Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ask and You Shall Receive...20 minute/$10 sticking board

If you've seen me at a show you've probably seen my 4 foot sticking board. It used to be 7. I spilled a cup of coffee on it a while back. The board swelled and got chopped in half.

The longest moldings I have recently stuck (sticked? planed? profiled?) have been 16" ogees and ovolos at these various shows. I just haven't done much that has demanded a longer board until recently.

What's a sticking board and what are the advantages? Take a look at me last night and tell me if you notice a problem.

You can see the piece moving while I'm working. It's obvious if you look at the end near the camera. It bows throughout. Like everything else you can work around it (just like I do every day on Big Pink) but sometimes the planes will clog because it skips across the surface. Sometimes you do a belly flop on the bench as the molding comes unleashed and crashes against the back wall.

There are several methods for holding work steady. I like a sticking board.

I was asked by a reader for a brief tutorial in what one is and how I make mine.

I make mine out of melamine.

I cut a few 2" strips and screw them together

Joint an edge and then screw it to a 5" wide board 

I countersink a few screws into both ends because there are times that I work briefly in the other direction.

You now have a sturdy backboard that can be clamped to a surface in only a few areas without having to worry about piece flexing in between. Tomorrow I will add a much lower backboard to the other side that I will use when working thinner pieces or when I want to tip the plane and the fence gets in the way. The fence not being used will hang over the edge of my bench.

That's it. The beauty of this option is you won't care if something gets spilled on it.

Next week I will give a lesson on a crosscut sled made out of mis-chopped mortises

Finally, I've been working on an interactive invention that allows you to gauge the the sharpness/dullness of any edge in any steel. Tell me what you think.



  1. Matt,

    Your blog is inspirational. You take something that appears to be quite complex and break it down into a few separate easy and do-able processes.

    Love it.

    And long live Bozo the Clown.

  2. Matt

    Great blog, very useful - but you'll find that what you have there is generally called a sticking board.
    A shooting board is another very useful bench accessory, for planing end grain (or sometimes side grain) straight and square, using a bench plane on its side.


  3. Andy,
    Of course you're right. Typos like that happen around midnight. I made the corrections.