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A Shooting Board for Perfect Woodworking Miter Joints

This amazing shooting board jig uses magnets and simplicity to help you cut perfect ends
October 14, 2023

The shooting board design of Tico Vogt is presented here by Ramon Valdez, of Ramon Valdez Fine Furniture. The basic function of a shooting board is to clean up edges in woodworking, usually end grain, for perfect joints. A shooting plane rides on a shooting board to make the clean cuts.

Ramon uses GlideCote, by Topcote, to lubricate the wooden surfaces where the shooting plane rides.

The main table is slightly ramped, which gives the woodworker momentum when making the cut, and it uses more of the blade, to give a sharper cut.

The main fence is 90 degrees to the plane direction.

You can hear the plane cutting the end of the workpiece. When you hear a consistent cut across the whole piece, about three passes in most cases of this video, the edge is perfect.

Accessory fences for the shooting board

Both attachments have Magswitches, which stick to the metal under the table. The magswitch holds the fence solidly in place.

  • 45-degree Miter Fence holds the workpiece precisely at 45 degrees for making perfect miter joints.
  • Donkey's Ear Fence also holds the workpiece 45 degrees from the shooting plane but in the perpendicular direction for long edge-miters. Ramon added sandpaper to the table to help hold the workpiece in place.

Shooting Board Features and Accessories

All of the attached accessories are adjustable and have never needed adjustment.

  • A plane fence holds the shooting plane in place. Even though the woodworker holds the plane against the workpiece, the fence assures there is no wobble in the movement.
  • The work fence has elongated slots, allowing you to create a zero-clearance fence, which eliminates tearout.

FUN FACT: The old-fashioned way of reducing tearout was to cut a small chamfer on the back edge of the workpiece and plane up to the edge of the chamfer.

The jig is made from Baltic Birch plywood, and the shooting plane base is made from Bamboo, probably for its tremendous durability. There are channels on either side of the shooting plane bed for sawdust to fall away into.

Shooting board dimensions

  • The overall length (front to back) is about 19 inches
  • The overall width is 11-1/2 inches
  • The shooting plane bed is custom-sized to the plane; the cleat is about an inch tall
  • The table is about 7-1/4 inches wide

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