How To Make A Shooting Board Woodworking

If you’re a woodworking enthusiast, then you know how important it is to have the right tools and equipment. One such tool that every woodworker needs is a shooting board.

A shooting board is an essential tool for achieving precise, square cuts on small pieces of wood. It’s a simple device that consists of a flat surface with a fence at one end, onto which the piece of wood to be cut is placed.

Making your own shooting board may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite easy and can be done with just a few basic tools. In this article, we’ll show you step-by-step how to make your own shooting board woodworking.

Whether you’re an experienced woodworker or just starting out, making your own shooting board will not only save you money but also give you greater control over your work and help you achieve better results. So let’s get started!

Understanding The Importance Of A Shooting Board

A shooting board is an essential tool for any woodworker. It allows you to make accurate and precise cuts, ensuring that your project comes out as expected. Without a shooting board, your cuts may not be straight or square, leading to frustration and wasted materials.

The shooting board is especially useful when working with hand tools like planes and chisels. The importance of a shooting board cannot be overstated. It is the key to achieving perfect 90-degree angles and ensuring that all parts fit together correctly.

Using a shooting board also saves time by eliminating the need for trial-and-error cutting. Instead, you can make a cut on the shooting board, check it for accuracy using a square, and adjust as needed before making the final cut on your workpiece.

Overall, having a well-made shooting board is crucial for any woodworking project. With it, you can achieve precision cuts and ensure that your finished product matches your design specifications. Whether you are building furniture or creating small crafts, investing in a quality shooting board will pay off in the long run by saving time and materials while providing consistent results.

Gathering The Necessary Materials And Tools

I’ll need some wood, a saw, a drill, and some screws to make a shooting board.

I’ll also need clamps, sandpaper, a measuring tape, and a pencil.

If I want to get fancy, I’ll need a jigsaw, router, chisel, brackets, more screws, glue, and some plywood.

All these materials and tools should get me started on making my shooting board.


Wood is the primary material you need for making a shooting board. The quality of your wood will determine the lifespan and durability of your shooting board. You can choose from different types of wood, such as maple, birch, or oak. Maple is a popular choice among woodworkers due to its hardness and durability. Birch is also an excellent option if you want an affordable yet sturdy material.

Once you have chosen the type of wood for your shooting board, you need to make sure it’s straight and free from knots or warping. Straight boards are easier to work with and will give you a more accurate result. If possible, get a rough-cut piece of lumber that has not been planed or jointed. This way, you can cut it to the desired size and shape without wasting any material.

To prepare the wood for use in your shooting board, cut it into two pieces: one for the base and another for the fence. The base should be at least 18 inches long and 6 inches wide, while the fence should measure about 2 inches high by 1 inch thick by 16 inches long.

Once you have both pieces cut to size, joint one edge of each board so that they fit together perfectly.


Now that you have your wood ready, it’s time to gather the necessary tools for making a shooting board.

One of the essential tools you will need is a saw. A saw is used to cut the wood to the desired size and shape. There are different types of saws available, such as hand saws, circular saws, and table saws.

For making a shooting board, a hand saw is recommended as it allows greater control over the cut and produces less noise and dust compared to other types of saws. You can use a rip saw for cutting along the grain or a crosscut saw for cutting across it. Make sure to choose the right type of saw with the appropriate number of teeth per inch (TPI) depending on the thickness and hardness of your wood.

Before using your hand saw, make sure it’s sharp and properly set. A dull or improperly set blade can result in uneven cuts or damage to your wood. You can sharpen your hand saw using a sharpening file or take it to a professional sharpening service if you’re not confident doing it yourself.

Once your hand saw is sharp and ready to use, you can start cutting your wood into two pieces for your shooting board’s base and fence.

In summary, choosing the right type of wood for your shooting board is crucial for its durability and accuracy. Once you have selected your wood material, make sure it’s straight without any warping or knots before cutting it into two pieces; one for the base and another for the fence. To cut your wood accurately, you will need a good-quality handsaw that’s sharp and properly set to achieve precise cuts while minimizing dust production.

Measuring And Cutting The Board

Now that you have gathered all the necessary materials for your shooting board, it is time to measure and cut the board.

You can use any type of wood for your shooting board, but it is recommended to choose a hardwood that is sturdy enough to withstand heavy use.

Begin by measuring and marking the length and width of the board according to your desired dimensions. Use a ruler or a tape measure to ensure accurate measurements.

Next, use a pencil or a marking knife to score along the lines you have marked. This will help guide your saw when cutting the board.

Now it’s time to cut the board using a saw. Make sure to follow your markings carefully and cut along straight lines.

Once you have finished cutting, sand down any rough edges with sandpaper until they are smooth to touch.

Congratulations! You have successfully measured and cut your shooting board woodworking project!

Building The Fence

To build the fence for your shooting board, you will need a straight piece of wood that is about 1 inch thick and 2 inches wide. Cut it to the same length as your shooting board.

