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Part of the Week — Carl Calabria’s Composite Featherboard

Carl Calabria in a renaissance man. In addition to being a Senior Vice President of Engineering at MarkForged and an excellent photographer, he's a woodworker. Carl's shop features a combination of standard equipment and customized solutions of his own creation.

One problem Carl solved with a 3D printed solution was creating a magnetic featherboard. Traditional, mitre slot attached featherboards weren't flexible enough for Carl. He knew the best possible featherboard would be a magnetic version that could be easily moved and reset.

CAD Model Created in OnShape

Carl used OnShape to CAD his dream featherboard. The 7.25 inch long board is sized to fit his table saw while providing enough surface area to control workpieces. Each side is feathered, allow it to be used on other equipment, like a stationary router and bandsaw.

Printing the Tool in Nylon and Continuous Strand Carbon Fiber

The featherboard is printed in nylon with 16 layers of carbon fiber reinforcement. The continuous carbon fiber is concentrated in the middle of the board for maximum stiffness. The feathers are all pure nylon to allow them to flex against the workpiece; this also maintains force as the wood moves through the saw.

The hardware are two Magswitch magnetic jigs from Rockler Woodworking. When turned, the two knobs engage the magnets and hold the board in place. This makes it a very efficient and flexible tool, while also making it easy to store. Carl just engages the magnet and it holds in place on the side of a tool cabinet.


Carl Calabria's Magnetic Featherboard

Size 183.75mm x 96.41mm x 19mm; Estimated Print Time ~22h 8m; Nylon Cost $23.20; Carbon Fiber Cost $12.67; STL Download

Also available on Thingiverse

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