In Chris Schwarz Blog, Handplane Techniques, Handplanes

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A shooting board is one of the most essential accessories for a handplane , everyone should have one. But not every woodworker is confident enough to build one or isn’t able to build one accurately.

Rob Hanson of Evenfall Studios now offers a custom shooting board of his own design that is well-made, accurate and easily fine-tuned for your work. Sawmaker Mike Wenzloff (of Wenzloff & Sons fame) loaned me his Evenfall shooting board to take it for a test drive. So for the last couple weeks I’ve been using it in place of my two standard shooting boards. I am quite impressed.

Before I discuss the Evenfall shooting board, let me say a word about mine. I’ve used my shooting boards for many years and have a few gripes about them. My miter shooting board is made using maple. And though it’s a sturdy thing, the maple moves with the seasons, and so it feels like I’m always tuning it. This is one instance where I definitely prefer plywood to solid wood.

With that lesson in mind, I rebuilt my standard 90Ã?° shooting board about five years ago with some changes: Baltic birch plywood, a fence that can be tweaked slightly if necessary and sandpaper on the fence to grip my work so it doesn’t slide around. I’ve been happy with this shooting board, but it does straight cuts only. No miters.

The Evenfall Studios shooting board replaces both a standard shooting board and miter shooting board. Or, if you are one of those people who built mitering accessories for your standard shooting board, this shooting board replaces all those additional angled shims.

The Evenfall shooting board is a nice size with a working platform of about 12″ x 12″. The entire product is made using Baltic birch and sensibly finished. The platform is sanded to #150-grit. The chute is sanded much finer to reduce friction in this area.

The biggest innovation with this shooting board is its fence. The fence locks to the platform using two brass cap screws that thread into steel T-nuts embedded in the platform. You can adjust the fence for cuts at 90�°, 15�°, 22-1/2�°, 30�°, 45�° and 60�° angles (which is more angles than most woodworkers need).

The beauty of the fence is that you can adjust it minutely to get it exactly where you want it and the lock it down so it stays put. This means that you need some sort of way to position the fence. The manufacturer recommends inexpensive plastic drafting triangles. If you have an angle protractor, that also will work.

I found the adjustments to be easy to perform and , more important , the fence doesn’t move in service.

In addition to the clever fence, the shooting board has an excellent little kerf cut in the chute that collects dust and improves your accuracy. The relief it offers in that corner prevents your plane from tipping from a build-up of sawdust , a common malady among shooting boards.

The only modification I would make to the Evenfall would be to add some sticky-back sandpaper to the fence. I have been well pleased with the way it improves the fence’s grip.

If you lack the time or desire to build your own shooting board, the Evenfall product is excellent. It’s certainly better than either of my shooting boards, and it takes up less space, too. While I think it’s a good exercise to build your own shooting board, not everyone sees it that way.

The Evenfall shooting board is available directly from the maker for $120 in either left- or right-handed models. Accessories, such as a higher fence, are also available. You can read more details about it on the Evenfall Studios web site.

– Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 31 comments
  • Joe C

    Good evening all, I just sat here and read through this entire blog and am amazed at how some people think. I happen to own one of Rob’s shooting boards and happen to think that it is a well made tool. That’s right I said tool, I use it when I want to make sure that I have a perfectly square joint. This man has taken the time to make something that will make things easier for some woodworkers.

    Some woodworkers may not have the means to make a shooting board that they can rely on to be perfectly square for themselves or like in my case the spare time.

    My decision to purchase Rob’s shooting board was based on the fact that it looked well made, Rob’s attention to detail, his caring attitude towards his customers, and the fact that my hourly rate outwayed the minimal cost that he charges (so I feel that I did not waste my money in fact I feel he probably saved me money)

    I have used Rob’s shooting board on several projects since purchasing it and am more then pleased. My only hang up and I have contacted him about it is I need a higer fence.

    My advise to the individuals that do not like it or have nothing nice to say about it is




  • Robert C.

    Pst guys, come here that I have few words to whisper you in the ear.
    Two pieces of plywood, some threaded insert and a straight fence with two hole slightly bigger then the screws so you can adjust it minutely.
    Don’t trouble with sandeding the fence to 0.001 flatness on a granite surface plate or other similar unnecessary tasks. Even the best baltic birch will slightly move with seasons, atmospheric conditions, latitude, altitude and use.
    Save your money for serious tools, don’t waste them for jigs you can easely and amusingly do your own.

