How to use a Shooting Board | Paul Sellers

How to use a Shooting Board | Paul Sellers

If you have never used a shooting board for squaring up the ends of wood and finalising rough-cut mitres, you are in for a treat.

Nothing works so beautifully for perfecting such cuts, and the pure bliss of slicing off those onion skins to seat the two faces perfectly is second to none. It’s self-explanatory to make one of these, but showing it in use demystifies how they work and why they work so very well. You must make one for yourself. It’s another lifetime piece of equipment for the cost of wood scraps and an hour of your time!

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  1. Hassan Al-Mosawi on September 8, 2022 at 1:13 am

    Thanks for sharing that, well said!

  2. Laurence Goedar on September 8, 2022 at 1:15 am

    Not only the sacrificial piece, but I think all my handtools are going to see me out one day.

  3. John Murrell on September 8, 2022 at 1:15 am

    My version of the shooting board has a piece of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) on the base for the ‘side’ of the plane to run on to reduce the friction. I also have a narrow piece of HDPE above that that acts as a guide for the plane. The part of the plane sole at the side of the blade runs on this. This provides guidance but is narrow enough not to be cut by the plane blade. I adopted this method as the ‘fence’ normally gets damaged by the plane eventually, perhaps it is just carelessness sometimes not holding the plane flat on it’s side. I normally slide the plane up and down and then gradually feet the workpiece in until the plane starts cutting.

    The shooting board is also great for making pieces of wood that have 4 sides with 4 right angle corners, of course they have to be small enough to fit onto the shooting board in all 4 orientations. The only thing you need to be careful with is which are the sqaure corners and which sides need to be planed to end up with a square work piece..

  4. Eraseri on September 8, 2022 at 1:15 am

    "This is going to see me out". Wonderful sentence never heard that before (non-native speaker). I had to stop the video and think how hilarious it is 🙂 .Nevertheless you mentioned that there isn’t much difference to using smoothing plane and low angle block plane. I tried to find but couldn’t find block planes in any videos. I would love to hear Paul’s take on block planes.

  5. Jerry Stark on September 8, 2022 at 1:16 am

    I made a shooting board according to Paul’s design over a year ago, as my old shooting board was pretty beat up. The new board works flawlessly.
    I have used it with almost every bench plane I have, as well as with my block planes, and it works perfectly. Overall. though, prefer to use it with my #6 fore plane because of it’s straight blade profile, larger gripping surface, and added weight — but that’s just my preference.

    This is a great shooting board. With a touch of furniture wax on the plane bearing surface every so often, the plane slides like silk.

    Thanks again, Paul!

  6. Denis Dionne on September 8, 2022 at 1:17 am

    Love the mitre joke because that is exactly what I think when I cut mitres lol.

  7. Austin Frank on September 8, 2022 at 1:17 am

    Thank you Paul. Another amazing video.

  8. MrCElk on September 8, 2022 at 1:17 am


  9. Lastoria Nostra on September 8, 2022 at 1:19 am

    MAESTRO, I have got to tell you how much I like your explanations… believe me! At last, I have understood why the blade does not cut the board! That was my thought and for this reason I had never built one of’em. Tomorrow, I’ll make one!
    Greetings from Roma, Italia!

  10. Jerry Smith on September 8, 2022 at 1:19 am

    Rimshot for Paul! The stage is calling….you missed your calling, (thank God).

  11. Arr Winger on September 8, 2022 at 1:20 am

    Thank you, Mr. Sellers: a great explanation, and I loved the joke. Cheers.

  12. Matt Evans-Koch on September 8, 2022 at 1:21 am

    Thank you Paul for doing the demonstration of this shooting board design. Thank you especially for the tip about blade angle on the shooting plane being adjusted for an out of square condition of the plane base. Take care, stay well and Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  13. Aelric78 on September 8, 2022 at 1:22 am

    Video AND dad joke, we’re getting bonus content.

  14. Norman Olsen on September 8, 2022 at 1:22 am

    Very interesting take on a shooting board! I like the idea of being able to shoot perpendicular or at 45 degree angles. The one thing though is I personally feel that using a #4 smoother as the plane of choice for shooting seems to lack the mass / weight necessary to shoot larger end grain (looks like it works fine for smaller stock though). I would go with at least a #5 1/2 jack plane or larger for shooting most end grain, mainly for the sheer greater size and mass.. additionally, the distance of the front tip of the plane to the mouth on the bottom of the plane’s soul is longer when dealing with larger planes, which gives more reference surface and gives greater distance to push those bigger planes through.

  15. stephen jarman on September 8, 2022 at 1:23 am

    I notice when your finished with the plane you put the plane on it’s face or base. this the blade down on the bench. I have the habit of placing the plan on it’s side. that way blade is not damaged.

  16. barkebaat on September 8, 2022 at 1:24 am

    Good one.
    I’m making one for myself.

  17. Tenkara Nebraska on September 8, 2022 at 1:26 am

    Paul, thank you. I have a project that needs a 30 degree bevel along the length of the piece. The pieces are about 48" long. I need the angles precise because I am using them to make a 6 sided tube. Thanks.

  18. Gene Pavlovsky on September 8, 2022 at 1:26 am

    This is a nice board and it seems to work great. I’ve read before a piece of advice about making the rebate as a slight ramp. With a regular shooting board and thin stock, the same small portion of the plane’s iron does the cutting, when it gets dull, the rest of the edge is still sharp, but you have to stop and resharpen. With a ramp, the plane goes up as you push it forward, so a wider portion of the iron is utilised, so you don’t need to sharpen as often. I wonder what Paul and the other watchers think about this, does the ramped board have any disadvantages as well?

