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Featherboard Techniques: Sawing Oversized Stock Panels on a Machine Table
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Sawing large sheet stock Featherboards with magnets, like these Grip-Tite featherboards, help stabilize and guide larger, awkward workpieces regardless of proximity to the miter slot.

Cutting wide or long sheet stock panels to size can be a tricky operation. They’re often heavy, bulky and force you to stand a distance from the saw to begin the cut. These factors compromise your control. Depending on where your cut needs to be, ordinary miter slot-style featherboards may not even be feasible to install. Grip-Tite featherboards ($40 to $55 ea. in 2010) can really come in handy for oversized panel work. Inside the base of these devices are focused magnets that clamp them down to steel or cast-iron worksurfaces with at least 40 pounds of force. You can place Grip-Tites anywhere on a metal machine table independently of miter slots or even vertically on a metal fence facing.

Flexible fins on both sides and a top hold-down act as the pressure feathers here. Grip-Tite also offers a sandpaper-covered Roller Guide™ that fastens behind the left fin to serve as a feed roller. When the Grip-Tite is installed vertically on a fence, the roller directs workpieces against the fence to keep them tracking properly. All in all, magnetic Grip-Tites are very helpful “third hands.”

posted on October 1, 2010 by Chris Marshall
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