    But, at the end, August, who we are to tell them what to do? If they have money to waste, leaves them waste, they are not mine or yours.

  • Alan

    It looks to be a very nice design that obviously is appreciated by those who use it. Congrats Rob.

    My question is more with Chris’s addition of sandpaper to the fence. Won’t that diminish the effectiveness of the fence in preventing tearout? I don’t want sandpaper hitting my blade, and if it doesn’t, then the fence would not seem to properly back up the cut.

  • Raney

    In my shop there are three handtools in particular that are responsible for the quality of my joinery 90% of the time. These tools I consider to be among the least tolerant of misadjustment, and I strive to keep them as close to absolute perfection as possible. ANY inaccuracy in them will most definitely show up in the final piece, so IMO they are among the most important tools I own.

    The three are:
    The starret square(s)I use to define and check the square-ness of each piece of wood, and each miter joint. It determines how close to dead-on every shoulder on a mortise and tenon joint. I can easily make a pretty accurate try square in my shop in under an hour, and I can adjust it to dead accuracy and maintain it as such if I were so inclined. However, it becomes quite time consuming to do so. So spending $65-100 for a single, dead accurate starret combo square that never needs adjustment (and which I can check all of my other marking tools with) is a very wise investment IMO. It simplifies my life.

    The second tool is the jointer plane. This plane essentially determines how flat all of my work surfaces are – it is responsible for the quality of every panel glue-up, and the flatness of every component in the work. The more complicated the piece, the more critical this becomes, and my jointer is the single most expensive handtool I own, by a good margin. Again, I could certainly make one (and I have) and/or tune up an older stanley or woodie (I have done both of these) but for me, I found the money I spent to have a dead-flat and accurate LN jointer makes things simpler for me. I’ve never regretted this purchase for a second.

    The third tool is the shooting board. I feel about it, and about Rob’s board, EXACTLY as I do about the two prior tools: I don’t NEED to spend the money on it that I did – and I have made and maintained several perfectly accurate shooting boards. But frankly the maintenance of them, and the necessity for test -check – shim – test – adjust, etc. is a time consumer that I’d be happier to be without. I anticipate that Rob’s board will not be COMPLETELY maintenance-free, but it is my belief that his design and extremely precise construction work have resulted in a board that’s as close to maintenance-free as I ever expect to see. This is responsible for the quality and squareness of just about every crosscut I make, and more than anything else is the sole reason I am capable of employing miter joints in my work without embarassment.

    Is $120 too much to pay for that convenience? Not to me. Does it make me less of a woodworker for having bought it? Please. Would I recommend it to others? Only if they want the same things I do, can afford it, and want one.

    There are certain things about the woodworking community that I find somewhat irritating; the overwhelming certainty that someone will criticize the price of everything that wasn’t purchased at a flea market for bottom dollar is one of those irritations. I have no issue with others making their own judgements, but I’m not really interested in their need to read the verdict to the public.

  • Mike Siemsen

    I think it is odd when people tell other folks how to spend their money. I am glad that Mike W. is buying shooting boards and making saws instead. I think everybody should do what works for them. There are a lot of good entry level tools out there. I think You could set up a fairly decent hand tool shop for $500 at a Midwest Tool Collectors meet and build a good bench for $150 and get to wood working under a tarp out in the yard. That path is not for everybody. If you can afford to build a really nice shop and fill it with Holtey planes I will be jealous of your nice tools. Your work however must speak for itself, no matter who made your tools. Some people’s hobby is just building a shop and filling it with tools, they never really do any work in it, it is an awesome piece of work in itself. Other people seem to do great work with an old handsaw, a hammer and a screwdriver. If it takes 2 hours to build a shooting board, with a shop rate of $45 per hour and the materials cost that is a very fair price.
    If there is ever a meeting of woodworking buffoons I would like to be included in their august company. We could add Hominy to our arguments and wash them down with a cold one as we slouch in our comfy chairs and do our armchair woodworking on keyboards in the night.
    I hear Sinatra in there somewhere.
    Keyboards in the night, exchanging answers, slouching in dim light…

  • Julian Barr

    To quote from John Ruskin’s book "Unto This Last": "The false, unnatural, and destructive system is when the bad workman is allowed to offer his work at half price and either take the place of the good, or force him by his competition to work for an inadequate sum."

