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A featherboard is a woodworking accessory that can hold workpieces firmly against a tool’s surface, typically a table saw or a router table. These hand tools are essential for ensuring safety and accuracy in tasks such as ripping, crosscutting, or routing wood. 

Basically, they consist of a flat, thin board with a series of flexible “fingers” or “feathers” that protrude from one edge. These fingers are designed to press against the workpiece, preventing it from moving during the cutting process.

Using a Featherboard 

Here is how featherboards work and how to use it:

  • Mounting: Users can attach the tool to a machine’s fence or table using clamps or other mounting methods. The feathers are then positioned to apply pressure against the workpiece, directing it towards the cutting area.
  • Pressure Application: As you feed the workpiece through the machine, the featherboard’s flexible fingers also apply pressure against the workpiece. This helps prevent the workpiece from lifting off the table or fence, reducing the risk of kickback.
  • Consistent Cuts: Featherboards maintain constant pressure to keep the workpiece in contact with the machine’s surface, resulting in smoother and more accurate cuts.
  • Safety: One of the main uses of a featherboard in woodworking is to add safety by reducing kickback. A kickback occurs when a workpiece is lifted off the table or fence and thrown back toward the equipment’s operator. 

Types of Featherboards

Here are various featherboard designs:

  • Single Featherboards: This is the most basic type. It consists of a single row of fingers and fits with stationary tools such as table saws and router tables.
  • Double Featherboards: Double featherboards feature two parallel rows of fingers, allowing for more even pressure distribution across the workpiece. This tool can serve wider boards where added stability is a requirement.
  • Miter Gauge Featherboard: This type is attachable to the miter gauge on a table saw or other tools. They aid in holding a workpiece against the miter gauge’s fence for safe and accurate angled cuts.
  • Tall or Long Featherboard: These featherboards have longer fingers that provide more downward pressure on taller or larger wood boards.
  • Adjustable: Adjustable featherboards offer flexibility by allowing users to adjust the position of the fingers depending on wood size.
  • Dual-Action: Dual-action featherboards have a mechanism that allows for both downward and inward pressure. This is essential for minimizing the risk of kickback by keeping the workpiece tight against both the fence and the table.
  • Fingered: This version has individual flexible fingers in place of solid feathers, allowing users to position the fingers to apply pressure on a specific point. Fingered featherboards work best with irregularly shaped workpieces.
  • Magnetic: This variant secures itself to a machine’s table or fence using magnets. This is vital when a clamp or screw attachment isn’t practical.
  • T-Slot Featherboards: These featherboards can fit into T-Slots on the table or fence of certain woodworking machines, providing a secure hold for the workpiece.
  • Featherboard with Taller Fingers: This type has taller fingers that extend beyond the workpiece’s surface, which is essential for holding thin or narrow stocks.
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John Friedenbach

My initial goal, to provide a selection of tools, education and plans to the Beginning to Advance Woodworker has not changed. I continue to search the web to find new products and services. To bring those products and services to your attention.

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