Magnetic Featherboard

Sometimes clamping a featherboard to the table saw is more trouble than it’s worth. The cast ribs underneath the saw table always seem to get in the way of the clamps. And when I need to move the featherboard just a hair, it’s a pain to reposition the clamps.

To help simplify things, I made a magnetic featherboard that attaches to the table saw in seconds, as you can see at right. The key to this featherboard is a pair of magnetic bases like the kind used to hold a dial indicator (above, left photo). We bought our magnetic bases from Enco Manufacturing. Search their web site for Part No. 625-0930 or call toll-free 1-800-873-3626 to order.
Note: magnets do not work on aluminum tables.

The unique feature on these bases is a switch that lets you "turn" the magnetic field on or off. Once the featherboard is in position, you simply flip on both switches to secure it to the saw table. To reposition (or remove) the featherboard, just turn the switches off.

To make this work, a featherboard is attached to an L-shaped support, like you see in the drawing below. After cutting an angled notch to fit the featherboard, I rabbeted each end of the top to fit the magnetic bases. A threaded hole in the top of each base makes it easy to bolt them to the support.

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