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Forum topic by tigger959 posted 08-04-2011 11:14 PM 2998 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tigger959

50 posts in 2382 days


08-04-2011 11:14 PM

I want to make a push stick to use for pushing ‘small’ pieces of wood on the table saw. I’m curious if I can make one from 1/4” plywood? What is the smallest thickness one would make a push stick.

-- Tigger, Texas


22 replies so far

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FirehouseWoodworking

624 posts in 1926 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

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knothead

149 posts in 2601 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! --

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crank49

3421 posts in 1623 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.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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lew

10029 posts in 2408 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.

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Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1721 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.

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rance

4132 posts in 1813 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--

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tigger959

50 posts in 2382 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

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richgreer

4524 posts in 1727 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.

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tigger959

50 posts in 2382 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

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rance

4132 posts in 1813 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--

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tigger959

50 posts in 2382 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

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Jim Finn

1676 posts in 1574 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”.

-- In God We Trust

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tigger959

50 posts in 2382 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 2382 days


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

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

-- Tigger, Texas

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Jim Finn

1676 posts in 1574 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.

-- In God We Trust

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