I have long wanted a Veritas Shooting Plane and on a recent trip to Canada, took advantage of the exchange rate and purchased one. I also purchased the 24-inch aluminum track to use as the basis for a shooting board.
I think I’ll add a quick disclaimer here: This post is going to be a long one. I usually caption all my images and also have text in-between. In this post, I think that I will let the captions tell most of the story as there are plenty of them. I’ll fill in when needed. I’ve just looked and I pushing 120 images, so I think I will have to break this into two posts.
In my last post, I wrote about my aborted attempt to build a shooting board. The wood cupped like crazy and was not stable enough for use in a precision jig. I would have liked to use Baltic Birch plywood, but I didn’t have any on hand and my woodworking budget has been spent. I have plenty of lumber in the rack, the trouble was finding something suitable.
I found a board that I believe is Walnut. It is 10″ x 6′ x 4/4″. It was cupped and twisted and would probably be quite difficult to flatten if left whole. However, smaller boards are always easier to flatten than large ones, so my first step was to cut it into three 2-foot sections.
I processed two of the boards to this stage, but the third was seriously twisted. Board one will be the base of the jig, board two will be the ramp. The base board needs to hold both the track and the ramp, so it will obviously need to be wider than the ramp board. To accomplish this, I cut a 4-inch strip from board three. By rip cutting first, the parts now fit on the jointer, so board three gets dealt with that way. Once all the boards were flattened (either by hand plane or jointer), they all got sent through the planer.
With the base board glued up, I turned my attention to determining the best angle for pitching my ramp. I wanted to make maximum use of the available blade height, so the ramp needs to taper away to less than the height of the track in the front. At the back of the ramp, the surface needs to leave some of the blade exposed or the tool won’t function. I ended up choosing an angle of 4.5°.
The massive bevel cut at the front of the ramp will provide a large glueing surface, but I didn’t want to rely on that alone. Using my tapering jig at the table saw I cut some scraps to make test wedges.
This isn’t going to be all glued up in one go. I want to glue the wedges to the underside of the ramp first. To make sure that I glued them in the right place, I needed some alignment marks.
Using the Veritas track system with a ramp would cause a gap between the plane and the edge of the ramp. Some gap is needed or the plane would be cutting the ramp. However, I wanted less of a gap and a little more support for the workpiece. This means rabbeting the bottom edge of the ramp to “let-in” the track slightly.
You can see above that the rabbet does not completely overlay the edge of the track.
Before glueing the ramp to the base board, I need to address the hook.
I’m setting up a cross-grain joint here and need to allow for expansion of the base board. One screw in the center of the hook will do.
The important part of the glue-up is making sure that the rabbet in the bottom of the ramp is pressed up tight against the track.
Well, with the ramp in clamps, I think that this is a good place to leave things for this post. There’s still a lot more to do, so I’ll continue this as soon as I can get it typed up.
– Jonathan White