Popular Woodworking 2003-08 № 135, страница 30

Popular Woodworking 2003-08 № 135, страница 30

From the Bench

The Genius of Miter Shooting Boards

Cutting miters so they are 'just right' is a problem faced by all woodworkers. Here's how to sneak up on the perfect miter with scrap wood and a plane.

You find yourself in a quandary. To ensure that you don't cut a miter too short, you end up cutting it just a bit too long to fit. You wish you could trim it shorter by just a shaving or two, but the moulding is too small to plane, reliably, freehand.

If you're working with a power miter saw, you might be able to correct this cut if the moulding is held in place perfectly, but it is easy to cut too much off and the blade might deflect during the cut, spoiling the angle. If you're working with a hand miter saw and

miter box, it's difficult to get an accurate cut that's thinner than the width of the saw's kerf. This is when you should turn to a shop appliance known as a miter shooting board.

A shop appliance, you ask? Like a washing machine? No, I'm using the term "appliance" in the general sense: "A piece of equipment for adapting a tool or machine to a special purpose" (Merriam-Webster). In the world of hand tools, what some people might call "jigs" usually are called appliances.

In this case, the special purpose of the miter shooting board is to enable you to plane a miter in an accurate and controlled manner. Indeed, with this appliance you can quite literally correct the length and/or angle of a miter one shaving at a time.

Shop appliances have great value. If you are already working with hand tools, you may be encountering unnecessary difficulties without the right appliance for the job. If you are not generally interested in hand tools, that may be due, in part, to not realizing their capabilities when used with appropriate and time-tested appliances.

I've chosen to focus on the miter shooting board because it is an appliance that could be useful to almost every woodworker - even those who have no interest in hand tools.

Simple Jig; Easy to Use

The basic idea of a miter shooting board is simple. At one edge is a wide, shallow rabbet in which a plane (block, miter, etc.) rides. The bed of the rabbet supports the plane's cheek (sometimes called the "side wing"), and the shoulder of the rabbet guides the sole of the plane. A stop, or stops, set at 45° are affixed to the upper surface of the board. The material being planed is held against the stop while the mitered end is planed. The height of the rabbet's shoulder needs to be fairly minimal in order to make use of most of the cutting edge of the plane iron.

Build a Miter Shooting Board

There are a number of ways to construct a miter shooting board. The simple version

by Don McConnell

Don McConnell builds furniture and does ornamental carving in Fredericktown, Ohio. Formerly a demonstrator at the cabinetmaker's shop at The Ohio Village, he remains an avid student of the history of the trade, tools and shop practices.

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