Woodworking Plans & Tutorial

How to Make a Shooting Board Plan?

Sometimes as a carpenter, you have to even and sand a surface to make it even with specific markings.

If you want to do this action using your eye purely and you don’t get help from any other tools, there is a good chance that in the end, your project will not be as even as you thought it would be.

So as you can get from the statement, you have to have an additional tool to get to the evenest surface possible: The wooden shooting board.

This is the tool we have been implying since the beginning of the article, and we will use it to even our surface.

However, some individuals and wood artists need a plan or a blueprint to craft such a board in their workshop, so in this article, we will tell you how you can create your wood shooting board.

Keep in mind that the process of smoothing the surface can be done with various tools.

Now that you know what we will be doing in this article, let’s get started and see how to make a shooting board plan?


What is a shooting board, and how to use it?

Let’s start with an example to understand the shooting board better.

Imagine that you are creating a wooden photo frame for the family image that you love.

As you know, a photo frame has four pieces, all of which have a flat surface.

So if you want them to be even when assembling, you must see their surfaces with unique markings to get the best photo frame.

There are lots of tools that you can use to smooth out the surface of the wood:

  • Chisels
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill sandpaper
  • Wide saws

These tools are the best options for the job; however, among all of these, we recommend using sandpaper to do the job. Further, in the article, we will be comparing chisels to sandpaper, and you can see why?

However, if you use these tools, let’s say on wood attached to the vise, you will not be able to indicate if the measurements and such are correct; this is where the shooting board comes in.

The shooting board consists of four pieces.

This tool creates a special chamber, and you can place your wood piece in it to start smoothing it out as much as you want.

Ultimately, we must consider that you can always make a wooden shooting board, and you don’t have to buy one from the wood shops.

Further, in the article, we will tell you how you can lay out the plans for the shooting board and then craft it.

But before getting to that section, we will compare to see why sandpaper is a better option to smooth the wood surface.

Sandpaper Chisels
Easy to carry around Hard to maintain
Very cheap Much more expensive than sandpaper
It can be found in any workshop It is a unique tool, and you have to purchase it

In addition to the chart, you have to know that if you use a chisel, you are removing chunks of wood from the wood piece; however, the sandpaper only impacts the surface of the wood.

Therefore, it is better to use sandpaper over a chisel.

Now let’s move on to the next section, which is making a shooting board plan.


How to make a shooting board plan? (+ 4 COMPONENTS)

First of you have to be sure that you have the right tools to print the best shooting board plan:

  • A white sheet of paper
  • Black soft pencil (B2)
  • Ruler
  • Measuring tape

These are the only tools that you will need to make a shooting board plan DIY.

Now, there are four parts to every shooting board that you have to be aware of:

  • The base
  • Upper base
  • Fence
  • Reference

 Side note: you have to draw the plans based on the project size you will be making.

Measure the four parts of the project according to the descriptions below:

The base (square or rectangle)

The base of the shooting board should be big enough to cover all of the wood pieces you will put on it, meaning that the shape of the floor isn’t essential, but you better make it square or rectangle.

The upper base (square or rectangle)

The upper base will stay on the first base, and it is a helper just in case you need to raise the level of the wood on the floor.

This piece will be smaller than the existing base.

Fence (rectangle)

The fence will stay right beside the base, and it should at least have a height as much as your project and even more.

Reference (rectangle)

As the name suggests, this is where you have to use the markings on the reference and the wood to ensure that the wood is in the conditions you desire.

You have to draw all of these pieces on the paper and then use a ruler to make sure that your dimensions are correct, and keep in mind that you have to measure everything in real life; however, when it comes on the paper, you can use measurement or just initials of the actual sizes.

Following the information cited in this article, you can draw your shooting board plan on paper.

Now let’s get to the end, shall we?



This article talked about the importance of even wood pieces in some projects and the tools you can use to get the best smoothing.

The advantages of plan making, such as shooting board plans, are that you can keep them and use them whenever needed, and you don’t have to look them up every time.

In the end, we are very grateful that you stayed with us until the end of the article, and we hope that by reading this statement, you will be able to draw your own wooden shooting board plans.

If you have additional items and plan drawing skills to add to the “How to make a shooting board plan?” article, you can use the comment section or the contact page.

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