Whats the best plane for a Shooting Board?

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Forum topic by Blake posted 11-10-2009 08:29 PM 27801 views 2 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 5087 days

11-10-2009 08:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question shooting board hand plane

Whats the best plane for a shooting board? I am going to be making some shooting boards.

I don’t mean anything new from a catalog. I know they make specialty planes JUST for shooting boards. What I’m talking about is an old Stanley or something. Is it just a Stanley no 4 or 5? What is the best length, blade angle, etc.


-- Happy woodworking!

24 replies so far

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 5307 days

#1 posted 11-10-2009 08:50 PM

Hey Blake.

For me, the heavier the plane the better. I use either a 5 or 6. It really helps to make it all the way through the cut if the work piece is wide/thick. A #6 is easier to hold because it has bigger cheeks and everything just has a little bit more room because the frog is wider. The heft helps too.

The most important tip I’ve picked up as of late from a professional blended woodworker is to NOT put any camber on the iron(s) you use for shooting.

I didn’t think it would make that much difference because i usually don’t put too much camber on mine anyway. Just enough. The thing you have to consider though is that on an older Stanley the lateral adjusters are sometimes easier to move than one would like. Since you are holding the plane in a way contrary to how it’s designed to be held, it’s easier to bump that adjuster. When you combine camber and an out-of-adjustment iron the effect is noticeable.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5310 days

#2 posted 11-10-2009 09:47 PM

David Charlesworth recommends a Stanley or Record 5 1/2. Low angle Jacks work good and also there are miter planes designed specifically for the purpose.

I use a wooden miter plane made by lumberjock Phil Edwards. I have also tried my bedrock 605 and it works pretty well. A low-angle jack would be a pretty versitale plane if your looking for one that could do more than just miter work.

Thinking about it, some folks also use a #7 for reasons like the ones that Jeff stated related to being hefty.

Also, Lie-Nielson has some shooting board plans on their web site. I belive these are the ones from David Charlesworths video series on using hand planes.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Tony's profile


995 posts in 5243 days

#3 posted 11-10-2009 10:02 PM

Hi Blake – Low angle definitely, but length depends on the width and thickness of the stock, I use anything from my block plane up to my No 7 jointer. I have even used my large shoulder plane, just because it was handy – they all work extremely well with a sharp blade.

One other thing – wax (candle) the side of the plane and the base of the shooting board, that really helps to reduce the friction and makes everything run a lot smoother.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4861 days

#4 posted 11-10-2009 10:17 PM

anything that will have a perfect 90 bed to shoulder, the heavier the better – usually a jack plane #5 or that range.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View jcees's profile


1079 posts in 5012 days

#5 posted 11-10-2009 10:37 PM

Ditto on the above posts. The heavier the better AND as sharp as you can make it using a dead square grind. NO crown.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View SwedishIron's profile


142 posts in 4854 days

#6 posted 11-10-2009 10:57 PM

I enjoy using my Stanley #608 and #5-1/2 on my shooting board w/ great results. I have a L-N #62 that I’ve tried but it just doesn’t have the heft or large shoulder to make the plane feel stable.

-- Scott, Colorado

View TheDane's profile


6006 posts in 4876 days

#7 posted 11-11-2009 12:59 AM

Alot depends on personal preference.

I use one of vintage Stanley #5 jack planes. The #3 and #4 smoothers aren’t hefty enough, and my #7 is
just a tad too long for my taste.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View parkerdude's profile


182 posts in 4664 days

#8 posted 12-01-2009 09:21 PM

Hi Blake,

How about you give this a try. I was just at my bench shooting a mitre and I was getting tired of the discomfort I was getting from my Record 4 1/2 with the edges of the shoulder cutting into my hand. I use Irwin quick clamps to hold my shooting board to the edge of my bench. It was just a matter of locating the work against the fence and adding another clamp to hold the work, freeing both hands to push the plane. It’s kind of a funny reverse grip but no discomfort and a lot of power and control of the plane. Here’s my one handed grip. I need someone to help take the picture of my 2 handed grip. Hope this helps.

Single handed shooter

-- dust control

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4328 days

#9 posted 12-01-2009 10:02 PM

lucky me i just jump down in my basment (after sombody said jointer) and look if my 80cm jointer was sqare and have a tight mauth even it´s a very old wooden plane with the stocksite 4 – 5 inch on eech site immigely clamp a kind of a shootingboard together and try the plane what a dream cut thrugh a 7 inch board it was so good that I did it the next 10 min. just for fun. (a plane that I save just before it got in to the dumster and I only honed the big honk of wood ) juubiiii the first good tool to my woodjourney after that I said big is good


View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

1021 posts in 4606 days

#10 posted 12-07-2009 12:01 AM

My favorite is a Lie Nielsen Low Angle Jack Plane the Hot Dog Attatchment.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5310 days

#11 posted 12-07-2009 12:18 AM

Do you find the hot dog worth the investment? I have not tired one. Also, can they be installed on a vintage plane?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View blackcherry's profile


3349 posts in 5036 days

#12 posted 12-07-2009 03:34 AM

Great topic Blake, I find myself using multiple plane as well from block plane and low angle plane, but the most used is one of my stanley jack plane. I fine this no.5 just fit my shooting board the best and it really feels comfortable. I quest it really is all about comfort and control. Just my opinion, nice topic enjoyed reading everyone responses…Blkcherry

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5310 days

#13 posted 12-07-2009 03:44 AM

I am guessing the Stanley #62 you recently restored will be finding it’s way to a shooting board. Please let us know how it works out…

(link is for those that may not have seen the plane)

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View defrosted's profile


19 posts in 93 days

#14 posted 07-31-2021 02:21 AM

the sharp one.

(stolen from Paul Sellers?)

View DevinT's profile


1812 posts in 179 days

#15 posted 07-31-2021 05:13 AM

the sharp one.

(stolen from Paul Sellers?)

- defrosted

LoL! I laughed a little too hard, because it is so true.

-- Devin, SF, CA

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