    If $120 is the right sum, it’s right.


  • Eric


    Okay, let me clarify my original comment, which was apparently "the first punch" in this barroom brawl. Sorry, Chris. But I do think it was an enlightening discussion, so thanks for letting it go on.

    I still believe that $120 is an insane amount of money for this souped-up version of a very simple jig. However, I do not blame Rob in the slighest for the price, nor do I hold his customers at fault for buying his products. Rob saw an open door in this latest wave of buying nice custom-made woodworking tools and accessories, and he’s going to be the first name on most people’s lips when they talk about custom-made shooting boards. So bravo, Rob! You managed to find a new product with which to make money in your woodworking. In that respect perhaps a lot of the "anger" (it’s not really anger, but you know what I mean) came at least partly out of jealousy. So Gye and Sean, you joke about your bench hooks and clamp pads, but how much you wanna bet you could make some money off ’em?

    My reaction to this post was more towards the "Oprah effect" that this blog has in woodworking, as Matt and Mark pointed out a while ago when coining Chris’ moniker (The Schwarz). When Chris speaks, people listen, and I think of all the new woodworkers who read this blog and think, "Ah, here’s an easy way to get a shooting board without having to really master this whole ‘building it to square’ business." (straw man?) For those who are experienced and professional woodworkers, they’ve already mastered (within reason) the skills needed to make one, and can’t take the time (time is money) to build one because they’re building FURNITURE. So fine, let them pay $120 and get a mighty fine jig.

    Like Mark (comment just above mine), I have shop time very seldomly. I’m lucky with a few hours a week. But at the same time, I’m new. I NEED the experience building shop furniture (that I can afford to screw up) so that when I’m making furniture, it looks nice!

    And yes, admittedly, Chris, part of my reaction comes from the fact that I spend money on tools in increments of $10, not $100. So whenever I see a post of yours entitled, "New [TOOL] from [MANUFACTURER]", my immediate thought is, "Oh great, another high-quality fantastic product I won’t be able to afford." 🙂

  • Mark Holderman

    Squeezing in a couple hours or minutes here and there over many years to pursue my interest in woodworking, while working full time, raising a family, attending soccer games, etc., has left me a garage full of purchased tools, equipment, and hand-built "shop" aids–router cabinet, chisel racks, storage cabinets, and the like. My wife continually asks me, "When are you finally going to make some furniture?" She’s right. So I can spend the precious few hours I get now and then to make a quality shooting board (I’ve made a bad one by hand and have better ones on my list of future "shop" projects), or I can part with the cash, get a quality shooting board from someone who can do it much better than me, and get on with my purported goal of making furniture. Guess which way my wife will vote?

    Mark Holderman

  • Hmmm… Raney, I like it, charge by the word… I’ll consider that, maybe make it my retirement plan, and I’ll even give you the credit, but hey, you see, I have little attachment or propriety, otherwise I would have never been so transparent about how to make a shooting board. It isn’t the shooting board as much as the time it takes to do it for someone, eh? I don’t make them unless a buyer orders one.

    Thanks Mike, and I’ll say that there are woodworkers out there who have drawn lines like you have. I am one as well. It is a pleasure to pick up and use a tool that works well. I know we live in interesting times, but heck, If people are looked down upon while buying tools mass produced in an asian factory and imported –and– they are looked down upon for buying a tool whose beginnings sprang from someone who made the tool in the shop next to their home, then where is the list of tools that is Ok to buy and possess, or are we all supposed to just bang rocks together?

    Auguste, Thanks, I think for your wishes of well, but regrettably, a "prosperous and full of money life" and shooting board maker, will never be used in a sentence anywhere, ever again! 😀



  • Mike

    Wow, Auguste!

    Must be a hard life you have lived to be so filled with such well-wishing and condemnation.

    But you are too late. I already bought two of them.

    Do I know how to make them? Sure. Can I? Yep, I’ve got one 30 feet from where I am typing this note. So why buy one? I believe in the value of what Rob is doing for one. For another, I think I have better things to do than build a board–and it is better made than I would choose to do for myself.

    I think that everyone of us draws lines where we choose to expend money rather than effort. For instance, I can and have made a handplane. Anymore, I would rather spend my money with Philly Planes and or C&W, LV, LN than expend the effort and time. For handplanes, making them is where I draw that line. But I know plenty of others who think my "lines" in these issues are silly. Perhaps. I do not care.

