If you don't trust your push stick: Don't use it!!

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Forum topic by TomVervoort posted 08-26-2014 01:56 PM 1468 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TomVervoort's profile


3 posts in 1365 days

08-26-2014 01:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: puh stick table saw accident

At first I want to say that this accident is totally my own fault.

My “push stick accident”.

Cutting a 2×4 in thin strips I made a fatal error doing this.
I was using a plastic push stick (I get this with my table saw) and was guiding the wood with my thumb.
As the pieces getting smaller at the end of a cut, I was feeling uncomfortable using this stick and for a split second my attention was more at the push stick then at the blade.
I’m still not very sure how , but I touched the blade with my thumb.
There I was , wearing safety goggles and hearing protection and a thumb that’s not looking very pretty.
I needed a surgery and ended up with a thumb thats 0.5 cm shorter.

Now, 2 weeks later, they removed the stitches and it seems to heal very well.
I’m still shivering when I see my table saw so it will take a while using this again.

I now know I had probably had to use a feather board and a better push stick but my point is that if you have to do things in your shop that’s not feeling comfortable,

I’m always focusing on working safely but it still can happen.
Please use push sticks, feather board’s , safety gears, ...!!
Please work safe.

Thanks for reading, Tom.

-- Asinus ad lapidem non bis offendit eundem. Don't make the same mistake twice.

10 replies so far

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2041 days

#1 posted 08-26-2014 02:11 PM

Tom, sorry to hear that. I’m with you…if you don’t trust your push stick, don’t use it. I find that I rarely use the table saw provided push sticks in favor of after market or homemade ones. Still looking to buy a good after market push shoe style push stick for home use…I have a few sacrificial ones made of 2×6 material.

-- paxorion

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3044 days

#2 posted 08-26-2014 02:14 PM

The main thing is to learn from, our mistakes and to never repeat them.

-- Bert

View Troy Cleckler 's profile

Troy Cleckler

385 posts in 1366 days

#3 posted 08-26-2014 02:17 PM

Thanks for sharing. I think shop safety should be talked about more. That hurts just thinking about it. It’s a hard lesson learned when you have to go through the results of such an injury. Just goes to show that you MUST respect every tool in the shop and keep your concentration on them. My table saw doesn’t have the guard on it and I too have had the need for thin strips but I made a strip jig and a zero clearence plate so I’m pushing the thickest part between the blade and fence, with a push stick of course.
Hopefully your fear will turn into greater respect for the table saw so you can use it again without being afraid of it.

-- Troy. - Measure twice, cut once and fill the gaps....

View retfr8flyr's profile


384 posts in 1664 days

#4 posted 08-26-2014 02:18 PM

I almost never use a regular push stick anymore since I got my Grrriper setup. I think they are the safest things I have used around my saw.

-- Earl

View mahdee's profile


3883 posts in 1763 days

#5 posted 08-26-2014 02:22 PM

True, normally your “gut feeling” will serve as a warning guide. I have come to listen to it and restraint myself when my gut feeling sounds the alarm. Thanks for sharing. Another scarred woodworker, welcome to the club.


View Woodbum's profile


812 posts in 3061 days

#6 posted 08-27-2014 06:56 PM

Tom: I am really sorry to hear about your thumb. Yours is a variation on the old saying that if you think a process is dangerous…it is, so don’t do it. I have had too many close calls with my TS and have been scuffed up pretty good by kicked back stock. Now all of my TS inserts are either orange or red. I have gotten in the habit of keeping my fingers out of all planes of the “danger zone”, designated by the colored areas, left right. I also observe stand off over the blade by the same distance as the “danger zone” to the left and to the right. Everybody has their favorite pushing device, but the best one is the one that you will use, whichever that is. Thanks for sharing. It increases my safety awareness when I read about a fellow woodworker’s misfortune, as bad as it is.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3580 days

#7 posted 08-27-2014 09:08 PM

Also always have the smaller piece to the outside of the blade so that it falls away when cut on my saw that is to the left of the blade as the fence is to the right of the blade.This makes pushing the larger piece through with a pushstick much less dangerous .Do not have the smaller piece sometimes very small get trapped between the blade and the fence .If you are making lots of small repeat cuts and prefer not to have to continue alterring the fence then set up a dummy fence, which does not extend out onto the and beyond the front of the blade as it faces you..This will allow the thin or short and thin peices of cut timber not to build up around the space between the blade and fence and therefore easily pushed well out of the way beyond the turning blade in my case to the right. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View TomVervoort's profile


3 posts in 1365 days

#8 posted 08-28-2014 04:23 PM

Thanks for all the tip’s and the wise words.

I will definitely learn of my mistake(s) and my “gut feeling” will more than ever act as a warning system.
But the main purpose of sharing my story is to warn all of you woodworkers for the risks we face in our hobby. (As if we didn’t knew that already)
If there is only one person thinking “that could of been me!” (and than hopefully will act different in the future!) I achieved my goal.

Thanks to all.

-- Asinus ad lapidem non bis offendit eundem. Don't make the same mistake twice.

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2499 days

#9 posted 08-28-2014 04:38 PM


-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View Woodknack's profile


11608 posts in 2375 days

#10 posted 08-30-2014 07:19 PM

Sounds like the push stick didn’t cause the accident, but lack of focus. Don’t feel bad, that is the cause of most accidents.

-- Rick M,

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