How to Use a Feather Board with Woodworking Tools
A featherboard refers to an accessory used in woodworking. It is usually paired up with stationary power cutting tools, such as radial-arm saw, table saw, as well as a router table. It comes in the form of a flat wooden or plastic piece which comes with a series of some flexible and narrow fingers cut, and formed in one side. When the flexible fingers are clamped on the table of the stationary tool, it may be positioned to hold the piece tightly against the fence while completing rip cuts, thus making sure of a smooth cut while the workpiece goes against the blade.
This tutorial will teach you how to use a feather board with woodworking tools. In this particular tutorial, we will be using a featherboard with a rip fence, which is a usual scenario when cutting stock. Be reminded, however, that you still have to at least know the basic of woodworking in order to prevent dangers that are usually associated with using woodworking tools.
- Recommended: Homemade models
- Rip fence
Step 1: Choose the right featherboard
You can see a lot of commercial featherboards currently available these days. They are generally found on supply stores, as well as other online retailers. However, some woodworkers opt to make their personal featherboards.
If this is what you are aiming to do, you can cut a series of kerfs on one side of a flat board which cut at a specific angle on one end. You may also want to make several different sizes of featherboards to accommodate any need that may arise.
Step 2: Clamp the featherboard against the stock
At the end of the featherboard, you will notice that the cut fingers are cut at a 30 degrees angle. This will allow you to easily clamp the board against your stock, which is placed against the ripping fence, pushing the stock forward.
Still, if you will try to pull the stock backwards, which is a common scenario if a piece of wood stock binds in between the fence and the blade, it is further gripped by the angled fibers, thus preventing the wood piece from possibly moving backward.
Step 3: Extra tips
Since we already know that a featherboard is a very important accessory for safety, we also have to consider the potential harm that it can cause. For example, if you are feeding a workpiece through a saw while ripping cuts, and it kicks back suddenly, it may injure you seriously.
As a tip, you may want to use a second featherboard, clamping it against the fence in order to hold the stock right down to the table, especially when running the stock through the router table.
Indeed, a featherboard is a very important tool that should be added to your woodworker’s arsenal. It is a very effective safety accessory which can be used with other wood working tools, making sure that you can complete your woodworking project fast and easy, without harming you. However, just to avoid potential dangers, it is also highly recommended to be careful while passing the woodpiece under the blade.
Do you have other suggestions in mind? Professional woodworkers usually have other tips that they can call their own. If you have some for yourselves, why not share them in the comment section below, and let other woodworkers of various backgrounds benefit from it? Do not hesitate to share this article if you liked it too!