I recently got a wave of comments and questions about my shooting board attachments so I figured it would be wise to put together a quick article on the topic. If you haven’t already made a shooting board I highly recommend doing so….regardless of what plane you have (except rabbet/shoulder planes).
This is my shooting board. It’s made of two pieces of 3/4” plywood, a hardwood fence, and a hardwood cleat on the bottom side.
The concept is simple. Place a board against the fence and use the plane to shave a little off the end with each pass. The plane does not dig into the material platform because the blade/iron does not extend to the side of the plane.
The same thing can be accomplished at an angle with the help of an angled block. In this case the angle is cut to 45 degrees. The angle can be fine tuned one way or the other by planing a taper on the angled face to open or close the miter angle. The block is quickly secured to the shooting board via a small clamp. This style attachment is handy for cutting miters on small trim.
Another handy attachment is one that will allow you to easily cut a miter along an edge of a board for items like box interior lining. This attachment is commonly called a “donkey ear” because on June 3rd 1842 a man was working with his and looked up and saw a donkey in the shop next to him and said “hey, this attachment looks just like your ear!” Actually, I just made that part up.
The inclined plane is set at 45 degrees.
On the side closest to the shooting board fence an second fence is added to the “donkey ear.” Below the “donkey ear” fence, on the end opposite of the inclined plane, is another piece of the fence material.
On the bottom of the side opposite of the “donkey ear” fence is a small 1/4” square cleat attached to the bottom edge. This transfers the clamping force to the bottom of the “donkey ear” and prevents the “donkey ear” from rotating over the shooting board fence when clamping pressure is applied.
The end result is a simple “donkey ear” that clamps quickly and firmly to the shooting board fence.
I really enjoyed typing “donkey ear” a lot in this article. Have a good day.