All Replies on Hand Plane Options for Shooting Board and Jointing

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View gauntlet21's profile

Hand Plane Options for Shooting Board and Jointing

by gauntlet21
posted 10-26-2018 01:04 PM

11 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


2577 posts in 2366 days

#1 posted 10-26-2018 01:58 PM

I just cannot read through all without going cross eyed and falling asleep. But I did look at your photo and saw the wood hanging over.
If that were in my shop I would mark a line with a square and pare it off with my favorite Chisel.
Good luck ?

-- Aj

View JADobson's profile


1448 posts in 2679 days

#2 posted 10-26-2018 02:15 PM

I’ll just say that sharpening the #6 at a lower angle will make no difference on the shooting board as it is a bevel down plane. You are thinking of the capabilities of a low angle jack. With those bevel up planes you can change the angle of the blade for different tasks. If you are looking for another plane to buy I’d recommend a low angle jack for your shooting board. I have the Veritas and like it very much. They excel on on end grain whereas planes with a chip breaker excel on the reset of the board. You can use either plane anywhere but they each have their strong suit. Good luck.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View JayT's profile


6327 posts in 2779 days

#3 posted 10-26-2018 02:51 PM

To echo Aj2, paragraphs are a wonderful thing.

JADobson is correct that changing the bevel angle on a bevel down plane has no effect on the attack angle. Adding the back bevel on your #4, on the other hand, increased the attack angle, thus making it function more like a high angle plane. Great for smoothing tough grain, not good for shooting end grain.

You can use a sharp bevel down plane to shoot end grain, many woodworkers have done it, you just need a flat back on the blade. A low angle plane takes less effort, but leaves the same result. The other issue you are having is trying to take off too much. A plane set up properly for shooting will only take off a couple thousandth’s of an inch per pass.

Right now, you are being your own worst enemy by changing too many variables without understanding what each one does. Slow down and do one thing at a time to gain understanding. Example: Putting the back bevel on the iron of the #4 and shooting were both new. The back bevel helped with tearout while smoothing. It was also going to make shooting with that iron much more difficult, which you didn’t realize, so didn’t get the results you expected. That was compounded by trying to take too deep of a cut (third variable). Take the fence off, cut off that 1/16 that is hanging over and reinstall.

The only real effect a chip breaker has when shooting is to help stiffen the blade. Since you are cutting across the wood fibers instead of along them, there isn’t the worry about getting under fibers and lifting them before they break, which is what causes tearout.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5236 posts in 4528 days

#4 posted 10-26-2018 03:21 PM

I use a restored Stanley # 5 1/2 for shooting. Plenty of mass, super sharp, and I have a total of $40.00 in that puppy. Does it work? YEP!

-- [email protected]

View ColonelTravis's profile


1976 posts in 2462 days

#5 posted 10-26-2018 07:36 PM

+1 to what everyone above me wrote.

Best kind of shooting plane, in order:

1.) A real shooting plane made for shooting.
2.) A LA Jack
3.) Something else.

They all work, but the farther down the list you go (even though it’s a short list), the more compromises you must make. Some people don’t consider them big compromises. I have a LA Jack as a shooter, which accomplishes the task wonderfully. But it can be bothersome to hold because it wasn’t made to be a shooter. Will that force me to buy a real shooter? Not right now. A dedicated shooter is an expensive plane that has one purpose. I can use a LA Jack for a few things. Maybe I’ll change my mind down the road. I know that people who own a dedicated shooter love them, and I know I would also. It depends on whether my annoyance of using the LA Jack goes up. Right now I’m not annoyed enough to change.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16262 posts in 3186 days

#6 posted 10-26-2018 07:50 PM

JADobson is correct that changing the bevel angle on a bevel down plane has no effect on the attack angle. Adding the back bevel on your #4, on the other hand, increased the attack angle, thus making it function more like a high angle plane. Great for smoothing tough grain, not good for shooting end grain.

- JayT

Ditto, x3. Primary (and secondary) bevels on bevel down planes don’t change frog angles / attack angle. I’ve never applied a back bevel to any of my planes, last used ‘the ruler trick’ years ago.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Redoak49's profile


4292 posts in 2556 days

#7 posted 10-26-2018 08:40 PM

I use a LN 4-1/2 as a shooting plane. If I did a lot of shooting plane projects, I would purchase the actual shooting plane. But for small boxes and projects my 4-1/2 works very well.

I age with the above comments about paragraphs. In general, one will get better responses with clearly written and EASY to read posts.

We are not trying to gang up on the poster. But, it is difficult to read for some of us older folks and then to give good advice.

View gauntlet21's profile


69 posts in 778 days

#8 posted 10-26-2018 09:33 PM

Sounds good. Thanks for the advice. I’ll try to keep my posts more clear and concise. I appreciate the effort required ro make it through my comments.

To JayT, I was just mentioning that there’s about a 16th of an inch of overhang, not that I was trying to take that all off in a single cut. I had my plane blade sticking out as little as possible and was getting next to no progress at removing the overhang.

I am going to try again tonight after work and just examine everything again to see if I have overlooked something. I understand the back bevel added to my angle but I’ve now or de ered a No. 6 hand plane and extra blade so that I can keep a flat back on one and a back bevel on another. I just wasnt quite expecting the difficulty I experienced and thought to see if it was a common problem or if I was just using the wrong tool and setup. I’ve read that anything can be used for shooting but there are obviously planes that excel at it. I’ll keep that in my memory and see how it goes with the No. 6 and continue learning as I go.

