Shooting board

small_logo1-80x80 (1)My next main project will be a Sawyer’s Bench, designed by Tom Fidgen and featured in his book The Unplugged Woodshop. He hasn’t done a tutorial on the bench yet, but here is a video where he goes through the design of the bench.

The Sawyer’s Bench is basically a glorified saw-horse. It has a split top for rip cutting, a removable fence for cross cutting, and the configuration of the legs is slightly unorthodox in that two are set at 100° and the other two at 90º. This helps with rip cutting, as it not only provides a visual guide for a square cut, it also ensures that you won’t hit the legs with the saw. If my description is confusing, the video will clear things up.

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Anyway, all of this throat clearing brings me to the point of this post. I have already rough dimensioned the cherry I will be using for the project, and I am shortly going to break out the marking gauge and planes to establish my final dimensions, before tackling the joinery. Since I want this project to be 100% unplugged, it occurred to me that I might need some kind of jig or guide when cross cutting for length.

 

So, from scraps of plywood I found around the shop, I have knocked together a reasonable attempt at a bench hook / shooting board combo.

 

I began by laminating two boards together for the base, one smaller than the other so that the plane will have something to run up against.

 

 

Then I glued on the ‘hook’ to the underside of the base, and laminated two pieces of ply together to make the fence.

 

 

Finally I glued the fence to the base assembly, ensuring that it  was perfectly square with the plane guide.

 

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Now I can use it as a bench hook for cross cutting…

 

 

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…and as a shooting board to ensure perfect squareness.

 

I might make a mitre block in the future, so that I can shoot 45° as well, but this will do for now.

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