A featherboard is a Woodworking tool that comes in handy while cutting thin stock on a table saw / router table. In fact, it is so useful that I recommend every Woodworker to keep a set of them.
Featherboards keep the stock steady during the cutting process. It proves to be a valuable tool when working on things such as cutting a bead on a router table (read reviews at routertablereviews.net/). A single slip of the stock from the fence could lead to failed projects; therefore featherboards must be used to guarantee consistent, clean cuts.
In this tutorial, you will learn to build featherboards.
Here are the things and tools that you will need:-
- a table saw
- miter saw or circular saw
- layout square
- A thickness planer
- 1×6 12-18 inches long
Step 1: Cut a proper size block from the stock
Cut a clean stock of dimensions 12” x 5” from a stock of 3/4-inches. These dimensions can be changed as per your needs. You can vary the length in the range of 12” to 18” and width in the range of 5” to 6”.
If the distance between the clamping point of your saw and the cutting head is more than 12-inches, change the length of the stock cut to make the featherboard longer.
Step 2: At one end of the stock, make a 30-degree cut
Use a mitre saw to make a 30-degree crosscut on one edge of the board. This portion will remain against the stock as it passes through the power tool.
Step 3: Make a stop line of 30 degrees
With a bevel set to 30 degrees, mark a line three inches from the cut that you made in previous step. This line should be parallel to the mitered cut and will serve the end point of fingers of the featherboard that we will cut in the next step.
Step 4: Cut out fingers from stock
Adjust the fence reading of the table saw to 1/4-inches from the blade.
Place the longer side of the board flat on the surface of the table and against the fence. Now let the board be cut by the saw till it reaches the end point, marked by line in the previous step.
Remove the board carefully and clean saw’s blade, preparing it for next cut.
Turn off motor of the saw, move the fence additional 3/8” away from the blade and do another cut. This new cut should be parallel to the previous.
Repeat the procedure again and make another cut 3/8” away from the blade.
Keep repeating till the board is entirely cut to finger of about 1/4 inches in width.
Step 5: Use the featherboard
With motor of the saw off, place the stock on the table, snug against the fence. Put the feather with fingers against the stock, position between the blade and yourself. This is to ensure that a kickback is avoided.
With feather positioned correctly, clamp it properly to hold the stock down on the table. Carefully move the stock against the blade for an excellent cut. Whenever in doubt, you a push stick.