooo no, I didn't mean that Graeme; you won it fair and square. Anyway you might set a dangerous precedent there and Trend ain't getting back the T5 not no how... :wink: :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

Alf

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Update.

Apparently regarding using the bench top as runway, DC "usually puts a sheet of thin MDF under the board, but TLN did not have any!"

I'll refrain from comment...

Cheers, Alf
 
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Alf

For begineers only or anything in there for a woodworker that has used a shooting board for a few yesrs?
 

Alf

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Tony":14qir2ho said:
For begineers only or anything in there for a woodworker that has used a shooting board for a few yesrs?
There's always something to be learned of course, but if you're happy with your shooting then there's probably little point. Unless you want to learn how to do it the Charlesworth Way. Although, give the revelation that what's on the DVD isn't actually what DC usually does (and I start to wonder what else might have been missed out for want of a piece of MDF or whatever), how valuable it is as a reference on DC's technique is now rather called into question. :?

Cheers, Alf
 

David C

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Whilst being grateful for the fair review of my recent DVD, I take grave exception to the following passage;

I start to wonder what else might have been missed out for want of a piece of MDF or whatever), how valuable it is as a reference on DC's technique is now rather called into question
.

Bench tops should be as flat as possible and the only reason I use a thin MDF runway is to prevent the plane side from making the benchtop dirty.

The implication that I have deliberately witheld information is upsetting and offensive. I have been using these techniques with students for about twenty years.

The DVD is aimed at the large number of beginners who are not familiar with shooting at all. I use the simplest possible aids to encourage beginners to have a go and discover how useful and powerful the technique is. It was not billed as a comprehensive overview of traditional methods.

David Charlesworth
 

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David Charlesworth wrote
Bench tops should be as flat as possible and the only reason I use a thin MDF runway is to prevent the plane side from making the benchtop dirty.

The implication that I have deliberately witheld information is upsetting and offensive. I have been using these techniques with students for about twenty years.
I attended DC's Tool Tuning course last week. David reminded us regularly to look after our bench. That's probably why all his benches were in great condition despite having an array of students using them.

We touched on shooting boards towards the end of the week. David's was a simple bench hook style which was used on a sheet of thin MDF "to protect the bench".

As to "withholding information".... that doesn't seem in character; as my notebook from the course will testify. Reviewing these notes, I wonder just how we covered so many topics and still found time to make my 1930's Stanley 5 1/2 work as well as David's. It really does - though David's plane still looks prettier than mine.
 

Alf

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Welcome to the forum, David. Sorry that you should only have felt the need to post when upset. I'll try and explain.

David C":cwmm9kzo said:
The implication that I have deliberately witheld information is upsetting and offensive. I have been using these techniques with students for about twenty years.

The DVD is aimed at the large number of beginners who are not familiar with shooting at all. I use the simplest possible aids to encourage beginners to have a go and discover how useful and powerful the technique is. It was not billed as a comprehensive overview of traditional methods.
Heavens no, I wasn't suggesting it was deliberate, just a rather regrettable oversight. My feeling was that if one part of your technique was overlooked/missed out then I, as a viewer, would always be wondering what other things might similarly be overlooked/missed out which may not seem important to you, but may be someone less familiar with your work. To me it does two things. Firstly it undermines my confidence that I can do "exactly what it says on the tin" (so to speak) - the DVD didn't (as I recall) make any mention of the importance of a flat workbench. You may take it as read, but my feeling is the beginners the DVD is aimed at may well not.

Secondly, I fully understand it isn't a comprehensive overview of traditional methods. Having seen the first two I would say they're both a comprehensive overview of your methods, and have reviewed them in that light. And in that light I feel leaving out something that does rather effect the whole technique (given the lack of mentioning the importance of a flat bench top) means it no longer fully achieves that in this third DVD. I think it's safe to assume we disagree about that... 8-[

It may help if I explain my viewpoint when I review something. I try to assume anyone buying X is not necessarily familiar with Y and Z. Thus I reviewed this DVD without having been one of your students (which I haven't been) and without reference to either of your books or the other two DVDs. On that basis, I feel the lack of a sheet of MDF is quite an important omission.

Anyway, I'd like to stress I'm not making accusations of deliberate omission, and I don't believe it actually reads that way. It certainly wasn't written with that intended implication. My only feeling is that perhaps, sometimes, you assume more "obvious" knowledge on the part of the viewer than may actually be present. I hope that clears it up, but if not I daresay the masses are sitting about, eating popcorn, waiting for the next installment anyway, so feel free. :D

Cheers, Alf
 
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Welcome to the forum David. I have enjoyed your DVDs (purchased after reading Alf's reviews :D ) and books and very much hope you'll stick around and become an active member as I am sure you have much to contribute :wink:
 

David C

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I appreciate those comments.

I try to be as clear and informative as possible and it is a pity that this particular detail was not totally clear.

best wishes,
David C
 

Midnight

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Welcome aboard David... pull up a pew, grab a cuppa (there's gotta be a mug that isn't chipped or cracked around here... someplace)... and make yourself comfy...

ya don't have t be nutz t chat here.. but by god it helps.. ;)
 

MikeW

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David C":15wd54wy said:
I appreciate those comments.

I try to be as clear and informative as possible and it is a pity that this particular detail was not totally clear.

best wishes,
David C
Perhaps TLN would be willing to provide a slip in the cover to that affect.

Welcome to the forum, Mr. C. While I imagine you are too busy to be a frequent observer/contributor to this place, your input would be most welcome by all here when you do have opportunity.
 

MikeW

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Midnight":1wd54zur said:
...
ya don't have t be nutz t chat here.. but by god it helps.. ;)
My, what an interesting thread to run across while taking a break from oiling a couple cases.

Maybe it's the fumes, but I really found your statement rather humorous--and true. Thanks for the levity, Mike.

edited to correct the poor spelling <g>. Yep, it was the fumes alright...yep, really...
 
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