magnetic featherboard design ideas


Has anyone ever built their own magnetic feathboard? I don't like the design of the popular griptite model. I am thinking about using 1 or 2 magnetic bases... the type machinists use with attached dial indicators, and engineering the attachment a horizontal and a vertical plastic (or wood) featherboards. Any ideas, photos, or plans would be greatly appreciated.
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If you don't like the Griptite, you must have some idea what you don't like about it. Change that feature.
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Edwin Pawlowski Wrote:

Excellent query! I was thinking the same thing, feather board held with magnets. Prob I am having is figuring out how to get the magnets loose. Was thinking of using a couple super magnets salvaged from an old computer hard drive, or a half-dozen or so little bitty super magnets salvaged from some old Philips Sonicare toothbrush heads. They have 4 such magnets per brush head. Each of those toothbrush magnets is about 10mm x 5mm x 2mm tall, and has enough magnetic-suck to hold a Boeing 747 up to a refrigerator door. If you stick one to your saw table (the magnet, not the 747) you will not be able to lift it off again, you must slide it to the edge and pry it off.
--
joe2

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Good News! I had contacted woodworkingtips.com about their magnetic featherboard article and I just checked back and eureka!... the original pdf is available again.
http://www.sfwg.org/pdf%20files/Fethrbrd.pdf
This is what I had originally envisioned, but it could be improved with a vertical feather board attachment. The vertical featherboard would have to slide vertically (for different board thicknesses) and lock in place with 2 knobs or wing nuts.
Can anyone come up with a blueprint for such an improvement? I sure would appreciate it. THANKS.
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What's not to like, other than the price?

Dial indicators on a featherboard? Why?

IOW... a Grip-Tite.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

I think he means he wants to use a magnetic base similar to the kind that ship with some dial indicators. They have a handy switch that rotates the magnet "on" (closer to the work surface) or "off" (further from the work surface). I tried this once, but the featherboard I made was too thick for the magnet to do any good. Perhaps some day I'll rout out a bit of the featherboard so the magnetic base can sit closer to the table.
-John in NH
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Sorry to be so vague. Yes, I'm refering to the magnetic base (without the dial indicator). When I turn on the switch, the base holds to my table with 45 pounds of force (2 would be doubly so). If you unscrew the rod from the base you have an attachment point for a wood plate or wood L-bracket that you could affix a featherboard (pre-made plastic or homegrown wood version). The advantage over the griptite is that you would get finer control over placement before locking down and you would also reduce scratching of your nice tablesaw finish. Removing it is also easy, because you don't need a brute force plastic cam lever. Another advantage is that you would have a more traditional feather board design with more fingerlets to hold your board in place.
I did find 1 reference on the web from woodworking tips from an magazine, but the full article (with photos) is not available.
http://64.233.187.104/search?q che:VK3ncaDVK6oJ:www.sfwg.org/pdf%2520files/Fethrbrd.pdf+magnetic+base+featherboard&hl=en
Alan Lilly
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The URL that you gave was an HTML conversion. It included a URL for a PDF file which contains all of the illustrations.
http://www.sfwg.org/pdf%20files/Fethrbrd.pdf
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Yeah.. the pdf was unavailable until I contacted woodworkingtips.com and they apparently re-instated it. :)
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I was having a similar thought. Instead of the magnetic base with the rotating switch, I was thinking along the lines of an electromagnet. Attaching the featherboard would be similar to the above .pdf approach. Simply run around 1/2 amp at 12V DC through the magnet and it will hold the featherboard down with 120-150 lbs!! No plastic levers to rotate and no magnetic switches to turn - just flip a switch. The downside is the need for the power supply and wires running all over the place (and into the blade!!!). Also, these magnets are around $40 for the 120 lb version. Just a thought. PS - I looked into building a step-up power supply to generate the 12V from a single (or couple) of rechargable nicads, but it's not as simple as I wish. This would eliminate the need for the external power supply and all the wires...
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