Featherboard material question

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Forum topic by skatefriday posted 07-31-2014 12:42 AM 2203 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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453 posts in 2016 days

07-31-2014 12:42 AM

I’m getting ready to make a few featherboards and
am wondering what material I should use. I presume
plywood is a bad idea. Maple and other hardwoods seem
common, but maple is $5.00 a board foot where I live.
I have some, but I’d like to save it for the drawer fronts
I’ll be making (using the featherboards to help cut grooves
for tongue and groove glueups).

Can you get away with using a select pine, or cheaper,
hardwood such as poplar or is that too soft?

5 replies so far

View mantwi's profile


312 posts in 2430 days

#1 posted 07-31-2014 01:06 AM

After using shop made feather boards for years I got tired of the hassle involved with finding a clamping point on my machines. I was at harbor freight buying some wheels for a compressor and saw that they carry feather boards, the plastic ones with a compression hold down for the miter slots on machines. Since they were only 5.00 I picked one up, that was a month ago. Today I went back and bought another for the out feed side of my saw. Needless to say they work and work well. In my opinion they are better than shop made feather boards and I’d recommend them to anyone who is looking at using them.

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3813 posts in 2785 days

#2 posted 07-31-2014 01:07 AM

I might be wrong here, but since the feather board is used to keep pressure on the workpiece, the hardness of the wood shouldn’t play a big factor in its selection. I just used MDF I had around the shop to make my feather boards, and they work fine and have been in service for a couple of years.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2606 days

#3 posted 07-31-2014 09:06 PM

1/2” Baltic Birch ply wood is my favorite for shop made. I have about five different kinds from this company Magswitch that I also like alot.

-- Who is John Galt?

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4119 days

#4 posted 07-31-2014 09:44 PM

Yes I too have a selection of the plastic-nylon ones .It’s true they aint cheap , but do the business for me. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Ocelot's profile


2365 posts in 3172 days

#5 posted 07-31-2014 10:04 PM

I used pine for years. My 15-year-old Ridgid saw manual had instructions for making them. I have some plastic ones now – name brand, not HF, but I don’t like them much because they tend to slide in the miter slot. I have to rig a clamp on them anyway. Actually, I clamp a piece of wood to the saw table, the other end of which holds the feather board in place.


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