Do push blocks loose their grip?

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Forum topic by JesseTutt posted 02-26-2013 09:59 PM 1888 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2135 days

02-26-2013 09:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question push blocks

I have various plastic push blocks that I have acquired over time. Recently I noticed that the set I keep with the jointer are slipping. By this I mean that as I try to push the wood through the jointer the push blocks slide on top of the wood instead of griping the wood and forcing it through the machine. So od push blocks go bad? Do I need to restore them somehow? If so how?

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

11 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10529 posts in 3453 days

#1 posted 02-26-2013 10:35 PM

They do!
As they get older, the material on them hardens. You could try roughing them up by scuffing them across some 60 or 80 grit paper. It won’t bring back the original grip but it might expose some new material and the roughness will help, too.
I use plasterers trowels. They have a fairly thick foam pad, a nice ergonomic handle and seem to last a bit longer.
On one of my older pushers that had lost it’s grip, I added a 1/8 thick piece of wood at the back. It doesn’t grip but it does help push the stock through….and keeps my fingers safe.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2213 days

#2 posted 02-27-2013 01:40 AM

Drywall sanding tools work well too. I screw them to a wooden piece with a hook on the back end. Having several pushers, each with a different sized hook, allows for jointing various thicknesses. This works better than those pads with no hook.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View bondogaposis's profile


4765 posts in 2375 days

#3 posted 02-27-2013 02:44 AM

I make my own and when they do I replace the sandpaper.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2714 days

#4 posted 02-27-2013 03:18 AM

I contact cement sandpaper to mine when they begin to “lose their grip”

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

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2135 days

#5 posted 02-27-2013 04:47 AM

I have built several jigs that need handles. I think that the old push blocks will be turned into handles.

Thanks for the information.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View needshave's profile


175 posts in 1983 days

#6 posted 02-27-2013 05:15 AM

I had much the same push blocks, yellow in color and after a while they just seem to get relative hard and I felt as though the jointer was going to kick the board out from underneath the block. I currently use grout floats that I purchased at Home Depot for 4.00 each. Wooden handle with aluminum back plate I also use a grey plastic plaster sanding tool that I purchased at the depot as well. Both are larger that the yellow push blocks and have a more comfortable feel. Both really stick to the wood, so I feel safer and comfortable using them.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5703 posts in 2837 days

#7 posted 02-27-2013 05:17 AM

I screw truss mending plates to the bottom of my jointer paddles. I use them for rough lumber, because the dimples left behind are removed at the thickness planer. See my tip in the April 2013 FWW magazine.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4999 posts in 2517 days

#8 posted 02-27-2013 12:48 PM

Yep, but they are so cheap I just buy new ones, though I’ve heard of guys using mouse pads to renew the old ones. I recently bought some Bench Dawg Push-Bloc, they are so superior to the more common design that they are worth the extra $5 or so each.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2394 days

#9 posted 02-27-2013 01:38 PM

When we moved into our house, my wife went a little crazy at the dollar store on rolls of rubber drawer liner for some reason. I’ve made a couple sticks out of scrap plywood and glued little pieces of that onto the business end, it works pretty well.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Kjuly's profile


308 posts in 3310 days

#10 posted 02-27-2013 01:47 PM

I second the mouse pad idea. I scraped off the old pad and used contact cement the glue on the new mouse pad.
It’s still working after 3 years.

-- Keith, Charlotte, MI

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10529 posts in 3453 days

#11 posted 02-27-2013 02:02 PM

It’s He!! to get old.
Thanks to Needshave, the tool I called a plasterers trowel is now properly identified as a grout float.

Push blocks are not the only thing in my shop that are losing their grip! See above.

BinghamtonEd’s idea struck a chord with me. I use that stuff on my bench to hold pieces for sanding. Should work great for push blocks.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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