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No-brainer setups for feather boards

Feather boards add both safety and consistency to many cuts on the router table and tablesaw. But there’s a fine line between too much and too little pressure, and finding that line used to drive me half nuts. That was before I made a few feather-board setup sticks from scraps of hardwood.

After perfecting the feather-board tension for a 34 "-thick workpiece, I made a setup stick by planing down a scrap of stock a little at a time until it just slid easily under that feather board. Then, I labeled the stick so I’d know which thickness of material it works for.

Now, when I need to set the feather board, I simply slide the appropriate setup stick against the fence, stand the feather board on top of it, as shown above, and clamp the feather board to the fence. The setup stick also ensures that the feather board stays parallel to the table top, applying uniform pressure along its length.
—John Ducey, Lawrence, Kan.

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