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Hi, All,
I'm planning on building a shooting board in the next couple of weeks, and I have to ask the million dollar question: Is a ramped guide board necessary, or does a flat guide board work just fine?
I've read a number of conflicting opinions about this subject. Some argue that a flat guide board will wear the plane sole down over time. Others say 'no worries'. Let the discussion begin…..
 

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A flat board would take several life times to wear out a plane sole IMHO. Some of the reasons I have read, (1) The plane iron acts as a skewed edge and can cut gnarly wood better. (2) The plane iron wears more evenly. If one were shooting a consistent width of board(s) for a good while that area of the iron would dull and one would have to take it out and hone it more often.
I have all flat boards because I am too lazy to make a ramped ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies.
I think I will have to decide which method I wish to go based on available time. I've seen some 'ramped' boards where the ramp is hand planed into the guide board. Johnchung, I like your version with the guide held up by wedges. Jerry, a 'no ramp' version looks viable, too. Plane soles can easily be re-flattened, and irons can be sharpened (once in a while). Decisions, decisions.
Anyway, thanks again!
 

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The reasoning behind a ramped shooter has never included 'sole wear' that I've ever seen. Jerry said it: That's bogus. A skewed iron goes cross-grain with less tear out, and a shooter on a skew -or ramp- does cut end grain better. My input is based on owning and using shootboard planes with and without skewed cutters.
 

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The advantage of a ramped shooting board is that it enables a plane with a squared blade to enter the wood at at slight angle (skew) - not for a skew cut, but a progressive cut at entry. What this does is reduce the impact shock, which makes planing easier and more pleasant. There is also some spread of wear on the blade, but I do not consider this to be particularly significant.

Now if you have a plane with a skeewed blade, such as a Veritas or Lie-nielsen #51, then the impact issue is a feature of this blade, and a simple flat board is all that is needed. Indeed, the ramped board will reduce the skew of the blade by 5 degrees - not particularly significant in use, however, but still a fact.

Here is one of several articles I have written: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/LVShootingPlane.html

Another: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/Furniture/ShootingPlanesCompared.html

Regards from Perth

Derek
 
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