Now that my finger is (kind of) getting better I might get near (but not
REAL) near that saw again... I just wondered if these worked as they look
like they could be a good idea.
I have two of them along with featherboards that slide in the miter slot.
The problem with the Grip Tites is that if they end up over the miter slot
(and they do) they won't hold well at all - that's where the featherboard
will work better. Also, they can exert enough force on the wood to mar it
so you want to be careful when doing final passes and not apply to much
A side feature is that mine are made from wood (early versions) but you
could do the same with the plastic ones, is to make the front exactly
perpendicular to the magnetic base if it isn't already. When I need to
align my jointer fence to 90deg, I just slap that on the fence, push it down
so the front end is on the outfeed table (node down) then align the fence
until the front of the Grip Tite is flush with no gaps to the outfeed
table - works like a champ.
I don't have the metal base for the TS fence like that shown in the pic but
unless it's quickly installable and removable it would be more of a pain to
use. If you'll note in that same picture, they are not using a splitter of
any kind - bad pic! By all means, get and use the safety devices but
realistically, for $80 you can build a set of featherboards a lot cheaper.
You could also conjure up some similar devices by getting a few of those
large rare-earth magnets from Lee Valley, epoxy them into a base laminated
up from some maple/white oak/exotic wood pieces and I'm sure someone here
can tell you what that "plastic" is and where to get it - I'd like to know
that too. It is tough stuff and flexible and a 12"x12" sheet of that would
be more than enough to make a half-dozen hold downs.
My big scare and awakening came they day I had a kickback that missed me put
one helluva dent in a shop cabinet. I was ripping a piece oak and it
decided to close on the blade - guess who got in a hurry and forgot to put
the Bies splitter in-place? Later found out the 250bf of white oak I got
was not dried properly and was case hardened. So now I'm a real convert and
try not to do anything too stupid - the sound of that kickback was like a
shotgun blast and the damage to the cabinet is a reminder.
I bought a complete kit of magnetic featherboards at the Woodworker show
(good discounts at the show), including the steel fences for the rip fence
and router fences. I can't imagine working without them. The newer style
(plastic) clamp to the fence and use a sandpaper roller to hold the work
down and to the fence. Perfect for holding plywood when ripping and also
for router work. I plan to use them on my new band saw for resawing. They
take a while to get used to. The kit included a video which I re-run on
occasion to remind me of the possibilities.
For narrow cuts, you can remove the factory guard and splitter for close
work and use the little insert kit they provide to make a splitter in your
zero clearance table saw insert plate. It's basically a 1/8" post in an
adjustable hole to line it up with the blade.
If you are making a cut that involves having the blade under the fence, I
imagine you could use some magnets imbedded into a sacrificial fence (make
sure it is S4S) and merely attaching it to the fence. A bit of wax on the
sacrificial fence should allow the workpiece to feed smoothly.
I have two of them and use them all the time. I bought them despite some
negative comments on the Wreck. I agree with another poster that if you
place them directly over the slots, they won't hold. I merely turn them
at an angle and the hold well enough for me. I've never had them mar
the wood either. What I like best about them is that I can set them in
place in a few seconds and I can use them on the jointer also.
I've done the same.
I recently bought one of those pre-made featherboards that fit into a
miter slot (http://tinyurl.com/2cq62 ) and found that the fingers are way
too stiff. As you adjust the pressure on the workpiece, it goes right
from not doing anything at all to being much too tight. This also means
it's useless if the edge it's riding on is a rough edge.
The pine is just so much more flexible. I think I'm going to keep the
hardware and replace the wood part with one of my own.
The bigger problem is that I'm limited to using it on rips where the
part on the outside of the blade is no wider than the distance from the
blade to a couple of inches shy of the miter slot. For that reason
alone I'm thinking of getting the magnetic ones that you can plop down
anywhere on the table.
Board buddies seem like a clever solution to the problem, but also seem
like they'd be a lot of commotion to use. I've got a Unifence, and I'm
not even sure if you can mount them on that.
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