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Featherboard Upgrade

By: Woodsmith staff
Shop-made blocks tackle tall parts.

A project that I was working on included a top with beveled edges. When making these cuts at the table saw, a tall auxiliary fence is a must to stand the workpiece on edge. But even with the tall fence, the workpiece can sometimes tilt towards the blade, spoiling the results. The solution I came up with is a set of featherboard risers. I attach a featherboard to the top of each riser and one to the bottom of the riser before the blade. This presses the workpiece firmly against the tall fence, ensuring a consistent cut. Don’t attach a featherboard to the base of the riser after the cut or the waste piece may pinch the blade.

Simple construction and 34" plywood make them sturdy and easy to build. The drawing shows the details. Dadoes in the top and base lock the sides in place and keep them square. Holes drilled in the top and base of each riser are spaced to match my featherboards. Threaded inserts in the top holes allow the featherboards to be easily locked in place.

The risers are kept in place with hardware that locks into the miter slot. Many featherboards come with this hardware. You can also purchase it from Rockler (#26993). With the two risers in place, I can accurately and safely make the bevel cuts I need for almost any size panel.

Published: Oct. 18, 2012
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