Highland Woodworking
Tool Review: Hedgehog Spiral Featherboard
By Jeff Fleisher

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Our August 2018 issue of Wood News had the wrong link for Terry Chapman's blog "Lost My Man Card..." To view this blog entry, click here.

I have used custom made and store bought feather boards for many years when I cut narrow boards on my tablesaw or when running them on my router table. I have never really liked these featherboards because the fingers are always a little too thick and do not really flex easily and the multiple knobs mean it often slips around when I am holding it with one hand and tightening them down with the other. If I relax at all the tension between the fingers and the board always releases and I get frustrated! So, I was anxious to try out the new Hedgehog Spiral Featherboard.

You can see immediately that the Hedgebog featherboard is different. The spiral shape and single large knob grab your attention...and yes, it does seem to look like a hedgehog!

The Hedgehog Featherboard is nicely packaged in a plastic container with instructions on the backside of the cardboard mount. The instructions only discuss use with a tablesaw but a similar setup can be done on a bandsaw or router table equipped with a 3/4” miter slot.

You are probably familiar with a conventional featherboard as shown below next to the hedgehog.

This type of featherboard fits into a miter slot but the fingers are thicker than the Hedgehog with minimal flex. You can slide it back and forth while pressing it against a board to position it and then tighten both knobs as shown here. I have always found that I needed to apply a significant amount of pressure while tightening the knobs to keep it tight to the board.

The Hedgehog also has a miter slide clamp that is cast CNC-milled aluminum 3/4” x 3/8” and will fit most standard miter slots on tablesaws, router tables and bandsaws. The body is molded high-impact DuPont nylon with a single over-sized knob. The single knob with the single pivot point makes for very quick initial setup and then easy adjustments in subsequent cuts.

I was pleasantly surprised on how easy it was to position it against a board. As shown here, you place it into the miter slot, rotate it until the fingers flex against the board and tighten the knob. Because of the elongated shape you can easily rotate it tightly against the board using a single finger and the over-sized knob is very easy to tighten down snugly.

As a test for this review, I set up my tablesaw fence to cut some narrow strips of the same size from a cherry board. I put the Hedgehog in an initial position against the board and cut my first strip.

Then I put the cutoff against the fence for my second and just loosened the knob and easily rotated the featherboard against the board for the next cut.

The featherboard can be re-configured to use on the left or right side of the fence. There is also an accessory you can purchase to stack two featherboards together. You may want to do this for better control when cutting a thicker board. I would like to see a future version where you could stack more than two featherboards together to press against a board while resawing on a bandsaw.

It is really nice when an innovative new tool comes along and makes a significant improvement to an accessory that has been around for a very long time. It is simple, yet very effective, and because it is simple to use I believe you will use it more often. I highly recommend the Hedgehog featherboard for your shop.

Click here to purchase your own Hedgehog Spiral Featherboard from Highland Woodworking.

Jeffrey Fleisher has been a woodworker for approximately 20 years and a professional woodworker for the past 6 years. He is the president of his local woodturning club, the Woodturners of the Virginias and past president of the Northern Virginia Carvers. You can see some of the furniture he has made at www.jeffswooddesigns.com. He can be reached by email at furnmkr@gmail.com

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