Jointing bench or shooting bench as English translation of skottbenk?

This is a typical situation with a "skottbenk" used with at "skottokse" (the handplane) for shooting the edgde of a long board. Photo: Roald Renmælmo
This is a typical situation with a «skottbenk» used with at «skottokse» (the handplane) for shooting the edgde of a long board. Theese workbenches have been very common in Norway. There is also a system of special handplanes that are used with theese benches. To the left in the picture you can see a long bench that are used when you work the flat side of the boards. Photo: Roald Renmælmo

As a blogger I want to know my readers and get some feedback from them. Our readers have mostly been norwegian, swedish and danish as they understand the Norwegian language. The last few days there have been an encreasing number of readers from USA, Belgium, Canada, UK, Portugal and Germany. This might be coused by a post on the blog, A Woodworker`s Musings that led the readers to both this blog and a related blog, Høvelbenk. There was also some traffic from a internet forum for workbench questions. For us it is very interesting to know if there are similar workbenches as the «Skottbenk» in other countries. Please comment on this post if you have any information.

The Norwegian word «skottbenk» could translate to shooting bench as it works a similar way as a shooting board or a sticking board. It is used for jointing and squaring boards and planks, usually long boards. There are some patents of such benches at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, some of them are presented in an earlier post. One of theese benches are called a Joiners bench «with improvement for Jointing and Squaring boards and lumber».  We could also translate «skottbenk» to «jointing bench». There are also other terms in Norwegian to describe theese benches. The word «rettbenk» could translate to «straight bench». The word «strykebenk» are both used to describe a «skottbenk» but are also the name for the coopers long jointing plane.

The «skottbenk» are used to hold the board when you work the edge with some special handplanes with depth stops (named «meie» that means skid) on both sides. The top of the long straight bords on the «skottbenk» works as guides for theese depth stops. There are planes just for jointing and are named «skottokse», and there are plows for flooring or panels. I have seen this system of work in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The patented bences from USA indicate that something similar are known there to? There is also a drawing made by Leonardo da Vinci that shows a similar workbench. The last one is so complicated that it has been called a «planing machine», but it works a similar way as a «skottbenk».  If you know something about similar benches in other countries, please comment on this post.

Forfattar: Roald Renmælmo

Snikkar med fokus på handverkstradisjon og handverktøy. Universitetslektor og PhD stipendiat på NTNU i Trondheim. Eg underviser på tradisjonelt bygghandverk og teknisk bygningsvern og restaurering.

13 tankar på “Jointing bench or shooting bench as English translation of skottbenk?”

  1. The tools in your part of the world are so different from the USA so I find your blog very interesting. I have seen pictures of the shooting bench on-line but could not understand what they were used for due to language barriers. The bench with the special plane is brilliant! Thanks for translating!


    1. Thank you for your comment. The tools and skottbenk (shooting bench) are very good for some kinds of work. I belive there is more like this around the world. When woodworkers starts to search there will be more.


    2. Hi I am from UK and was directed to your site by Joshua Farnsworth
      Timber used in your edge planning bench would just not be readily available in the UK
      The method of using a wooden plane with side depth stops is a good idea but how is the work piece held. I can’t see any clamping device?

      Altogether very interesting …..thank you


      1. Hi
        I do not know what kind of timber you can find in UK? Here in Norway I get my timber at local sawmills and season the timber myself. I could also buy construction grade timber and make this bench from that. 2″ by 4″ would be ok to glue together for the larger pieces. For some pieces a 2″ by 6″ would do. For the long boards it is important to find some nice 2″ by 8″ that are not twisted. You could compensate for some twisting by splitting the boards and glue them together. That could also make them more stable. The edge that are up should not have knots that make problems when you are shooting the top straight.

        One of the two long boards are movable and can be used as a long clamp with help of some wedges. In another post there is a video of how this works.

        I have also a post that show how the long boards are set up and adjusted:


    1. Hi Gary, I am glad you find this interesting and want to reblogg from my blog.

      I am sorry to say that theese planes are not easy to find. The standard plane, the skottokse, could easily be made from an old plane that you mount some wood strips on. You could use a fore plane for this, you would not get the special handles for two men unless you modify the plane a lot.

      I have made a instruction of how to make your own plane for tongue and grooves in a series of posts on the blog:

      This is in Norwegian but you might have some luck using google translate (use google crome browser). We do have some workshops in planemaking here in Norway from time to time. It is ok to start to make an okshøvel, the standard two man plane as the first you make.

      I would like to se that some of the planemakers in Norway would like to make theese kind of planes for sale. It is a bit early for that now but it might be later?

      Kind regards Roald


    2. I almost had an urge to make a plan for the planes in 3D, but figured out that would require a huge effort and I would probably need to have one in my hands so I could get the full measure of the skottokse and make it properly. Not really able to be that precise from drawings or pictures/diagrams.


  2. English Canada : it is quite evident that if the foundation (side tracks) are true/straight that arranging the work peice correctly the edge will result in true also! However it may be a matter of traditional methods in this particular shop where this bench could be an asset. But in my garage/ shop there is room for only one bench and it’s treditionally a English style with leg and end vice.


  3. This is brilliant! I have never seen this before. I saw the other two blog posts on how you use it and set it up. Now off to see the blog on the planes. Thank you so much for this.

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