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Push Stick

by tigger959
posted 08-04-2011 11:14 PM


22 replies so far

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile

FirehouseWoodworking

700 posts in 3084 days


#1 posted 08-04-2011 11:21 PM

That will work though it may be questionable if you are pushing larger pieces of wood. My concern would be the 1’4” plywood flexing or snapping and your hand going into the blade.

I just make them out of scrap 1x stock or 3/4” plywood scraps.

Cheers!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View knothead's profile

knothead

163 posts in 3759 days


#2 posted 08-04-2011 11:45 PM

I made mine from 3/4” scrap and a piece of 1/4” hardboard it actually straddles the fence sliding along with no side to side play the right side and the top are 3/4” material glued and screwed together and the left side (between the fence and blade) is 1/4” hardboard that is only screwed on and has a notch cut out to form a small heel at the back, then I installed a handle that is above the rip fence so my hand is away from the blade. The pusher is approx 10” long and the blade side of the unit can be changed out with thicker material for different cuts but honestly, I have never felt the need to replace the hardboard. With the small hook and the length of the pusher I find that I have good control of the stock as I push past the blade and my hand is safely on top of the center of the rip fence. This setup works for cuts all the way down to 1/4”.

-- So Much Wood - So Little Time! --

View crank49's profile

crank49

4023 posts in 2782 days


#3 posted 08-05-2011 12:42 AM

Knothead:
That’s a good system. I have seen it in some “Shop Tips” type publications and I plan to make one next time I’m in the shop.

View lew's profile (online now)

lew

11799 posts in 3566 days


#4 posted 08-05-2011 04:06 AM

I use a “saw handle” type from 1/4”. used only for smaller stock and a very low saw blade.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 2880 days


#5 posted 08-05-2011 04:41 AM

I made this one about a year ago and it works very well for ripping narrow (~1/4”) pieces. The angle on the sides gives a little hold down pressure as the piece moves past the blade.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View rance's profile

rance

4254 posts in 2972 days


#6 posted 08-05-2011 04:55 AM

A 1/4” piece of ply is not the best choice IMO. Too flimsey.

Make you 3 or 4 of them using 3/4” material and mark one as 1/4”. Then only use that one for 1/4” ripping. If you only use that one for 1/4” material, then it will likely be a long time before it wears out. Also, for tiny pieces, don’t make the heel too tall otherwise it ends up riding on the TS surface, reducing control of the piece you are ripping.

If you put a hole in the push block for gripping, then make it big enough to get 3-4 fingers in there. I’ve seen ones with a 1” hole for a single finger. That is a recipe for a hospital visit if something catches.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View tigger959's profile

tigger959

50 posts in 3540 days


#7 posted 08-05-2011 03:02 PM

These are my 4 push sticks. The 2nd one is a duplicate of the 3rd as you can see except it is from1/4” plywood. I like Sawkerf’s idea and plan on making that today. I think I’m going to make the entire unit longer (6-8”) so as to have the 1/4” hardboard control more of the piece getting ripped.

-- Tigger, Texas

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2886 days


#8 posted 08-05-2011 05:03 PM

Push sticks are great. Feather boards are just as important.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View tigger959's profile

tigger959

50 posts in 3540 days


#9 posted 08-05-2011 05:10 PM

Have a Craftsman table saw and am working on a way to use a featherboard. Problem is the miter track is 5/8” x 3/16” and is not standard in size. Have tried numerous ways with hardwood as runners but have run into problems. Will now try plastic and am looking for a magnetic strip that will fit. Purchased 2 Kreg featherboards only to find out they won’t work on a Craftsman. Have to customize!

-- Tigger, Texas

View rance's profile

rance

4254 posts in 2972 days


#10 posted 08-05-2011 08:38 PM

Tigger, might I suggest you upgrade saws? I’d hate for you to tool up for that saw, then inevitably get a new saw and nothing works. I used one of those saws again last night at a friend’s shop and am glad I don’t have to do that often. If you need a smaller bench saw, there are others that have ‘real’ miter slots and such. Just a thought.

I avoid Plastic push sticks or push blocks like the plague. Plastic on wood is no good. (Hey, I’m a poet. :) I am also not a fan of loooong push sticks either. Less control IMO. I want something more solid I can control the work with.

Check out ‘The Gripper’. Yes, plastic-ey, but with a rubber gripping base. And lots of material between your hand and the blade. You can even make your own. Plans right here on LJ.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View tigger959's profile

tigger959

50 posts in 3540 days


#11 posted 08-05-2011 11:55 PM

I just brought the saw home and assembled it two days ago, rance. My new workshop is only 10×15 so I don’t have a lot of room. This model comes with wheels so I could move it out of the way after I cut something. My old one I had to pick up and move. I’m not getting any stronger as I age so I went with this particular model. I have almost figured out how to make runners work on this.

