How to Use a Featherboard With a Table Saw?
Table saws come in different kinds; from large, stationary workhorses to smaller, portable jobs. But they all have one thing in common: they need to be held perfectly steady or the wood will be ripped and torn into shambles. This is where a feather board comes in handy.
A feather board is an important accessory that helps you get the most out of your table saw by making it easier to rip longboards without any tear-out on the edges. It’s actually just a specially crafted block of wood that has thin pieces of sheet metal screwed into its surface at regular intervals.
A feather board is so named because it is used in conjunction with a rip fence on a table saw. Featherboards function to stabilize the wood as it’s being fed through the blade, preventing the wood from moving from side to side.
How to Use a Featherboard With a Table Saw
- When making rip cuts using your table saw, place the feather board firmly against the fence with its thin “fingers” facing down.
- Place one of your workpieces directly onto the fingers and then slide another piece of scrap wood in front of it; this way you’ll better control your workpiece as you feed it through the blade, and you can also use your hands to adjust its position.
- As you saw, maintain contact with the board and make sure it doesn’t have any tendency to move downward. If it does, adjust your saw height until it stops moving.
- When you’re done, tilt the board flat against the fence with its fingers facing up to remove your workpiece.
- Then slide the feather board off your fence and replace it so that the teeth touch its fingers; this will hold your workpiece securely in place as you continue cutting.
If you’re not using a feather board to cut longboards, then you will need to use a different method.
For most workpieces, such as plywood, you should use the miter gauge method.
You hold your workpiece with one hand and use another hand to hold the miter gauge across the top crosscut area; this gives more stability than using a feather board.
Sometimes people add an extra clamping device—such as a vise or clamp—to make their life easier when cutting longboards.
A feather board is a crucial aid in making precise cuts on your table saw. The best way to use one is to clamp it in place so that it doesn’t move around while you’re sawing, and then feed the workpiece through the blade.
Here are some tips on how to do this:
- To clamp the feather board down, first, slide the thin metal pieces into your table saw’s rip fence and secure them with a couple of screws or a bolt.
- Now place your feather board against the fence with its fingers facing up, then lean one end of the board against some scrap wood or another surface.
- Screw or bolt down the other end of the feather board, then slides both fingers onto your workpiece.
- Feed your workpiece toward the blade using your hands to hold it down. When you get to the end of the board, tilt it up against the fence with its fingers facing down and then remove your workpiece.
If you have a mobile table saw, you can attach a dovetail bit to your table saw’s miter gauge instead of using a fence and feather board setup. The dovetail bit will make rip cuts more consistent because it maintains a constant angle as you cut longboards. If you’re only working on small pieces of wood, however, then you may find that using a feather board is more efficient than adding an additional bit to your miter gauge.
This is just one simple example of how to use a feather board. It’s a versatile accessory that can be used in many different table saw setups to help you get the most out of your woodworking projects.
How to Use a Featherboard With a Table Saw
Dweller Power’s Table Saw Featherboard Buying Guide
If you are planning on trying out this excellent tool, you will no doubt want to know what is the most suitable for your needs.
So, here are a few things to consider when buying one:
Table Saw Featherboard Size
The size of the feather board you need will depend on the size and length of boards that fit comfortably in your table saw’s table area. How long your feather board arms are will also depend on this.
Table Saw Featherboard Material
The material of your feather board should depend on the size of board you’re cutting and how much weight it will have to support.
Table Saw Featherboard Metal Composition
The metal used for the fingers can be either aluminum or steel; both work well to prevent tear-out.
Table Saw Featherboard Model
You may opt for a high-end model with more flexible arms if you are using a larger table or table saw. These also come with integrated stops that make it easier to maintain constant pressure on your workpiece.
Table Saw Featherboard – Others
There are many others things that can be considered when buying your feather board, such as having detachable arms and being able to use them in both a left-handed and right-handed configuration.
Your feather board should be easy to use, lightweight, and sturdy. With all this in mind, you won’t have any trouble finding the right one for your needs.
How to Make a Feather Board for a Table Saw
You want this to be sturdy! The block should be at least shorter than the width of your workpiece so that when it rests on it in front of your saw, a portion of it is resting on the blade.
- Best Contractor Table Saw
- Vise Grip Pliers
- Screws, Bolts, and other Fasteners
- Wood relative to your table saw size (At least 2″ – 3″ thick)
Duration: 30-45 Minutes
Budget: $50-$100 (USD)
- The blade needs to be turned off (so you don’t cut yourself). That’s so when you cut against the fence it doesn’t bounce back and hit you in the face. Make sure all the parts are clamped together so that nothing moves and make sure there are screws or bolts holding everything together.
- Now that your wooden block is ready, try to set up a flat table saw surface with a straight edge against it. This will be where your block sits and should be as straight as possible. If necessary, adjust your table height until the bottom of the block is even with the edge of your tabletop saw surface.
- Now, screw the block to the top or front of your table. Either way works fine.
- The block should be resting against a piece of wood that’s screwed onto your fence to give you a flat surface on which to build your feather board from.
- As you screw the block up, make sure you are pushing it down in a straight line across your table saw and not forcing it into an angle. If this happens, you will have more tear-out than if you keep things straighter.
Great! Now you have made your very one feather board for your table saw!
How to Make a Feather Board for a Table Saw Video
How to Use a Featherboard with a table saw Final Thoughts
This ends our How To Guide of How to Use a Featherboard With a Table Saw.
Now that you’ve learned how to use a featherboard for added protection and a faster cutting process, we believe it’s also beneficial if you learn more safety methods such as learning how to wire a table saw switch or learning the other DIY table saw accessories.
Learning all of these and having them will ensure your woodworking is kept best!
We hope the knowledge you gained here will help you in the future with your DIY or Professional Woodworking projects. We want you to be sure of that what you get from us are 100% facts, so please don’t hesitate to ask for advice or to advise us in return with accurate facts.
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