    Have a good life in all your endeavors, Auguste.

  • Auguste Gusteau

    Regarding the shooting board, I’ve nothing against Evenfall Studios and as I’ve sayd before, I think it is a well made jig.
    I wish to Rob Hanson a long, prosperous and full of money life, but in woodworking name, I hope that he does not sell even a piece.

  • Mike

    Hey, I thought my baffoonish ears were burning…I am writing this from a slouching position in a pretty uncomfortable chair while awaiting the muzak to go away and a "real" person from a providor to come on…

    To set the record straight, I have actually purchased two of these boards from Rob. Chris got the second one, I bought the other for my wife, who is currently the only woodworker in the house. This second one will be for my use when going to demonstrations/conferences.

    Why? Because shooting the ends of boards to receive joinery is a best practice as far as I am concerned. I viewed the purchases as a good use of my dollars. Having used my wife’s, like raney, I would buy another should I never get this one back (g) or it meets a bad fate down the road. (I have been known to use my shop-made one as a bench hook.)

    So kudos to Rob.

    Take care

  • Raney

    The price could be worse – Rob could charge by the word 😉

    Raney (who bought one of Rob’s boards, and will do it again if this one meets its end)

    PS – did anyone notice what buffoon of a non-woodworker it was who actually bought the board in this review? That guy must be a total slouch!

  • Christopher Schwarz

    If you made it down here, congrats.

    Sarcasm is welcome in the comments. It’s the ad hominem arguments that have no place here.


  • Wow! Tough Crowd!

    First, Thanks very much to Chris for the welcome exposure, and the really nice write up! I know you tested my jig well, and really appreciate what you had to say.

    To those who have spoken in defense of my product, Thanks! That was really nice of you!

    To those who would seem to be my detractors, Hi, I’m Rob and I make and sell shooting boards for $120. Yup. I make them in my 2 car garage. I have some salient points to consider. Go ahead, and grab a drink and some popcorn, and I’ll point out why these are different than what many of you feel should be a 2 hour project. I’ll add sure, WE can all whip together a 2 hour shooting board, but it will be a lot different than what I sell for $120.00. I bet even the 2 hour shooting board in our mind takes a little longer to make in reality.

    These are craftsman made, by me. Nothing is farmed out. It isn’t meant to be a throwaway. My approach to the shooting board is meant to be as nice as any other toolmaker approaches their tools. I have not sold a single shooting board to anyone that did not want one. Many of my customers are advanced woodworkers, pro furniture makers, luthiers, box makers and even fellow toolmakers. I have sold to friends, acquaintances, and people who are good woodworkers, who are getting better every day or time they get a chance to practice. I have sold to woodworkers who are not tooled up to make a shooting board like this one, and I also have customers who had to save for awhile in order to afford it. So you see, many different kinds of woodworkers are interested in a nice jig that works for the intended purpose, that they didn’t have to make.

    Some people don’t like certain aspects of woodworking. Jig making is tedious. You have to hold high accuracies, do redundant tasks. If you don’t have the tooling, then you have to acquire it, or alternatively, you can buy one from someone who doesn’t mind making jigs. I have never heard of anyone complain about a well made jig that does it’s job well, particularly when they didn’t have to make it. Actually, a lot of people are glad they didn’t have to make it. They would rather make furniture.

    I make no secret about the details regarding my shooting board design. It isn’t patented, it’s a shooting board. There is plenty to read about it on my website. If you have the skills and ambition, you are welcome to copy it. I have received letters from a few woodworkers who did in their way, and they like the design. It was frankly, an honor to hear them say so.

    If you want me to make it for you, I sell them for $120.00. Pricey you say? Ok, I value my time. Let’s check in with the why of it.

    The 2 sheets of Baltic Birch I laminate to make them costs $95, and I haul it home for free. I am sure you can come up with all kinds of cheaper alternatives, But Let’s keep apples apples here. My sheets are 5×5’s and yours should be too. I choose Baltic for the reasons Chris pointed out.