First, you cut a piece of hardwood 3/16” H x 9/16” W. Then you cut a piece of 1/2”W double sided tape and cut a 1/6” from it. Center it on the runner and stick to the bottom of the sled. It works fine after you wax it. I know this is custom built, but do know it becomes easier to do after 9 million tries.

-- Tigger, Texas

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2564 posts in 2733 days


#12 posted 08-06-2011 02:31 AM

Here is a photo of four of the push sticks I make of 1/2” plywood. If I push a piece of wood though with less than 1/2” between fence and blade this push stick becomes as thin as necessary after the first pass. I usually make about 10 of these push sticks at a time and discard the ones that are “used up”.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View tigger959's profile

tigger959

50 posts in 3540 days


#13 posted 08-06-2011 06:18 AM

Love the cowbory boot design. Have a 2’ x 2’ scrap of 1/2” plywood and will make as many as possible. Thanks!

-- Tigger, Texas

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tigger959

50 posts in 3540 days


#14 posted 08-06-2011 06:22 AM

Jim Finn, forgot to ask, what’s the dimensions of the push sticks?

-- Tigger, Texas

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2564 posts in 2733 days


#15 posted 08-06-2011 09:50 PM

I make them 8” x 8” and I round over the edges with a router. I think this “L” shaped design is safer to use than the streight ones. While using mine , I have a good grip on the push stick and can exert forward and downward pressure at the same time.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View poospleasures's profile

poospleasures

618 posts in 2295 days


#16 posted 08-12-2011 02:34 AM

I make all my push sticks from scrap. Try to always make them somewhat taller than the you have the blade raised. I usually make them from pieces of pine either 3/4” or 1 1/2” wide with a heel cut onto the back. I use contact adhesive to glue a piece of inner tube onto the bottom which gives a lot more grip and control. I do cut a lot of narrow strips and do use a hard wood pusher for those but it is at least 3/4” wide. The first cut will leave narrow groove all the way and can be used for many more of these narrow cuts until you mess up and cut the heel off then you have to make another. Remenber to keep a lot of wood between your hand and the blade.

-- I,ve had amnesia for as long as I can remember. Vernon

View drewnahant's profile

drewnahant

222 posts in 2900 days


#17 posted 08-12-2011 02:51 AM

I suggest making the handle and body out of at least 1/2 inch stck for strength, as well as a good grip for control. you can make the bottom as thin as you want, and it will be well supported, just be aware that it could break and slide forward, as long as you are prepared for the possibility, and you still have the majority of the stick guarding your hand, you should be relatively safe

View tigger959's profile

tigger959

50 posts in 3540 days


#18 posted 08-12-2011 02:49 PM

Made the L shaped push stick and will make a few more of the ones suggested here. I really thank all of you for your help.

-- Tigger, Texas

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13420 posts in 2504 days


#19 posted 08-12-2011 02:55 PM

I’d be worried that anything less than Sawkerf’s fence-hopping variety poses the risk that you’d get the push stick into the spinning blade. I’m not the safest guy in the shop, so take that with a grain of salt. I’ve got a fence-like block that I drop into my cross-cut sled for the short thin pieces I usually cut. My standard push sticks are kind of fish-shaped (the wedge mouth engages the wood) with a fat palm swell. I make them out of hard maple, as I want them very stout. I don’t want to think about a push stick breaking during a push. Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View rance's profile

rance

4254 posts in 2972 days


#20 posted 08-13-2011 01:10 AM

Al, my aversion to the fence-hopping versions is that they are made for a specific saw. I like jigs, fixtures, and push blocks that are more universal. :)

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View rustynails's profile (online now)

rustynails

716 posts in 2340 days


#21 posted 08-13-2011 03:00 AM

I second the Gripp’er they work great and they have one leg that is 1/8’’ for realy small stock.

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3258 posts in 2487 days


#22 posted 08-31-2011 12:45 AM

I like maple pushsticks with a big end in my hand and the foot being some smaller. I have some that go over the fence. If you don’t want them saw specific…..make them for all your saws. when you are set up just make the adjustments for each fence and go from there. Paint them if you want them marked. The ones I made have a handle like a plane except it is a little fatter since I used 2×6 stock and a round over router bit. I have some made from 3/4” plywood scrap. they are about a foot long and get larger toward the rear with a handle in them. If you cut them up then you need to make more scraps.

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