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Thread: Magnetic Featherboard

  1. #1
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    Magnetic Featherboard

    I'd seen the commercially made magnetic featherboards in Rocklers' and Woodcraft's catalogs for about fifty bucks, and thought that was pretty steep.

    So, when I got a sale catalog from Enco, and they had the magnetic indicator bases for $8.89, with free shipping, I decided to make my own. I used two of the magnetic bases, an plastic featherboard I already had on hand and a couple scraps of wood and PVC to make this one. Total cost: $18 for the magnetics. If I'd had to buy a new plastic featherboard for it, that would have added about $10.

    The magnetic bases are rated at 130 pounds of pull (each) so they don't move at all once the switches are turned. Works great!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Featherboard (768 x 576).jpg   Featherboard 2 (768 x 576).jpg  
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  2. #2
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    pretty slick there Jim! $18 is a bargain alrighty.

    I just picked up several featherboards from rockler, they're the type that lock into the miter slot, as well as into the fence. I need to modify the t-bolt to fit my fence, but that's just a couple of minutes with a grinder on each one. if that.
    -Ned

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    So, when I got a sale catalog from Enco, and they had the magnetic indicator bases for $8.89, with free shipping, ...
    Now that's a gloat. Saved money, and MacGyvered some jigs, and did woodworking all at once...

    Got a part number? Can't find it on use-enco.com
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post
    Now that's a gloat. Saved money, and MacGyvered some jigs, and did woodworking all at once...

    Got a part number? Can't find it on use-enco.com
    Catalog #SF625-0930 $8.89. I think the free shipping deal may be over, though.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
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    Jim those are really neat. I have wanted some magnetic featherboards for some time but could not get my mind around the cost. I also did not know of Enco. Thanks for both introducing me to Enco and the idea. I see the magnetic bases are still on special.
    cheers

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Jim those are really neat. I have wanted some magnetic featherboards for some time but could not get my mind around the cost. I also did not know of Enco. Thanks for both introducing me to Enco and the idea. I see the magnetic bases are still on special.
    Yeah, cost was uppermost in my mind, too. $50 for a featherboard seems like a whole lot!

    Enco's catalog can be a slippery slope. There's a lot of good stuff in it, and the prices are pretty good overall. BTW, their carbide two-flute end mills work great in a router, and they're generally about half the cost of a comparable router bit.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  7. #7
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    Actually, I think the thing that Jim left out is that these may be preferable to the store bought versions for a couple of reasons.

    1) I've got a couple of store bought ones. I like to get the featherboard right up close to in front of the blade, but the store bought ones can't get into the right position because of the zero clearance insert on my saw.

    2) The store bought ones work, but may not be as strong as the ones Jim made.

    What I like about the idea of this is that you could offset the feather board enough from the ZCI so that it can work for cutting small strips.

    Really a very nice idea Jim!
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    1) I've got a couple of store bought ones. I like to get the featherboard right up close to in front of the blade, but the store bought ones can't get into the right position because of the zero clearance insert on my saw.

    Yeah, you can vary the 'overhang' of the actual featherboard - closer to or further from the magnets.

    2) The store bought ones work, but may not be as strong as the ones Jim made.

    At 130# of attraction each, the magnets don't move! Since you have the commercial one, how strong is it? Does it slide around on the table?

    What I like about the idea of this is that you could offset the feather board enough from the ZCI so that it can work for cutting small strips.

    Yeah, it works very well for that. Also, with a minor mod, you could stack two (or more) featherboards for higher work - like resawing on the bandsaw. I haven't tried it yet, but I just might.

    Really a very nice idea Jim!
    Thanks!
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post
    Now that's a gloat. Saved money, and MacGyvered some jigs, and did woodworking all at once...

    Got a part number? Can't find it on use-enco.com
    Well Art, I thought I had an alternate source for you in case the enco sale was over, but then remembered you were in Canada, and I doubt if they have Harbor Freight's there. HF has them on sale for $7.99 thru October 27 th, (lot# 5645) for anyone that has a HF store handy, or you can order them from HF on the internet @ www.HarborFreightusa.com. (don't know if they ship to Canda or not).

    I haven't used them for the application Jim is using, but I have used one of the HF cheapies for several years set against the backside of some flimsy tablesaw fences to keep them from moving at the back end when pressure was applied, and it has worked great. They are plenty strong. I've also used it as a stop block for the mitre guage when cutting rabbets and tenons on the ends of boards with the TS.
    Last edited by Norman Hitt; 10-20-2008 at 12:30 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Hitt View Post
    Well Art, I thought I had an alternate source for you in case the enco sale was over, but then remembered you were in Canada,
    Nope, no Harbor Freight here.
    But the Enco website says that they ship to Canada - I haven't actually gone through to see how much they would charge on shipping though.

    Oh, and their "free shipping" deals only apply to the lower-48 anyways.

    ...art

    ps: No Harbor Freight. Grizzly won't sell to us, and Amazon won't ship tools north either ... Sometimes I wonder if having a Lee Valley Tools store right here in town makes up for that ... (well, Lee Valley and gov't Healthcare...)
    Last edited by Art Mulder; 10-20-2008 at 12:52 AM.
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