    Baltic Birch is as stable a material as I can work, and feel comfortable sending to all the climates possible. My design seeks to overcome wood movement as much as possible because it is a jig meant to be calibrated by an accurate tool before each use, and that accuracy is meant to be transfered to the work. No fidgeting, tape or shims, just accuracy, 24/7 365 anywhere you use it. It takes less than 30 seconds to calibrate this tool to be as accurate as the standard you supply. Wood movement holds no sway over this jigs ability to shoot accurately.

    When I order minimum quantities of hardware for the boards, it runs a $50 plus shipping. Minimum quantities. You would not abide paying local hardware store prices, if they even stock everything.

    Cutting Baltic requires sharp carbide tooling, tight fitting zero clearance inserts on your saw, and you have to watch what you are doing or you will shred every edge you cut. Too fast a feed rate and you will wish you hadn’t. This is 80 tooth blade country. Bring $80+ if you want to buy in. I dull them, and I pay to sharpen them. There is cutting to make all the basic panels, and there is trims after I laminate them. There are some hours in all that cutting.

    Glue ups take a jig that will apply uniform pressure to the panels in an equally distributive way. Panels are 15×15 with a chute. they finish around 14-3/4 square. Top panels can slide around on you if you are not careful, so figure on sorting out how to keep that from happening. Glue ups take cure time at my shop, just the same as anyones. It takes a combination of jig, clamps and cauls to do this. Glue requires clamping pressure. You will need to jig up to do this too.

    Fences and cleats are another time consumer to make. Lots of rips and cross cuts. Cut out a bunch, and again, observe that you do not leave burn marks on them or shred the grain. Your customers like them pretty. Layouts take a while, precision alignments are key, all holes are center punched. The cleats get four holes with a countersink, and a chamfer on the underside. Fences two, and one is a slot. Don’t shred or blow out the veneer, and that is not so easy.

    Back to the bases. I mount the cleats with 1/4-20 flathead cap screws, so drill and tap machine threads for those. You should chamfer the holes before you tap them. If you like, the cleat fits along any edge. Is your workflow different? want to mount this in the end vise? Drill and tap for an alternative location to mount the cleat. Tell me in advance and I can drill and tap those for you for a small charge. I have a few clients who remove the cleat. I make it so you can. It is your workflow, not mine.

    The holes that mount the cleat are all precisely stopped holes, so figure out how to drill stopped holes so you don’t drill through the board. It is really critical, particularly under the plane chute. There is a trick to it, and it isn’t a stop collar or a piece of tape on the bit.

    Layout for your pivot hole and drill it. It takes three drilling operations to make each counter bore, and it too is a precision drilled hole. There are seven of them on each board. If I don’t hit it perfect, the hardware don’t fit. The three drilling operations for each threaded insert counterbore is basically machine work in wood. Once you have that first hole, you can press fit the insert bedded in epoxy.

    Yup, epoxy, because I want you to have a shooting board that lasts you years. Here is a lot of force transferred to these inserts, particularly the pivot hole, so the fit has to be tight, and they have to press in bedded epoxy to become one with the base. Why should I trust a press fit to seasonal movements even as minimal as they may be? Epoxy is good for boat and shooting board hardware.

    Once you have the first hole you can use it to layout the other six holes with precision and drill them with precision. After a while you’ll be glad you have Carbide Forstners here too, because the glues in plywoods tend to dull tooling quickly. Remember, I said Baltic likes to shred. The threaded insert requires you to use specific bit sizes, you may not already own them.

    You may want to look for ways to remain precise and do it faster. Remember that forstners clog easy, and heating will kill them and there you are. Dull. Dull bits shred Baltic birch. A common theme here. Keeping forstners clear is going to slow you some, but it is unavoidable if you want your tooling to last. This jig can fixture the fence in 6 different angles, using seven counterbores. Figure on standing at your Drill Press a while if you want a shooting board with steel reinforced threads.

    The Drill Press is common but the jigs you use on it aren’t. It isn’t your usual DP table with T-Tracks. The jig bases are too big, they cover a lot of the table. You must clamp for every shot you drill, you are drilling precision centers you have to hit accurately, and this adds time, but if you ruin it here. all the time you saved with shortcuts is gone. You can’t chance this, so you fixture. You are generating a ton of waste and DC is super mandatory.

    Then press the rest of the threaded inserts in epoxy. By the way, there is a little something I have to do to all the threaded inserts so they don’t fold flat when I press them. It takes some time, but if I don’t, it destroys them. So it gets done. I also have to take care that the epoxy isn’t where I don’t want it. Not a good idea to forget this before it sets.

