Shooting Board and First Dovetail

For further adventures in hand cut woodworking I will need a shooting board.  If you don’t know what one is, the use will become clear soon.  After my miter box debacle I should have gone simple for a shooting board.  I didn’t.  My first attempt had an adjustable and removable stop cleat on top with hand cut grooves and yada yada.  It didn’t work well.  I backed up and thought simple and short term.

A shooting board lets you place a low angle jack plane (good for cutting end grain) on its side while holding a board to be trimmed square against a backer fence.  The plane runs across the end grain taking tiny shavings as it goes.  I attached two pieces of 3/4″ plywood to each other allowing a two inch strip on the right for the plane.  Then, at a 90 degree angle to the plane running slot I attached a stop fence.

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Here it is with a scrap pine board being trimmed.  The plane is my new No 62 woodriver low angle plane.

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As you push the plane forward, it cuts off tiny shavings from the end grain.  If the original cut wasnt perfectly square, the shooting board should fix it.  Also, It makes the end grain finish look much nicer than any saw could.

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The top piece of pine was saw cut, the bottom was cleaned up with the shooting board.  I will have to monitor the squareness of the fence.  If it wonders over time, that will introduce errors into my work.  Until then, this one works well.  So well, I had enough time to start some dovetail practice parts.


TADA!  My first hand cut dovetail.  I needs some cosmetic help, but holds well and is a really sturdy joint.  I will post more details once I have been through a pile of them and have a more solid procedure.  The shooting board did a good job of squaring up the pine and giving me a workable surface.

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Next, dovetail joined crates to store half pint jars.  Practice makes perfect.

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