Thanks again, if I can, I’ll try to post a short video of what occurs when I’m planing as that might illustrate better what I tried to explain.


View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16262 posts in 3186 days

#9 posted 10-26-2018 10:47 PM

They’re concise, just needed a fee carriage returns in the OP. :-). Good luck!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View gauntlet21's profile


69 posts in 778 days

#10 posted 10-27-2018 07:52 PM

Update: Last evening I took the front fence off and put a chamfer on the back edge (that’s an incredible trick). When I initially started trying to plane the back edge was blowing out as I mentioned but the chamfer worked perfectly. I then decided to put the fence back in and go at it with as minimal amount of blade exposed and it took a little while to get that extra bit of “hang over” removed, but I got through it without nearly as much hangup. I think the best adjustment I made was the hand positioning while holding onto the plane. Shooting (boards) is all new to me and considering that I don’t have the $500 to spend on the L.N. or $339 on the Veritas Shooting Plane which are capable of only one task, I didn’t quite know the best way to hold the plane. I’ve got it figured out now and was able to remove that extra fence hanging over so that it is absolutely flush (as it should be). I practiced on a few small pieces and voila, they came out perfect. I can’t wait to see what my No. 6 can do! I hate waiting for shipments.

I’ll make good use of all your advice. Thanks for investing in me.


View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

471 posts in 4536 days

#11 posted 11-02-2018 03:01 PM

I ve been commenting on a project that I ve been working on in another post but thought to start a new topic for fresh eyes to see my new dilemma. I m just diving into hand planes and have in my modest collection a Lie Nielsen No. 4 Smoothing Plane, a Veritas Medium Shoulder Plane, and a Wood River Standard Block Plane. I just finished assembling my first shooting board and while attempting to remove the excess stock that overhangs the plane “runway” (so that it is flush with the registration edge), my No. 4 (which is set to 56-57 degrees by way of a 26-27 degree micro bevel and a 10 degree back bevel) the plane did not perform well. I realized then why different angle blades are so important in hand planing. I m the type of reader that doesn t appreciate the information being read until attempting to try it out firsthand. I put the back bevel on my No. 4 because I was getting tear out on some red oak. The back bevel worked amazingly, allowing me to basically plane in any direction with a normal grain pattern. Being a novice, I ve only got the one blade for my No. 4 and resharpened it to see if the blade was dull, and that was perhaps adding to the difficulty of planing off the end grain. The same performance occurred. So I ve already decided to purchase another plane today and I was set on a Lie Nielsen No. 6 to function as a shooting plane and a jointer. I typically build small projects and also own a power jointer and power planer. I plan on using the No. 6 much like a jack plane but have a No. 4 already in my arsenal for any smoothing work. I m now hesitant on purchasing the No. 6 however because it is a high angle plane which will continue to perform poorly on end grain. I m now wondering if this is a possible option and wanted to get the thoughts of you hand planers out there that have already travelled down this road. Is it possible (and also smart) to purchase a No. 6 and sharpen the plane blade to a lower angle (I own the Veritas MKII Honing Guide so obtaining an accurate angle is attainable) and purchase an additional plane blade to use when I m plaining with the grain and any figured pieces? I was just googling “what bevel angle is best for cutting end grain” and there are a few articles mentioning that low angles aren t necessary for end grain. My shooting board has a large piece of red oak as the front fence and I could not get the No. 4 with a very sharp blade through it in any manner that seemed normal. I attempted everything except slamming the No. 4 as hard as I could at the board in an attempt to get through it. The plane was set up so that just a hair of the blade was poking through (I wasn t trying to whack off an 1/8” at a time) and when the blade made contact, the oak stopped the plane dead in its tracks. I know the extra weight of the No. 6 is going to help as well but just wanted to get some thoughts. I am hoping to complete shooting and very simple/short jointing with my plane purchase and was trying to avoid a low angle plane at this time since I want to be able to use this plane at high angles as well. Just thought of this… Unless I reshape the entire blade to have less than a 25 degree primary bevel, I won t be able to reduce the angle of the blade to something like 15 degrees. I have the aggerssive stones to do this but is this a feasible option or is just purchasing a Low Angle plane the best thing for tackling end grain? I just never imagined how poorly the No. 4 performed on the end grain. When I took it to planing with the grain again, it performed perfectly. Also, when I was getting some of the end grain removed, it was incredibly small pieces that were tall but like little mini toothpicks, not like the full width shavings I ve seen in countless shooting board videos. The No. 4 does not have an adjustable mouth and my chipbreaker was set VERY close to the blade if that helps diagnose the problem any further. I m probably not giving low angle planes a fair chance but because they don t have the chipbreaker, and because of the way that some professional woodworkers scoff at them (when comparing them to a bevel down plane), I guess I m being swayed by the media. I m completely open to suggestion though so lay it on me.

Here s a link to my shooting board so you can see how much end grain needs to be hacked off on that red oak. There s still about a 1/16th of an inch that is hanging over the main “runway”.



- gauntlet21

Cut back on the coffee. :)

Regards from Perth


-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at

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