Feather Board

I need to make a 27" long feather board for use with my planner/molder and was wondering if someone could tell what wood is the best? Do I need to cut into the grain length or can I cut across it?
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HotRod wrote:

the fingerboards I make I just use whatevers available , usually pine or I think fir.
Fingers should be along the grain . The idea is a slightly flexible finger that wont break .
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Hey, it sounds like you are figuring out your Woodmaster. It is just crazy that they don't sell a featherboard for this thing isn't it?
I haven't made one yet but I've had some ideas. Did you get the slippery base? If so, you'll understand idea #1. This idea is to use some of that slick material to create a fence along one side and have it spring loaded with little 1/2" x 1 -1/2" coil springs that would allow about 1/4 of spring action.
A second idea I had is using spring steel pieces lapped one after the other. Without a picture it's hard to explain. I also have another idea for something that looks like a feather board where each finger is actually on a hinge or pivot and again spring loaded.
To do effective work on this unit it really neeeds some sort of feathreing but these guys don't have a solution.
I'll try to do some sketches tonight and post them.
HotRod wrote:

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You need a straight grained piece of wood for this. Hardwood makes stiffer longer lasting feathers, but I've got a few made of 2 by_ stock that work OK too. Wood choice isn't too critical so long as the grain is straight, so don't waste high dollar wood to make one. Poplar and oak work fine, or a 2 by _ when it's all you have around. Plywood and MDF don't make good featherboards. The feather cuts must go with the grain, not across or diagonal to the grain. The end of the board should first be cut at about a 30 degree angle (not critical). Then make the feather cuts in from that end of the board 4-6 inches long, about 1/8-3/16" apart and parallel to the grain (and not perpendicular to the 30 degree cut). Longer cuts make the feathers weaker and more flexible, shorter makes them stiffer. The rest of the board length is used to clamp the featherboard to a convenient point on the machinery. In use the feather ends should push slightly (like fingers) on the board being machined, angled in the direction of the board travel, to hold the board against the table, fence, or machine guide that determines the machining dimension. It's sometimes beneficial to use more than one, to push your work down and to the side at the same time or inline one after another to hold your work for a longer distance. (Think of them as expendable fingers to hold your board that don't hurt if the machine cuts them or they get broken)
--
Charley

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Glad someone mentioned cutting the feathers on an angle, I probably would have forgot. I was hoping to make a fingerboard that could be mounted in the middle of the planer and then used on both sides. In order to do this the fingers would need to be straight, not cut on an angle, what do you think? Do they need to be angled? I'm not to worried about kick back.
P.S. I didn't end up ordering the Woodmaster molder, I ended up getting a 25" dual drum sander and planner/molder for the same price as the woodmaster. That saves me from constantly changing the drums and the stuff I bought is really industrial. I ended up with a Powermatic PM15 / 5hp. I made the bed board out of some great / slippery stuff that we had in the shop...

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"Straight" fingers won't have any flex. You might as well just clamp a board there. The flex is necessary to account for minute changes in thickness of your work, in addition to providing resistance to kick back.
--
Charley


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I guess I might be making two or adding fingers to both sides.

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Go out and cut one and then come back.

board
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Nice move.
What sander and how is it working out?
HotRod wrote:

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I bought the stuff from Federated tools in Lodnon, ON, actually from David F. E on this very group but honestly I'm having a"moment" becuase I can't remember the name of the sander for the life of me. All I can say is it's heavy... Once I figured out that it's not a planer, and got a heavy dust collector it worked great. I also found out that the once the sand paper is shot you can soak it in a bucket of hot water and give it a quick pressure wash, everything is nice and clean again.
I wonder if my wife would notice it in the dish washer ;-)

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Nice. Heavy? Maybe a General? HotRod wrote:

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HotRod wrote:

Have you looked at magnetic fingerboards . These are usually plastic and attached to a pretty strong magnet . They provide a good solution where you have a metal surface to anchor them .
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