When working with a table saw, one of the biggest problems is holding the stock in place so it doesn’t move as you feed it into the table saw blade. You can hold it with your hand, but it can still move about – and using your hand adds an extra level of danger.
The solution is to use a featherboard. They can hold the stock firmly in place while also reducing the danger. While it’s possible to buy ready-made featherboards, they are easy enough to make yourself. If you’re interested in having a go, here are 11 table saw featherboard plans you can DIY easily.
This first featherboard plan comes from one of our favorite websites – Instructables. Whenever you need a high-quality plan for just about any DIY project you can think of, Instructables is always a great place to go – and this plan is no exception.
As always, you are given a brief but informative introduction about featherboards, what they are and why we use them. Following this, there is a list of the materials you need – and then you move into the main part of the instructions.
The rest of the plan consists of a step-by-step guide to what you need to do along with a selection of useful photos to show you how everything should look.
Plans on the Instructables site are made for novice DIYers, so if you’re not sure about your skill level, this could be a good one to try. Although there’s no reason why confirmed DIY enthusiasts shouldn’t give it a go too.
This is another excellent DIY featherboard plan, this time from The Spruce. As the introduction explains, featherboards are easy to make and can help significantly improve the quality of your work – and with that being the case, why wouldn’t you want to have a go at making one?
As long as you have the necessary tools (a table saw and a miter saw), the actual materials you need are minimal. The rest of the plan – comprising only five steps and clearly illustrated with some useful images – is easy to understand and no problem to execute.
This plan would make a good project for anyone interested in trying their hand at a little DIY – and it will give you a genuinely useful addition to your table saw setup at the same time.
Featherboards are versatile tools, and this plan shows you how to make one that can be used with either a table saw or a router table.
As the author explains, you can easily buy featherboards for your table saw, but making them yourself is even cheaper – and once you understand the basic principles, you can adapt the design for more specific uses.
The author says he likes to make his from oak, although any hardwood will work just as well. The key is to make sure the wood doesn’t have any knots or other imperfections before you begin working on it.
The rest of the plan is quite detailed – there’s nothing too complicated, but if you follow each step carefully, you will end up with a reliable and professional-looking featherboard that will help improve the quality of your work as well as your safety.
The featherboard in this plan is made of maple – although, of course, you can use anything similar and the results will be just the same.
What we like about this plan is that it is much more image-based than the previous one. Some people might like to read lots of information about what they are doing, but others don’t enjoy being confronted by lines and lines of text and much prefer to just get on with it.
If you are the second kind of person, this is a plan that should appeal to you – and after all, a featherboard is not a particularly tricky project – so why make it more complicated than it needs to be?
As this plan explains, this featherboard will hold stock firmly and safely against the table saw fence, preventing wavy cuts and helping keep your fingers safe – while also being extremely easy to adjust.
It’s a very simple plan for a basic addition to your table saw. There’s a useful and detailed diagram and there’s also a handy section on how to use this featherboard.
Another excellent plan for those who like to keep things as uncomplicated as possible.
This is a slightly different type of plan, but we wanted to include it because we thought it was a useful one to have.
This plan doesn’t tell you how to make a featherboard – this one is all about keeping your featherboard held in place. A featherboard is no use if it moves around as you work, and with this plan, you will be able to fix yours firmly into position.
Here’s another simple plan for a featherboard that can be used with a table saw or router table. As with all the best plans, it combines useful explanations with well-chosen photos that show you how to do it.
This is a plan with quite a lot of text, so it’s a good one for people who like lots of information. However, if you don’t want to spend too much time reading, there’s also a video at the end. If you want to make a featherboard, this plan is worth checking out.
This is a simple and concise plan for a featherboard that includes a useful diagram to show you how to do it. There’s a list of everything you’ll need, a good set of instruction and even a section at the end on how to use it.
If anything, we would maybe have preferred to see a few more photos with this plan to accompany the diagram – but it’s still a simple plan to understand, so most people should be able to manage.
What we like about this plan is how the author is keen to share his knowledge and experience. It doesn’t just give you instructions for how to make the featherboard – although they are in there too – it also includes the author’s thoughts and best practices too.
If you want a plan that will give you a few woodworking tips and tricks, this one should be of interest. As the author says in the closing comments, improving and enlarging your featherboard collection is an ongoing process – and most people should find this plan useful.
10. DIY Featherboard
This plan takes the form of a YouTube video, and as the presenter explains, he is making a featherboard to help prevent kickback and to guide the workpiece through the table saw blade.
The DIYer in the video makes his featherboard from scrap wood he has in his workshop and the main tool he uses is a table saw with a miter gauge. You don’t really need much else, so as you can see from this video, making a featherboard shouldn’t cost you very much money at all.
11. Featherboard Jig
Here we have a YouTube video from experienced woodworker Colin Knecht who shows you how to make a jig that allows you to make as many featherboards as you need in a range of different sizes.
With this jig, you can easily turn out featherboards with firm but bending fingers that are perfect for holding your stock in place as you work on it.
We like this presenter’s videos for a number of reasons. First, he’s obviously very passionate about woodworking and DIY, and his love for the craft comes through clearly in the videos. Second, he’s also a very talented woodworker and the kind of person most people will be able to learn a thing or two from.
The video is about ten minutes long and we think the pace is just about right. He takes you through the process of building the jig, explaining each step and demonstrating so you can see how it’s done.
If you’re looking for a video about making featherboard jigs, this is one of the best we’ve managed to find.
Featherboards make your table saw more accurate and safer
If you use your hands to hold your stock in place, it’s easy for it to slip, ruining the cut. Furthermore, since you have one extra thing to think about, it’s easier to lose concentration – which with table saws, can quickly lead to a serious accident.
The simple solution is to use a featherboard, and while it’s cheap enough to buy one from the store, it’s just as easy to make one yourself. If you feel like having a go at home, we hope that some of these excellent plans we’ve turned up will be able to help you achieve it.
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