Simple tip for precise glue-ups
A shooting board or cross-cut sled with an out-of-square fence is worse than useless. They can create havoc by guaranteeing errors in your work that will lead to headaches and frustration during assembly.
So when it came time to make a new shooting board, I knew it was critical to attach the fence dead square to its edge. Matt Kenney highlighted a great way to make an adjustable fence in FWW #214 which solves this problem, but I was looking for a quicker solution.) I wanted to glue the fence on, but I needed some way to keep it from sliding around during the process yet still alow me to fine-tune the alignment. I employed a technique that also works well for making crosscut sleds and T-squares for routing dadoes. Here’s how it works.
|More on Handplanes and Shooting Boards
• Weekend Project: Build a Shooting Board
• The Humble Shooting Board
• Fast and Accurate with a Shooting Board and Plane
Start by pre-drilling a hole near one end of the fence. Then apply glue to the bottom and screw in place.
With one end secured, use a square to align the fence. This pivot point makes it much easier to position the fence exactly where you want it.
Clamp the fence in place checking to make sure it isn't pulled out of alignment during the process. Without the screw in one end this task is nearly impossible. (By the way, I clamped the entire assembly to the workbench. You'll see why in the next step.)
While the glue is still wet, give the fence a real-world test. The clamp holds the shooting board securely enough to joint the end of a pine board.
Check your efforts and adjust the fence as necessary. A few taps with a hammer is typically all it takes to nail it (pun intended).