    I couldn’t get a ready made knurled knob that fit my requirements. I use Stainless for all threaded hardware, because depending on where you live, I care if this corrodes on you. I wax the threads too. I use a brass thumb nut and some Loctite. It takes a little time to make custom knobs but it is going to last, as this is a tool that is meant to last.

    All the edges are chamfered by hand with a file, actually a couple files. Can’t rout this, It will shred and fray. The chamfer looks and feels nice, it helps keep the baltic from fraying out and catching on things. See the anti fray theme again? I sand the boards to 150 so they have a little traction on the bench and the boards being worked, the chutes are shined to 400. There is extra work in the chutes to maintain a reasonable coplanarity with the top of the board. I check, and I correct. you’ll have to sort out how to approach this.

    I Finish with Watco Teak Oil. It is sold as a marine grade above the waterline, in the wood finish. Pretty water resistant. I am originally from the Seattle area, and I have lived where I could see salt water from my house. I am confident of Watco Teak Oils protections, I have used it for years. It likes an 8 hour cure, and I find that to be true. Watco is a very affordable, repairable finish if you scratch it up. I wax the plane chutes too.

    The fence faces are sanded to 0.001 flatness on a granite surface plate. I’ll let you sort out how to make the slot in the side opposite the pivot. I relieve one side of the fence at 45 degrees, and the fence should fit the plane chute a touch proud when new. File the chamfer on the edges and finish. You have to plane it in to the chute as part of the board’s set up for your plane. I leave that to the customer so their plane fits their board.

    So, there you go. I make a shooting board for $120.00 and I get orders for it. It takes about a day’s worth of work hours to make one, not counting glue and finish cure times. I pack a lot of details into each one, and I made them for $89.99 for the first two months of production, and I had a very well received response. I did give the world a chance to buy it at my intro price for 63 days.

    I don’t make $10 per hour making these after I buy all the materials, so please don’t be offended if I don’t apologize. It is my time after all, and I see no reason to give it away. If you don’t place any value on your time, that is fine too, but don’t expect me to work for you and do the same. If you don’t want to make it yourself, that is fine, I am not being greedy, because as I said earlier, I make the details of this design available for anyone with the skills to copy. So go for it. Every tool maker I know does plenty behind the scenes that they do not charge for, or cost out. Still, business is business.

    I make them as well as I can, including the little details, to be used like a tool and last for many years. It’s all business, no inlays or visual highlights. It is about what it does. A jig worthy of a fine infill miter, a Stanley #4, and LA Jack, or the plane you have. A jig worthy of helping you make your finest woodworking projects. The one Chris reviewed was made as nice as all the rest, which is as nice as I can make them. I’m picky, and those who know me, know that.

    At the end of the day, anyone of the critical posters here could have done this, and beat me to market, but they didn’t. This jig puts 6 angles you can trim to 0.001 or less in the hands of any woodworker. I don’t believe there is a wood working power tool that can surpass this capability or finish quality. I still think a good shooting board is a critical tool in any fine woodworkers tool arsenal, and I hope whether you build or buy, having one is worth your consideration.

    Thanks and all the bests,


  • Auguste Gusteau

    Ok, Christopher, I’ve learned the lesson: the rule here is that you can use sarcasm while the others can’t. Point.

  • Jorge Gasteazoro

    Jeeeezzz people, some of you need to lighten up…. OTOH I bet some of the people griping about the price would be the first ones to want to charge $75/hr for some custom work….

  • Bob Demers

    Here we go again, the usual gripes about the ‘high prices’ of today’s tool makers.

    Handtool WW getting expensive? Really? Ever try fly fishing or skiing, or hockey as a hobby? There really isnt any hobbys that are ‘inexpensive’, really, if you want to go all in and seek the best.

    So that shooting board is handmade, of wood, look pretty and cost $120, Expensive? Then dont buy it and make your own. Gouging? hardly! To make something anything, takes times, and times is money.

    I used to think that LN and LV tools were expensive, that was before I discovered how well made they are and how they work out of the box. Expensive? No, they save me a lot of time, work reliably, and are a pleasure to hold and work with. I still enjoy vintage tools, but my everyday tool kit is getting renewed with new fangled products. Love it and still think its a bargain, all considered.
    My two cents worth (well actually 1.92 cents with the exchange rate 🙂


  • Barry

    Just using one example, I think if a tool truly equal to a Lie Nielsen plane could be made and sold for 1/4 the price, SOMEONE would have done it. Saying Veritas, LN, etc.. are gouging the world is simply ridiculous and reeks of envy.