Next, use a hand plane to make one edge of the fence perfectly straight and square to the bottom of the board.

Once you have made one edge straight, flip the fence over so that the unplaned side is facing up. On this side, mark where you want your stop block to be. This should be about an inch away from the end of the board. Drill a hole through both sides of the fence at this point and insert a bolt and wing nut.

Finally, attach the fence to your shooting board with clamps or screws. Make sure that it is perfectly square to the bottom of your board and flush with one edge.

Once you have attached it securely, slide your workpiece up against the fence and clamp it in place. With a sharp hand plane, carefully shave off thin layers until you have achieved a perfect 90-degree angle.

Attaching The Fence To The Board

I’ll need to measure the board and fence to ensure they fit together correctly.

I’ll have to drill holes in the board and fence to attach them together.

I’ll need to secure the fence to the board with screws, so it won’t come apart.


Are you ready to take your woodworking skills to the next level? Then making a shooting board is an essential tool that you should add to your arsenal.

Attaching the fence to the board is a crucial step in this process and requires precise measurements. Before beginning, it’s important to note that the fence must be square with the board. You can ensure this by using a combination square or T-square while measuring.

Place the fence against the board and adjust until it’s perfectly perpendicular. Next, measure where you want to attach the fence on the board. Make sure to mark both ends of where the fence will sit on the board for accuracy.

Double-check your measurements before drilling pilot holes into both pieces. This step is critical because any errors made here will affect how straight your cuts will be in future projects.

By taking time to carefully measure when attaching the fence, you’ll create a shooting board that’s accurate and reliable for years to come. Remember, precision at every step of this process is key!


Now that you have ensured that the fence is square with the board, it’s time to move on to drilling. This step is necessary for attaching the fence securely to the board.

Before proceeding with drilling, make sure that you have marked both ends of where the fence will sit on the board accurately. The next step is to drill pilot holes into both pieces.

It’s important to take time and ensure that you are drilling straight into the wood, or else it will affect how straight your cuts will be in future projects. Make sure that you are holding the drill at a 90-degree angle while making these pilot holes.

Once you have drilled pilot holes, attach the fence to the board using screws. Be careful not to over-tighten them as it may cause damage to both pieces.

By following these steps carefully, you’ll create a shooting board that’s accurate and reliable for years to come!


Now that you have drilled pilot holes and attached the fence to the board, it’s time to move on to securing it. This step is necessary for ensuring that your shooting board remains stable and reliable.

To secure the fence, start by checking if it’s sitting flush against the board. If there are any gaps, use shims or sandpaper to remove them.

Once you’re satisfied that everything is lined up correctly, clamp the fence in place.

Next, apply a small amount of wood glue to the joint between the fence and board. This will help to strengthen the bond between the two pieces and prevent any movement over time.

Finally, use screws to attach the fence securely to the board. Make sure that you are using screws that are long enough to go through both pieces but not so long that they come out on the other side. Again, be careful not to over-tighten them as this can cause damage.

By following these steps carefully, you’ll create a shooting board with a stable and reliable fence that will serve you well for years to come!

Sanding And Finishing The Shooting Board

After constructing your shooting board, the next step is to sand and finish it.

Start by sanding down any rough edges or sharp corners using a sandpaper with a grit of around 220. This will ensure that your board is smooth and comfortable to use.

Next, apply a coat of wood finish to protect your shooting board from moisture and wear. There are many options for finishes including wax, oil, or varnish. Whichever you choose, make sure to follow the instructions carefully and apply multiple coats for optimal protection.

Once your shooting board is fully dry, you can start using it for precision cuts with ease.

Remember to periodically check and maintain the condition of your shooting board by sanding down any nicks or damage and reapplying finish as needed. With proper care, your shooting board will last for many woodworking projects to come!

Testing And Using Your Shooting Board

After sanding and finishing your shooting board, it’s time to test and use it.

Begin by placing a straight edge on the board to check for any bumps or unevenness. If necessary, lightly sand those areas until the board is perfectly flat.

To test the shooting capabilities of your board, place a thin strip of wood against the fence and push it forward while applying pressure down and towards the fence. The result should be a clean, straight cut. If not, adjust the angle of the fence or sharpen your plane blade.

Once you’re confident in your shooting board’s abilities, start using it for various woodworking projects.

It’s a versatile tool that can be used for trimming edges, squaring up boards, and even planing small pieces of wood. With some practice, you’ll soon wonder how you ever worked without one.


In conclusion, making a shooting board for woodworking is not as complicated as it may seem. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily create a shooting board that will help you achieve precise cuts and angles in your projects.

So, why wait? Gather your materials and tools, measure and cut your board, build your fence, attach it to the board, sand and finish it off.

And just like that, you’ll have a fully functional shooting board that will take your woodworking skills to the next level. Don’t underestimate the power of a good shooting board – give it a try today!