  19. Josh Jenkinson on September 8, 2022 at 1:27 am

    Great video! Do you ever use a donkeys ear shooting board Paul? Is there any other way than this to cut long mitres to join for instance a cabinet carcass together?

  20. 3dalex13 L on September 8, 2022 at 1:27 am

    I mitre watch this video again

  21. Thomas Russell on September 8, 2022 at 1:27 am

    Love your shooting board design. I think I’ll have a go at making this one as I don’t yet have a shooting board. Now I just have to find the video where you made it.

  22. Brendan Freely on September 8, 2022 at 1:28 am

    Miter pun is top 3 woodworking puns I’ve heard.

  23. Justin Stauffer on September 8, 2022 at 1:29 am

    Is there a drawing or specs for making this for us new folks?

  24. Shamu on September 8, 2022 at 1:30 am

    Great video Paul! I’ve always wondered how critical it is for the plane sole and side to be at a perfect right angle and now I know the answer!
    Another thing that I’m wondering about is how you achieve repeatability. If, for example, you’re making a picture frame, do you plane up to a knife wall line? With a chop saw, you can obviously set up a stop block, but I don’t see how that’d work for a shooting board. Perhaps a spring loaded flip stop? But there would need to be very little play in the stop to make this work.

  25. Bogdan Sima on September 8, 2022 at 1:33 am

    About 24 hours ago I finished my very first shooting board. Not a fancy one (I have not been into "mightr’ve been better’s" yet), just a dead square one, mainly for shooting end grains.
    I have already shot something so far, but my biggest concern is about the hand’s grip onto the plane.
    Can anyone help with a sketch / explanation / whatever, kindly please?

  26. h m on September 8, 2022 at 1:37 am

    Thanks Paul. Nice tip at the end! Always a pleasure to watch you work.

  27. Seppo Sinisalo on September 8, 2022 at 1:40 am

    "this is going to see me out" :D. Jokes aside – such a beautiful solution

  28. charlesissleepy on September 8, 2022 at 1:42 am

    considering handmaking picture frames, this is perfect

  29. Maxou maxou on September 8, 2022 at 1:43 am

    Thank’s Paul. 👍

  30. Konstantin Ivanov on September 8, 2022 at 1:44 am

    Thank you Paul. I have 3 chop/miter saws and they don’t even come close for fine work compared to my shooting board.

  31. Gregg Germain on September 8, 2022 at 1:44 am

    I understand how the plane blade does not cut the fence because the blade does not extend across the whole width of the plane (after an initial pass or two). What I don’t understand is why the far side of the work piece you are planing doesn’t get blown out because the adjustable fence is not supporting it…the work extends beyond the fence.

  32. Oswaldo Agurto on September 8, 2022 at 1:44 am

    No tool can replace the master. No Lie Nielsen plane can replace a master with a chisel. Thank you Mr. Paul

  33. SoundsToBlowYourMind on September 8, 2022 at 1:46 am

    It mitre been better… not likely if you cut it Paul, it would’ve been perfect first time!

  34. Guy Dickhudt on September 8, 2022 at 1:47 am

    I just watched this for the umpteenth time and just caught where he says "this is going to see me out, I am pretty sure" LOL

  35. Robin Aldersey-Taylor on September 8, 2022 at 1:48 am

    I think he’s had it for seven years, ‘cos I’ve just watched the video when he made it – dated 2013, and this one is dated 2020! So it’s eight years now, and I know it’s the same one, ‘cos he lost the little corner between the 45s when he was making it. What’s astonishing is that he hasn’t aged a day in those seven years, and I had to look at the dates to know that he didn’t make this video immediately after the other one. Is he secretly Methuselah?

  36. Mike Emmons on September 8, 2022 at 1:48 am

    Great video as always. Also, hair is looking good Paul!

  37. Sir Prancelot on September 8, 2022 at 1:52 am

    Great video, as always.

  38. Blue Merlin on September 8, 2022 at 1:57 am

    Mmm it might have been better 😂🤣🤣😆… Had a belly laugh with that 😂🤣😆

  39. Jim Carter on September 8, 2022 at 1:58 am

    So Paul does tell Father jokes.

  40. George Saris on September 8, 2022 at 1:59 am

    I always thought it was called a shooting board because the plane runs in a chute, and over time that ‘chute’ morphed to ‘shoot’.

  41. Bill K. on September 8, 2022 at 2:00 am

    Thank you.

  42. Thomas DIerks on September 8, 2022 at 2:00 am

    It’s a great tool!

  43. Carlos Miramontes - Pupasfever on September 8, 2022 at 2:02 am

    Thank you master, great video, i really love the way you explain things, keep safe & merry christmas .

  44. Niklas Elgeryd on September 8, 2022 at 2:02 am

    Love your videos Paul. Greatest thing on YouTube!

  45. M M on September 8, 2022 at 2:02 am

    Every YouTube woodworker: “Make sure to use plywood, solid wood can move”
    Sellers: “PINE”

  46. Chicken Dinnerz on September 8, 2022 at 2:04 am

    I need to stop listening to rob cosman.

  47. Phil Alden on September 8, 2022 at 2:05 am

    As the whole shooting board is made of solid wood. Is there an issue with seasonal movement of wood and it going out of square?

    Great presenting style, very clear and knowledge.

  48. Bizz DK on September 8, 2022 at 2:05 am

    Your Shooting Board is much prettier than mine. 😀 But hey, mine works, so thank you for the instructional!

  49. Against The Grain Woodworking on September 8, 2022 at 2:10 am

    Can I use a Stanley No 5 with a shooting board?

  50. Jeremy B on September 8, 2022 at 2:10 am

    My shooting board is a piece of junk. That or my blade isn’t sharp enough. Always end up just squaring the ends in the vice.