Woodworking Basics - How to Work Safe using Push Sticks

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Blog entry by Bob Simmons posted 09-27-2012 09:54 PM 5261 reads 3 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Woodworking – Learn how to work safe using push sticks. Great woodworkers & carpenters understand woodworking basics very well. One important basic skill is working safely at all times. These work habits are taught during training courses for both the apprentice as well as the journeyman. Working safely is a habit that is learned, developed, and maintained throughout the skilled craftsman’s career.

Your comments are welcomed.
What are your experiences when using push sticks?


The Apprentice and The Journeyman

Learn more, Experience more!

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

19 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile (online now)

Joe Lyddon

10240 posts in 4173 days

#1 posted 09-27-2012 10:22 PM

A nice assortment of Push sticks & Featherboards… and power tools being used with them!

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3135 days

#2 posted 09-27-2012 11:31 PM

Thanks for taking a look Joe. Much appreciated.

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2811 days

#3 posted 09-28-2012 02:01 AM

I think we should refer to these as push shoes; as ‘sticks’ is misleading and sticks get people hurt. Not a criticism, just a constructive comment.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View MitchMan's profile


75 posts in 2470 days

#4 posted 09-28-2012 02:03 AM

Thanks for this.

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3135 days

#5 posted 09-28-2012 03:04 AM

gfadvm…I think I’ll pass on this one if you don’t mind.

MitchMan…You’re welcome. Thanks for your feedback.

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3222 days

#6 posted 09-28-2012 04:47 AM

All of my shop made push sticks are 12 to 15 inches long. I like the way they hold the material down in front of the blade. I did see some of yours that I will try out. Thanks for the video….......................

-- mike...............

View Roger's profile


20938 posts in 2925 days

#7 posted 09-28-2012 01:12 PM

Yes, a very good reminder for new & seasoned woodworkers. Definitely, safety first, always. Nice video with many assorted push sticks.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Julian's profile


1359 posts in 2811 days

#8 posted 09-28-2012 03:10 PM

Always enjoy watching your videos. I appreciate that you don’t film yourself talking about the topic. I think your demonstations are the best way to learn.

-- Julian

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3135 days

#9 posted 09-28-2012 03:28 PM

redryder….Thanks for watching and sharing your feedback. You probably have some safety accessories that would work well in many of our workshops as well.

Roger…Like have heard before. Any reminder is a good reminder. Yep, safety is a good habit when it comes to woodworking.

To everybody who watches this video. This video is not intended to be a guide to safe practices to the general public. My intentions of posting this video is to have the viewer stop for a minute and decide what safety practices are best for themselves. Work safety is an individual responsibility. People have different skill levels as well as levels of experience. Some aspiring woodworkers will seek training to learn woodworking. Others will attempt to learn woodworking over the internet. My recommendation is to seek a great instructor to learn the craft hands on.

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3135 days

#10 posted 09-28-2012 03:47 PM

Julian…Thanks for your feedback. The videos produced by The Apprentice and The Journeyman are simply about the viewer’s thoughts & woodworking without distraction.

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View a1Jim's profile


117203 posts in 3698 days

#11 posted 09-28-2012 06:38 PM

Hi Bob
This is a good reminder about using push sticks and shoes and even sleds to mill wood in a safe manner .I know you have a disclaimer about your video not being a guide for safe practices, but if your putting a title on your post “how to work safe” you are indeed offering safety advise. The one issue I have regarding working safely is when your ripping on the table saw you have thin strips up against the fence rather than on the fall off side of the blade.I know this may have been done to demonstrate the use of a push stick but like “a thousand words” videos and photos tend to stick in the mind of new woodworkers who my use your ripping technique as a correct way to saw thin pieces of wood. The other suggestion I offer to my students is to use taller push sticks(I use a 12” “L” shaped push stick) to keep their hands further away from the blade, as your video shows there are always different push sticks and blocks for each tool and operation. All said and done I think you video is well done with the above noted exception. Thanks for taking the time and effort to help accent the use of push sticks.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2294 days

#12 posted 09-28-2012 06:47 PM

I really appreciate posts like this. Reminds us to be safe and observe safety at all times.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3135 days

#13 posted 09-28-2012 07:15 PM

Thank you for your perspective and feedback. Yes, the title of the post is “How to Work Safe.” This is something that you decide what is best for yourself as well as each of us. What works for you or me may not work for everyone. We all have different skill levels. Safety is an individual’s responsibility.

Based upon my experience, I have no issue with cutting a rabbett on wider material and then cutting it off on the table saw with a push stick as was shown.

Again, this post & video is not intended to be a public safety announcement. The intent of the video is for the individual woodworker to “remember to stop, take your time, and think about what you’re doing.” Common sense is a basic element of woodworking. If you see something of value, use it. If not, simply disregard it & continue looking to find something of value.

If there is any advice that I would offer to new woodworkers, it’s the following. Seek a competent woodworking instructor to get hands on training. Watching woodworking videos (including mine) on the internet is not the same. There’s a difference between experience & virtual reality.

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3236 days

#14 posted 09-28-2012 07:21 PM

even though I havn´t any powertools I preciate the vidio
think safty first shuold be the no. 1 rule in any shop

thanks for leting us see different fences and cuting devicejigs /helpers too

ceep them coming Bob you do a great work :-)

take care

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3135 days

#15 posted 09-28-2012 07:21 PM

The safer we are able to work, the more confident and satisfied we can become when woodworking. Thanks for contributing.

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

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