Shooting Boards

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These appliances add accuracy and consistency to your handplane work.

by Graham Blackburn
page 42

There was a time, before the introduction of power tools, when the handplane was the very icon of woodworking. Nowadays of course, woodworking is often represented by the table saw and the electric router (among many other power tools). But as more and more woodworkers rediscover the pleasure – not to mention the economies, increased possibilities and safety – of incorporating various hand tools and techniques into their woodworking practices, there is a renewed interest in traditional woodworking.

Today’s amateur woodworker is presented with a growing array of ever-better designed hand tools that often rival the products of such legendary firms as Norris, Preston and even early Stanley products. There is also an increasing amount of information about how to restore, fettle and sharpen these tools.

But whether you buy a brand-new handplane, an expensive model from the beginning of the 20th century, an antique wooden tool or even a lesser- quality modern item, learning how to condition and prepare the tool itself is only half the equation. The other half is the technique of using the tool. The best-conditioned and most expensive plane in the world may well produce nothing but frustration if you remain ignorant of how best to use it.

Video: Watch Christopher Schwarz use the Lie-Nielsen No. 51 shoot-board plane, and get some resources for commercial shooting boards.
Web: Read what Chuck Bender has to say about the Veritas shooting plane.
Web: Read more about Graham Blackburn’s books and videos on his site.
In Our Store: “Jigs & Fixtures for the Hand Tool Woodworker,” by Graham Blackburn.

From the February 2015 issue, #216

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