    I do think $120 is a tad steep for a shooting board, but nobody is twisting my arm to buy one. I think the design is a good one, so I will make one based on the pictures for myself.

    If the designer of this device sells many, good for him for taking the effort.

    My first bench was a store bought model from a well-known European bench manufacturer. I had no idea of what I really needed, and books about benches did not yet exist. I used that bench to make my "real" bench, one that fit the needs that took time for me to define. The store bought bench still serves a need and is used daily.

  • Christopher Schwarz


    Let us condemn the person who tries to make something out of wood with his own two hands and sell it to the public to improve his lot in life.

    No, wait. That didn’t come out right.

    OK…. Let us condemn the price-gouging modern tool makers who have rescued us from the days when the only good tools were the vintage ones. When hand woodworking almost disappeared.

    Hmmm. That’s not right either.


  • Auguste Gusteau

    I’m with you, Eric.

  • Auguste Gusteau

    It is sad to observe how woodworking is becoming day by day a hobby ever more luxurius.
    Take this shooting board (but the speech could be easily extended to saws, planes, chisels and any other tool): it is honestly well made, but come on, everyone can easily make a better one for 1/4 of its cost.
    Saws, planes, chisels and other tool can not be selfmade, but they become day by day more and more expansive.
    And what people and editors say on this point? Nothing.
    If tomorrow Lie-Nielsen Toolworks sell a new pencil sharpener with brass body and A-2 cryogenically treated blade for $80, what people and editors will say apart "wow", "fantastic" and "i want one immediatly"? Nothing.
    On this blog, some rare time I read some rare whispered criticism and some rare slight blame, but never anything about the insane prices that some tools are reaching. Or better still: the more a tool is expansive, the more the review is good.
    How you hope that young people approach woodworking when the minimal set of good quality tools costs like a car?
    Am I really the only one thinking these things?

  • Sean

    I will soon be offering super duper clamp pads that are made out of 2" x 2" x 3/16" thick hastily chopped up ripping offcuts super milled stock with clear packaging tape a glue resistant coating which I will be offering soon for a mere $5 per pair plus shipping and handling!

    I’m kidding, of course, but agree that a shooting board is not the most complicated or time consuming jig to assemble oneself, if you are woodworker, but hey, each to their own. Rob’s is certainly nice.

  • Gye Greene

    Eric, I was thinking the same thing: Selling a shooting board — for $120?

    How about a bench hook for $65?

    OTOH — you can buy a ready-made workbench, rather than making your own. So, really, this is just a smaller version of that.


  • Eric

    This is crazy.

    On the one hand, we lament the loss of "shop class" in high schools and the loss of woodworking knowledge and skills in this generation, and then we tell someone that they don’t have to learn to screw and glue a couple boards together and have it square because they can just buy one ready to go for $120.

  • Ken S

    Oops. I should pay attention.

  • Ken S


    Is the fence reversed in the photos? It looks as though the corner of the fence would protrude when it is swung to the 45 degree position. The relieved corner seems to be on the wrong side.


  • Christopher Schwarz


    You flip the fence over for angled cuts. So the 90° stays true.

    Sorry I didn’t make that clear.


  • Norman


    I have a question.
    If you’re using the non-90 degree angles and pivoting the fence,
    isn’t there a protruding part of the face of the fence which gets planed away?

    Unless the fence is flipped over and the chamfered side becomes the face?

    Reason I mention this is that it is critical that the piece of wood being shot be completely supported at the edge of the face where the handplane is riding along or tearout will result. So if this edge is compromised or becomes slightly angled to a different angle to the angle being shot, the support might not be there.

    Just speaking from experience.


  • Christopher Schwarz

    The hole for the adjustable screw is slotted a bit so you can tweak the angle of the fence. Very simple. My shooting board does the same thing. However, where this one is a great improvement is how well it locks in the adjustment and holds it.


  • David

    Chris –
    Neat Product. But, exactly, does one minutely adjust the fence – in the photos I can see no provision for this, other than the obvious old method of sticking a few pieces of masking tape to one or the other end of the fence to get the angle precisely right.


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