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Forum topic by Grant Walker posted 08-23-2008 11:23 PM 8014 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Grant Walker

3 posts in 3810 days

08-23-2008 11:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tools featherboard safety

What is a featherboard and how is it used? It is necessary?

Thanks in advance for tolerating my ignorance. :)


10 replies so far

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4316 days

#1 posted 08-23-2008 11:56 PM

It is used to keep a piece of wood against a fence when cutting or routing. Here is a link to Rockler where it shows one on a TS. –

The fingers of the featherboard keep tension on the board against the fence.

-- BLOG -

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

542 posts in 4129 days

#2 posted 08-24-2008 12:05 AM

A piece of wood or plastic that has slots either cut (or in the case of plastic—molded) into it. It resembles the barbs of a feather.

If you take a feather and stroke your fingers from bottom to top, it’s easy, but going the other way is hard…
...sort of like petting a cat backwards. It doesn’t go too well. ;-D
If you were wondering…
Parts of a feather:
1. Vane
2. Rachis
3. Barb
4. Afterfeather
5. Hollow shaft, calamus (courtesy

Here are some pics of featherboards you can buy or make.


I don’t personally use them (YET!!) but times have passed when I wished I did. It keeps your fingers far away from the blade.

Notice the “Roller Featherboard” that doesn’t stop kickback, but DOES keep your fingers out of harm’s way.
He’s the man to ask about shop jigs and fixtures!!

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View Woodshopfreak's profile


389 posts in 3981 days

#3 posted 08-24-2008 01:25 AM

you use feather boards for holding stock to a tablesaw, or other tools like the jointed, bandsaw, router table, ect. They are very usefull and they are easy to make. They help give you a hand so that you don’t have as much to worry about and they are great for helping resist kickbacks. Hope this helps. Contact me if you have any more questions.

-- Tyler, Illinois

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 4054 days

#4 posted 08-24-2008 02:07 AM

i use my featherboard often. not only does it make ripping safer but it makes it more accurate too since the board is forced to stay agains the fence through the cut.

-- Scott - Chico California

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3962 days

#5 posted 08-24-2008 03:31 AM

The feather board can be used on any tool that has a fence or table where you do not want your fingers to get too close to the blade, bit, knives, etc. They also keep the same pressure applied to the wood throughout the entire pass: hand and finger pressure decrease the longer they pressure is applied, but the feather board does not get tired.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Al Navas's profile

Al Navas

305 posts in 4114 days

#6 posted 08-25-2008 02:30 PM


You can make your own featherboards very easily. I posted a short video (8 min. 31 sec.) on making Gord Graff’s design. You will find the post on my blog.

-- Al Navas, Country Club, MO,

View jvbanjo5's profile


3 posts in 3849 days

#7 posted 08-25-2008 07:30 PM


There are already several good replies to your question about featherboards, but I cannot resist offering another option. I work for a company that manufactures a magnetic featherboard that is etremely versitile and easy to use. It sets up in seconds and in my humble opinion is superior in many ways to most other featherboards. It is called the Grip-Tite Magnetic Feathernboard, and if you are interested you can see video of it being used at Whatever your choice, a good featherbord is probably the most useful safety tool available for your tablesaw and is essential for safely making many cuts on your tablesaw.

View Brent Powers's profile

Brent Powers

19 posts in 3825 days

#8 posted 09-03-2008 10:12 PM

JVBanjo, I (truly) appreciate the fact that you clearly said you work for the company that manufactures the Grip-Tites. So often, people promote their products without telling you that they’re indeed promoting their company. It feels like shilling, and it is refreshing to see your example.

View niki's profile


426 posts in 4319 days

#9 posted 09-04-2008 12:11 AM

I think that you have to consider “versatility”...

Those feather boards that are using the miter slot do not leave too much of space between the blade and the feather board and if you have to cut a wide board, I’m not sure that you’ll have enough space for locking the feather board.

The Magnetic ones looks much more versatile because they can be “clamped” even beyond the miter slot and by that, let you to cut larger boards (from the blade to the left).
The only problem for me would be….my table top is made of Aluminum….

On the link that Alanealane pointed (thank you Alenealane), I’m using a “quicky” one for short boards that I can reach with my right hand and push shoe while holding the “feather board” with my left hand.

But for the “wide and big guys”, I’m using the one on the picture below that releases my hand totally.
In addition to pressing the workpiece to the fence, the rollers are also pressing the workpiece down to the table and all I have to do is, push…




View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 4054 days

#10 posted 09-04-2008 06:45 AM

Now that is a sweet setup niki. I really like it.

-- Scott - Chico California

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