feather board design - Router Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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Default feather board design

I'm trying to find a good design of a feather board for my router table and table saw.
I'm trying to compare between manufactured pieces and custom made pieces.
This design looks pretty good. What do you guys think.
This guy has a whole tutorial on how to make one.

Any input will be appreciated. I have spent the beginnings of my new woodworking hobby obtaining a used router table, PC router, drill press and band saw and all my projects have been jigs for ease of use and safety. The feather boards is my project for the next few days.
I also want to make some vertical feather boards for the router fence.
My questions are...

1. Type of wood? I'm thinking maple.
2. Should the fingers be short to long like the pic or all the same length?
3. Should the slot be centered on the lumber or towards the back like the pic?
4. Thickness of lumber?

I also like this design and was thinking of making it, but since I've never used it, I'm not sure if its functional.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 02:02 AM
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Hi Kyriakos,

What type of wood? You want something that has flexibility to it so it is less likely to break. You do not want any wood that is brittle or soft. You can use plastics however you want the plastic to have some elasticity to it. You don't want plastic that will break when subjected to the force of pushing the workpiece to where it should be. You can use spring steel however you need to watch and make sure you won't be getting it into any blades.

Should the fingers be short to long or the same length? They can be short to long or the same length. The feather board should be installed so the fingers are on an angle weather they are short to long or equal in length. The feather board will not only push the work piece against the fence it will also act as a anti kickback device to a certain degree.

Should the slot be centered? It might make a small difference depending on how the feather board is mounted but it is important that is tied down well. The larger the feather board the farther to the back the mounting point can be because of the location of the miter slot.

Thickness of lumber? That depends on the job at hand. You would not want to use a 2" thick feather board if your work piece is 1/4" thick. The bigger the work piece the bigger the feather board you should use.

The orange feather board you picture is a good feather board. If you notice it has fingers of equal length and they are set on an angle.

This is just MHO.

Hope this helps,

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 03:38 AM
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Feather-Boarding is a part of the craft that I have been exploring for about a month. Several months ago I bought one of the these Kreg feather board units at the local Lowe's for 20 bucks.

15 minutes after getting it home I had a deeper understanding of how 'non standard' miter slots can be on cheap power tools. I didn't 'cook up' a work around until I felt the urge to rip down 2x4 boards into 1x4 boards, a job that 'yells out' for a feather board.

I searched around the net for FB plans, one of which gave me an idea on how to put the Kreg board I had into service without my miter slot. Bolt the Kreg to a board, clamp the board to the table top, make sawdust!.

In this case i did cut some 1/4" wide slots into the board, about four inches long. The idea was to pick up another axis of adjustment with the Kreg so that I would not have to move the 'board' as often. In some cases, jacking it up off the surface 3/4" with my mounting board wouldn't help. When cutting thick work stock though it does, because it brings the fingers closer to the center of the board being cut.

As sloppy as it is, it helps the cuts a great deal. The Kreg is only about 3/4" thick, so it isn't nearly thick enough to feather a 3.5" edge.

Some time after that experiment, I stumbled into this neat product from Milescraft. It is like two of the Kreg units that can be stacked or used separately. I am probably going to order one of those kits from Amazon for 25.00, in addition to making up some more of my own that are tailored to specific cut types or machines.

Milescraft 1407 D/TFeatherBoard Dual or Tandem FeatherBoards for Router Tables and Table or Band Saws

With 3 router tables, two table saws (I bought another one that can use the Kreg!) and a RAS that I do some rips on (when the TS isn't set up, its easier to do a few RIPS on the RAS) I find myself feather board hungry. I'm going to try using some hickory that I have as a material and see how it does.

This page was a goldmine for feather board design ideas & plans

Workshop Featherboards at WoodworkersWorkshop.com
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 01:06 PM
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I have both Rockler and Milescraft featherboards in single and double configurations. I like the Rocklers because the t-bolt slots are parallel, making it easy to adjust, especially when making successive cuts on the same workpiece. The slots on the Milescraft featherboards are not parallel, making them more difficult to adjust. The only reason I can think of for this non-parallel arrangement is that it might tend to lock the featherboard in place beter. I've never had a featherboard slip, so this feature is more of a hinderance to me.

If I was going to make my own featherboard, I'd make the slots parallel. I've thought about making some a few times but the Rocklers go on sale often and I just pick up another one or 2 when they do. I think the plastic ones are much more flexible than wooden ones would be (are), so I've never followed thru to make one.

I've read about people using maple and oak for wooden featherboards. I think walnut would also be good but it's more expensive (unless you have scraps from a project). In general, any straight grained hardwoods would work. You don't really need to put a lot of pressure on the work.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your comments and links. Its appreciated. I did some more surfing last night and found a design that would be simple to do on a band saw. RJM60, I think this is also your first option. I have some oak that would be perfect for this design. Going to start by making two identical ones with a spacer and a few small ones.

I also picked up four sets of these from rockler for $3.69 so I wont need to make the runners. Its a great price.



Thanks again.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 01:58 PM
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Attached is a simple design from who-knows-where. Since you have a tablesaw, the following jig will help: featherboard indexing jig

As for material, you could make a couple of featherboards from those plastic cutting boards you find at Walmart or the dollar stores.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thx Paolo...

So im gonna try this design and getting a cutting board is a great idea.

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