Making a Featherboard For The Table Saw Homemade Machines & Jigs
Occasionally, a feather board is needed to hold stock tightly to the fence when making a cut. I had a situation in my table saw sled build where I was cutting a V-groove in the edge of a piece of 1/4″ plywood and to keep it tight to the fence during the cut, I made a simple wooden featherboard.
To start, I cut a piece of maple that is a snug fit in the miter slot on my saw:
The next step is to drill a countersink in the underside of the strip:
Then a 1/4″ hole is drilled through.
‘The countersink and hole are the right size for a flat-head 1/4″ bolt.
Next, a slit needs to be cut through the strip, centred on the hole. I used my push stick and a clamp to hold it down while I made a plunge cut up through it on the table saw:
The saw has a thin kerf blade, and the cut extends roughly 2″ on either side of the hole.
The way this works is when you tighten the bolt up with a knob, it wedges the strip open, jamming it into the miter slot:
The feather board is cut from a piece of maple with the end cut to 30 degrees. The size of the featherboard is arbitrary, the exact size is not critical. For mine, I just used a scrap I found on my wood rack.
I cut the fingers evenly spaced on the table saw:
You can also use a band saw or even a hand saw to do this. The fingers need to be thin enough to flex, but not thin enough to break easily.
A 1/4″ slot is needed, and I’ve cut that in several passes on my router table:
The finished project.
Ready to use, and it can also be flipped around and flat end used as a thin rip guide.
If your router table has a miter slot, it can also be used there.