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Featherboard Techniques: Control Hardboard and Plastic Laminate Flutter
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Holding down flexible stock Using Grip-Tite featherboards along with a metal fence can clamp over a flexible piece of stock vertically, making it more stable for cutting.

Thin materials, such as hardboard or plastic laminate, present a whole different problem than thicker, heavier sheet goods. While they’re relatively lightweight, thin sheets are still bulky and prone to sagging as you are feeding them into a cut. If dealing with the loosey-goosey nature of these flexible materials isn’t bad enough, the leading edge can lift off the saw table when it engages the blade. That can lead to a costly mishap and ruined cut.

The challenge is to provide a means of holding the stock down against the table. Any featherboard that can be installed on your saw’s rip fence can help prevent fluttering from occurring, provided the fence is within a couple of feet or so of the blade. Grip-Tite’s RollerGuides could help here, too, by pulling sheetstock against the fence. Whatever featherboard you use, raise the back of the sheet a little higher than the front for even better flutter control.

posted on October 1, 2010 by Chris Marshall
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