A Friction Fit Shooting Board – Made from recycled material – A Woodworking Project

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December 16, 2016

I made a shooting board based on the one Paul Sellers made on his channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ypbvcxb-8M). The main difference is Paul Sellers’ shooting board uses wedges as the blocking pieces, mine are simply friction fit. This woodworking project is great for anyone who’s trying to get into hand tool woodworking, but are a little intimidated by complex joinery. Project 17.

I wasn’t convinced that a shooting board needs to have wedges the way Paul Sellers uses them. The friction fit of the shooting board is tight enough to grip the blocking pieces so it doesn’t move but not so tight that I have to bang on it to get it to move. So time should tell, I put my shooting board design against that of Paul Sellers.

Also, Paul Sellers’ shooting board had 2 miter angles; I don’t particularly care to make fancy molding, so 1 miter angle is enough for me.

Also, Paul Sellers’ shooting board stands more proud than mine, the blocking pieces on his shooting board is taller. The shorter blocking pieces work for me because I like working with thinner material. But a hand held piece was suffice to prevent splintering on the shooting board by bracing any unsupported fibers higher than my blocking pieces.

I made the shooting board from mahogany I bought at a box store, scrap oak from a recently torn down house that was over 100 years old, and a piece of pine that was a part of an ottoman for probably 40 years. The idea is to use seasoned wood to minimize future movement. Although some movement is expected, it should be less than the pine version that Paul Sellers shooting board.

John Z Zhu




  1. Great project! Its nice that its small enough to tuck away when you're done. I like trench.

  2. JEC11718 says:

    I had to figure out what a shooting board was! Once that was done, I really enjoyed the video!

  3. Sam K says:

    Thanks John, enjoyed your video. Great timing, just finishing my first shooting board, much simpler though and made it from left over cedar. my next version will be based on yours.

  4. Nice work. Seems very effective.

  5. Joe says:

    Good video. Simple and easy to follow. Should be helpful for anyone who is looking to get into hand tools.

    Dado – Cross Grain.

    Groove – with the Grain.

    Housing – Dado or Groove to hold something else (Sliding dovetails are also a housing joint…).

    Rabet/Rebate – Groove on the edge of a board.

    Trench – Honestly, never heard of it in terms of a finished joint.

    All dados are grooves. Some grooves are housings. Some rabets are housings as well. The difference between a housing and a dado/groove might seem a bit oblique, but you can have decorative dados and grooves – but housings are a functional part of the joinery (blind or through…).

    Wood terminology is one of those fun things. Both in terms of locations (even within the US) as well as when people learned the woods, you almost need a translation dictionary in order to make sure you are talking about the same things. Even more so if you start looking into older books on woodworking, as they often used terminology that isn't even used by anyone anymore and you have to sort of figure out the meaning by the goal they are trying to accomplish.

    One thing that I noticed a bit of fumble with that you might consider an easy fix to…keeping your saw square to your cut. If you make a block that has a side that is perpendicular to the bottom – you can mount a few rare earth magnets to that edge. Slide the block up to the edge of your cut line, let the magnets pull blade of the saw flat against your blocks side. The magnets and block keep it square while you get your cut started. Some people call them training wheels, some call it cheating. I call it simple. It is actually a pretty common jig for Japanese joiners as many of their blades have issues both with side to side movement but also being deflected in a curve as well.

  6. Hi john! Always enjoy your informative and entertaining videos. Looking forward to more now that your hopefully settled in at your new place!

  7. Very clever. I like it.

  8. MRrwmac says:

    As I look into my crystal ball, I see some fantastic joinery coming. Nice nice board! Did you get all your tools and machines into the shop and is it all setup the way you want it?
    Q- I assume you hold the wood being shaved a bit proud of the fixed angle brace even when close to completed cutting? Otherwise the plane blade would cut into the fixed angle brace, correct? Not second guessing, just trying to picture it. Thanks and nice board!

  9. That's a great project, John.
    It sounds like your vice needs a bit of oil on it. ;>)

  10. pcorlis says:

    John, nice build and good use of scrap wood. Paul, a.k.a. paulsmessyworkshop on YouTube

  11. nice..i need to make a shooting board..ibe been getting more and more into hand planes for perfecting boards..which leads to my question.
    -do u think its pointless to own/have more than one of the same planes? like say 2or3 jack planes etc..? thanks

  12. Great job! Thanks for sharing John!!

  13. Great video's. How are you adjusting to life in Missouri?

  14. Very nice! See you're getting somewhere with your new shop!

  15. Looks like I just found another reason to rehab some of my planes. Thanks for sharing, John!

  16. Wish my plane cut end grain as smoothly as yours. I don't understand why everyone builds shooting boards and then they get these amazing end grain shavings. I built two shooting boards and no matter what I do I am not able to get such fine shavings. Just some powder and definitely not the end result I am looking for. The blade is sharpened all the way to the leather strop, not sure what else I can do to get better results…

  17. Shooting board….one of those tools you always wish you had made, because you need it. You put it off until you need it again. I still need to make one.

  18. Kiki Lang says:

    Thanks, great video.

  19. Dory Rice says:

    I liked your shooting board. Can you please tell me what plane you are using with it?


  20. Excelente, muy practica e útil. felicitacines

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