What is a workbench super-flexible flat-bar?

Hi my name is Thomas welcome to my workshop. Today I am gonna make an incredibly cool skill-toy,
and I am gonna show you an amazing alternative to feather boards. These are feather boards and their purpose
is to apply constant pressure against a work-piece keeping it flat against a jig, the fence and
the table-top. It’s not a big deal to make them. You cut of a board at an angle of about 30
degrees. The row of flexible fingers can be cut with
the table, miter, jig or a band saw. I’ve made slots in here which give me quite
a range of mounting points and mounted on a runner and used inside the miter slot gives
you some more flexibility. For certain works these are really important
supports. When I made the first project with the tinywoodworkshop
at a certain point I needed to joint some missaligned edges which were the result of
some bad glue-ups. I made a very simple table saw jig for this. The feather boards I made weren’t siutable,
so I used my hands to hold down the work pieces which was quite dangerous because
my hands nearly touched the saw blade. So I needed a solution for this first I thought
to make a couple of feather boards but I wanted a more flexible, more scalable solution. What I came up with is this, the bench super
flex flat bar. The two mounting blocks have fairly long slots,
and this flat bar here is adjustable, but let’s see it in action
and to not produce saw dust only for nothing I will make a cool skill toy which is just
the perfect project for this demonstration because I’m gonna use the table saw based
jointer jig and the router table. The skill toy I am going to make consists
of three pieces, one long bar in the middle and two pieces attached at the ends of the
bar. For the first step of the build I had to set
up the table-saw. I prepared these two bars, which had quite
misaligned edges. The very first step was jointing the edges. For pushing the work-piece horizontally against
the fence I used the bench super flex flat bar. Both jigs have quite long slots giving me
wide range of mounting points. The flat bar is laterally mounted on these
jigs, there are two small screw knobs for tightening and untightening. As my threaded anchors on the inner side I
am using T-nuts. Once tightned the screw knob A rectangle slightly
bent piece of metal with a sharp edge keeps the flat bar from moving. It’s important to push the work-piece not only
against the jig but also against the table surface. For this purpose I have made these simple
holders. Two threaded inserts on the backside of the
table-saw jig are my threaded anchors for the bolts. The concept how the flat bar is mounted and
held in place is very similar to that of the horizontal flat bar jig. And here we go. One step in this whole build a bit risky, so I have prepared two bars to have one in reserve
in case of failure Ok first step was done, two nice square bars. The bar for the skill-toy has to become octagonal. So I had to set up the router table. The router was angled to 45 degrees. Once again I used the bench super flex flat
bar for pushing the work-piece against the fence. And this time for holding down the work-piece
horizontally I have made these extension jigs. It’s important to mount these jigs slightly
above the level of the fence in order to make the flat bar pushing down directly at the
fence Once again I am using threaded inserts for
the bolts with the flat bar mounting jigs. And here we go again. Second step was done two nice octagonal bars. Then I needed some curved grooves all the
way down the bar. The challenge was to push the bar through
the router table and rotating it constantly. I have never tried this out before. I started with the first groove rotating the
bar from time to time. Then I turned the piece on the other side
and started with the same procedure. Once I started with the rotation, suddenly
happened this. The horizontally pushing flat bar got trapped
inside the groove which I made before. Pulling the piece back and giving it a retry
was not possible anymore because I already began with the rotation, and hitting exactly
the same groove might have been difficult. Fortunately I had prepared two bars, so I
was allowed to fail once At this point I was already trained a bit
so the first groove of the second bar, no big deal anymore. In order To get the first rotation of the
second groove done, I have learned from the failure before, that I will have to pull up
slightly the flat bar in order to make it sliding over the already existing groove. And this time everything worked out fine. The third step was done, at least one octagonal
bar with two curved grooves all the way down the work-piece, each of which was spirally
running around half bar. Now the first part of the skill toy is finished. Fortunately I have prepared two pieces, because
I failed with the first one. It was the perfect project to showcase the
bench super flex flat bar which is based on a very simple concept and which is all I need
for such use-cases. What the bench super flex flat bar not does
but feather boards instead do, it does not prevent the work-piece from beeing dragged
backwards by saw blade friction. This wasn’t really an issue so far but I will
think of it and maybe I can show you a solution even for this in my next video. So in my next video you’ll see more about
this and the finishing of the skill toy. As far as this video is concerned I hope you
enjoyed it, if so please hit the like button, if possible help to share it, subscribe to
the tinywoodworkshop channel, thank you for your attention and see you in my next video.

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Reader Comments

  1. Norman Bott

    A beautiful solution. I continue to be amazed by your workstation. The dust collection appears to be perfect. Looking forward to the next video.

  2. Deanne Maria

    I am so impressed at how you manage to keep the dust minimal. What are you using for your dust collection please?

    By the way fantastic tiny workstation!

  3. AVE

    Another excellent video!

    I would only advise to work on the sound balance, maybe it’s just my headphones but the sound of the machines is very loud compared to your voice

  4. jeblubber jeblubber

    Also, Dein Bastelspaß in allen Ehren, aber Du bist mehr am Schrauben. Die eigentliche Arbeit macht nur einen Bruchteil der Gesamtzeit für das Projekt aus. Das ist nichts für mich. Es ist sogar ein Hindernis, überhaupt mit einem Projekt anzufangen. Aber, Dein Arbeitstisch ist genial.

  5. Carlos Vaquero

    Hi Thomas, CONGRATULATIONS!! This is just AWESOME 😉

    I was looking for some good ideas for the new workbench I want to build for me, you know looking for the "ultimate all-in-one…." and I found yours and mate, I can't stop watching your videos!! AWESOME!

    I would like to know how you build such a great place to work with 😉

    Can't wait t see your next video.

  6. MagSun

    Great solution.
    The setup may take some time it seems. Why haven't you done some fixture in the router fence? It worked on the table saw fence….

  7. Jeff Wiebe

    I noticed that you missed some dust this time… then I realized it was dust on my monitor! Another clever set of solutions. Great job!

  8. Jean-Paul OLEFS

    Hi Thomas, love your creativity, woodworking skills and your enthusiasm!
    What is the flexible material (plastic?) you used for the your flex bar? Where did you get it?
    You guessed it, I would like to build some as well.

  9. barlow2976

    Nice one, I love to see someone thinking of new ideas, and I love your workshop- you're proving to us all you don't need to go out and spend a fortune. Well done.

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