In the previous Blog entry I mentioned the dreaded affliction which, for me, seems to affect all shooting boards and that’s ‘tippage’; a seemingly incurable disease where the sole of the plane tips slightly to the left and starts to chew away important bits that it ought not to chew away.

Admittedly, it’s not a big deal, but enough to upset the karma of the workshop. Although the cause of the disease is unknown, there are several simple remedies as a cure.

Remedy No.1 - Keep the sole flat
Firstly, the user can grit the teeth, furrow the brow and make a superhero, Hulk-like effort to keep the sole flat on the runway, which works some of the time, but not all the time as there are slippages which cause tippages!

Remedy No.2 - The top board cure
The mouth on 99% of all bench planes doesn’t reach right to the edge, as shown on the pic of my LN 51. There’s around 6mm (arrowed) of metal to the edge of the sole. Top board 'tippage' occurs using the 15mm or so of the cutter directly above the point of the arrow. My reasoning was to keep the cutter completely clear of the top board edge and it’s easy to do if a narrow insert, say 4mm wide and 4mm high is routed into the runway.


If you look at the picture again of the LN 51, you can clearly see where the insert on my shooting board has been rubbing on the metal.


In normal use with the sole flat on the runway, a small slither of the top board edge does get planed away until that 6mm of metal bears; this remedy stops that wear on the edge.

Remedy No. 3 - The stop cure
This is the more important ‘fix’ and is also relatively simple. A small section of long grain material is jointed onto a conventional stop, either by dowelling, domino or biscuit.


This means that as the end of the stop gradually becomes planed away at the ‘tippage angle’, a new slither is glued onto it, long grain to long grain and is trimmed away once the glue has set.


It’s then replaced into the shooting board and the exposed new end is planed back leaving it completely square. Or until the next time it needs a little more attention.

To date, I’ve looked at two ‘tippage’ cures and in the next Blog the Resourceful Woodworker will be examining how to make the stop on The Better Mousetrap adjustable and dead accurate, 100% of the time.

As always, comments gratefully received.