What wood for fishmouth pushsticks?

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Forum topic by deadherring posted 05-06-2014 04:33 PM 1076 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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73 posts in 1818 days

05-06-2014 04:33 PM


I am planning to make some fishmouth pushsticks based on Mattias Wandells design here:

A few questions:

1. He says he makes them out of 1 cm (~.40”) wood. I feel like the pics show they are a bit bigger than that? What would be the right thickness?

2. What wood should I use? It’s hard to tell from the pics what he is using? Is plywood the way to go or should it be a hardwood?

I have access to 1/2”, 3/4” ply and oak, pine and poplar.

Thanks in advance.


9 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile


12399 posts in 2555 days

#1 posted 05-06-2014 04:44 PM

Scrap wood, whatever you have. Make a few in different thicknesses. I don’t really like that style of pushstick but they can be handy once in awhile.

-- Rick M,

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2123 days

#2 posted 05-06-2014 05:08 PM

Thats what I use. As for wood, I like soft wood so as you cut them there is no resistance. I usually make a dozen at a time, when they are hacked up then in the kindling barrel they go

View MrRon's profile


5139 posts in 3418 days

#3 posted 05-06-2014 05:28 PM

I use plywood, 1/2” thick and about 9” long. I don’t spend a lot of time making them; usually 2 minutes at the most. They get chewed up quickly, so nothing fancy.

View oldnovice's profile


7273 posts in 3542 days

#4 posted 05-06-2014 05:31 PM

I pick up 1 foot wooden rulers at the lumberyard or big box store and make something that works the same but doesn’t quite look the same. For stiffer ones I just glue two of them together.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2751 days

#5 posted 05-06-2014 05:51 PM

+1 on scrap wood, 1/2” and up is what I use.

That said, I don’t like that design.
It sacrifices control for perceived safety.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View deadherring's profile


73 posts in 1818 days

#6 posted 05-06-2014 05:52 PM

Thanks everyone—1/2” plywood it is! Will crank them out tonight.


View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2865 days

#7 posted 05-07-2014 02:12 AM

Thos epush sticks are dangerous as they don’t hold the wood to the table surface like a “push shoe” does unless you diligently use 2 at a time as Mattias is doing in his picture. I find the 2 push stick technique a PITA.

“Push shoes” are much safer and more convenient IMHO.

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

View lab7654's profile


266 posts in 2422 days

#8 posted 05-07-2014 02:59 AM

Not meaning to make this a safety discussion, but those types really do lack control. But you can compensate by using 2 like Matthias. Like he says, it’s really personal preference when it comes to push sticks, some just work better with different people. Experience is the deciding factor, whether positive or negative.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View oldnovice's profile


7273 posts in 3542 days

#9 posted 05-07-2014 05:53 AM

I have to agree with the safety issues with these “fishmouth” push sticks as they do lack control.
I only use them on very thin rips when I have a feather board in place.

Normally I use one similar to this!

But more well worn!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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