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Tips for Mastering Featherboards Bennington VT

This wraparound featherboard produces chatter-free moldings, because it provides continuous pressure ahead of and behind the cutter. Cut a 2-in. arc in the end of the blank before you cut the feathers.

The Home Depot
(802)447-9997
121 N Bennington Rd
Bennington, VT
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-9:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-7:00pm

H. Greenberg & Son Inc.
(802) 442-3131
321 Main Street
Bennington, VT
 
W W Building Supply
(802) 464-3022
Route 100
Wilmington, VT
 
H. Greenberg & Son Inc
(413) 664-4576
1366 Curran Highway
North Adams, MA
 
Miles True Value Lbr.
(802) 375-2525
178 Chittenden Dr
Arlington, VT
 
H. Greenberg and Son
802-442-3131
321 Main St. Bennington, VT, 05201
Bennington, VT
 
Hoosick True Value Hardware
(518) 686-7238
21953 Ny 22
Hoosick Falls, NY
 
Deerfield Valley Supply
(802) 464-3364
211 Route 9 W
Wilmington, VT
 
Carr Hardware True Value
(413) 663-6600
192 State Street
North Adams, MA
 
Stanleys Lumber & Building Supplies
(413) 743-0831
20 N Summer St
Adams, MA
 

Tips for Mastering Featherboards

Tips for Mastering Featherboards

The featherboard  gets its name from the rows of flexible “fingers” that act like a bird's feather and give way in one direction only. They help ensure safety and accuracy, because they keep consistent pressure on stock where it's needed most, close to the cut. They're indispensable for eliminating bumps on a molded edge or uneven bottoms in rabbets and dadoes. Shop-made featherboards are often superior to commercial ones, because they can be custom fit to your machines and they cost next to nothing. All the featherboards in this article were made from the type of scrap lumber and plywood that can be found in any shop.

Featherboards Made Easy
The safest way to make featherboards is on the bandsaw using a simple sled with a miter slot runner. Cut a 30-degree angle on one end of the featherboard blank first. Mark a parallel line about 2-1/2 in. from the angled end. Set the blank on the sled and make the first cut from the end to the line. Then, slide the featherboard over to the next mark to make the second cut and continue across the board's width. A feather length of about 2-1/2 in. with cuts made every 1/8 in. provides the right balance between flexibility (for firm pressure without being too stiff) and strength (so the feathers won't snap off) for most hardwoods or multi-ply birch. Increase the feather spacing to 3/16-in. when you are using softer woods, such as pine or basswood, or regular hardwood plywood. You can always fine-tune the length and spacing to suit your own needs.



Perfect Pressure Every Time
Positioning a featherboard can be a pain. Too close to the fence or table and the squeeze is so tight you can barely feed the stock. Too loose and you've lost effectiveness. Try taking about 1/8 in. off the first feather. Set that end against the stock you plan to machine and clamp the featherboard parallel to the table's fence. The pressure should automatically be just right.



Tall Support for Tall Stock
A tall featherboard can apply pressure against the entire height of the fence. It's especially useful for holding tall, narrow stock—for instance, a door panel—against a fence. Just glue some scraps to create a block that is as tall as your fence is. Then, cut the feathers on your bandsaw sled.



Bit-Bridging Featherboard
This wraparound featherboard produces chatter-free moldings, because it provides continuous pressure ahead of and behind the cutter. Cut a 2-in. arc in the end of the blank before you cut the feathers.
 


Guaranteed Square EdgesJointing an absolutely square edge on a wide board can be tricky for someone new to the jointer. The least little tip away from the fence and you'll have to start over. This paddle-style featherboard can bridge your jointer's guard while keeping your stock pushed firmly against the fence. The paddle featherboard is easy to make  and is jus...

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