Shooting board


I finally got around to making a shooting board. This is a shop accessory that's been on my list for some time. With no shortage of plans available I downloaded the ones from Lie-Nielsen, then combined some ideas from other sites. I ended up with a base that has a 1/4" high-density plastic slide. The base has pegs on which to place different fence tops, depending on the particular task. I made two for now, one for 45-degree and one for 90-degree angles. These are the particulars (dimensions are approximate):
  • Base is 12" x 22", made from 3/4" plywood and edge-trimmed in oak.
  • Plastic slide is 4" wide.
  • Interchangeable tops are 7-7/8" wide (leaves a 1/8" gap between slide and runner to clear shavings). These are made of 1/2" MDF, trimmed in oak. Fences are 1" thick cherry.
  • Pegs to hold the fence plates in place are from a 1/2" dowel rod. You can see some of these in the pictures.
  • Finished everything with two coats of Danish oil.

I used spray adhesive to glue strips of #320 sand paper to the face of each fence. This gives them some "grip" to prevent the work piece from slipping when you're planing. I tried several bench planes I have to see which worked the best. Overall, I favor the Stanley #62 for the low angle, though a bit more weight would help for this sort of task.

It takes a bit of practice to use it properly, particularly in how you hold and push the plane. In my first few attempts I found myself canting the plane so that it tilted slightly to the left, leaving an upright angle that was not 90-degrees. It's also best to plane full slices (hard to do if you're taking too big of a bite). This is where a heavier plan would work better (I'm looking at you, Lie-Nielsen #51).

Here's a practice piece I did. No glue, just the two pieces placed together. The fit is spot on. I can see why they refer to shooting boards as precision tools. I'm thinking this accessory is going to spend a lot of time on my bench.


Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
Great job on a very helpful shop accessory. I use mine much more than I thought I would


Corporate Member
I need to replace the 90° fence on mine, and make a miter fence attachment.

Take a look at this article about making a version of Lie-Nielsen's Hot Dog handle. The author has a Veritas low angle jack, but it can be easily altered for your Stanley. I may make one for my #6 in the near future.

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