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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A while back I tried making some homemade featherboards for my router table and they just didn't work really good. I think my angle was off or my "teeth" size was to big so it didn't really flex. I made them out of pine if that makes a difference. I would like to try and make some more because I have lots of scrap laying around to play with. Any advice or plans on ones you guys have made? What wood? What was the angle on the front? What thickness of "teeth" and the spacing between the teeth?
 

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You are better off to use hardwood with fairly straight grain. Lay a board on the machine you want to use the feather board on. You may want something roughly 20" long, 8" wide for a table saw top. Position it so you can get two clamps on it. Don't use QuikGrip clamps that might vibrate loose.

A feather board should be positioned before the blade or cutter, not so it will push against either. To get the angle, draw a line parallel with the fence. Cut this angle first. Draw a parallel angle back 6-8" from your cut, this is how long to make the teeth. I like my teeth about 1/8" wide with a saw kerf, about 1/8" between. This makes for flexible teeth that will deal with slight variations in the width of your work pieces. They also grab well and won't allow the work to back up but they don't push so hard it will cause your fence to move. Use the same basic procedure for fence mounted feather boards. You should be able to strum the teeth with your fingers easily, you don't want them too short or stiff.

When cutting the teeth, start on the far side. I use the table saw. This will maintain solid wood between the fence and blade through all the cuts. I hesitate to say this, but I cut up to that second parallel line and back out, move the fence in and repeat. You have to concentrate on keeping the feather board tight to the fence as you back out. Anytime you use a fence, you have to keep the work tight to it and watch the fence, not the blade. Backing out shouldn't be a problem for an experienced saw operator on such a small length. You can always shut the saw off and wait if backing up makes you nervous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the tips. I used my table saw to cut the last ones. I will try and make some out of hardwood, either oak or poplar. The last ones I made were really "stiff". So when I put them tight enough against the piece I was working on so it wouldn't have play, it would create to much drag and I had a hard time running the pieces threw the router table. I'm thinking this had something to do with my teeth size or the spacing or the angle. They just didn't work like featherboards should, either to tight or to lose when I was adjusting them. Almost like using a solid piece of wood for a featherboard! I think my teeth were to wide which didn't let them "bend".

Thanks for the ideas and I will try and make another set out of some hardwood and see how those work.:thumbsup:
 

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Hardwood is preferable, you can cut them on a bandsaw or table saw, a disposable sled that runs in the miter slot is easier for backing it out on the bandsaw, best to stop the table saw blade then back it out. Around 30 degrees is a good angle for the end, with the smaller bandsaw kerf the fingers should be narrower than if done on a table saw, make finger slightly wider than kerf on table saw, twice as wide on bandsaw. Make fingers about 3" long.

Once you have the tension figured out, push the board up to the first finger, mark that finger and cut it off to act as a gauge for setting it in the future.
 
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