A push stick
A simple and easily produced tool that might just save you from a world of discomfort.
This is the Woodwork Junkie “How to?” – DIY table saw push stick making tutorial for beginners.
What it is.
A push stick is a tool that can be bought or alternatively, easily produced yourself and although very simple in design, plays an important role in the safety operating procedures of a table saw.
Table saws are useful tools that can chew through a piece of wood but when not used correctly will show no mercy in its retaliation.
The main focus of push sticks is to extend arms reach when operating a table saw and so allowing the operator of the saw to increase the distance between their limbs and the very dangerous rotating blade of the saw.
Your main focus here should be a tool that can hook the workpiece and trough applied pressure, feed the workpiece trough the blade with the objective of clearing the operator’s hands from the blade.
Ideally, should something go wrong and kick back occurs, the push stick will take the punishment from the blade.
What you’ll need.
- A piece of off-cut wood – 7×14 inch (I used a 3/4 inch thick plank)
- Measuring and marking equipment.
- Figure saw, jigsaw or scroll saw.
- Router for edging
- Sandpaper (100 grit should do the trick)
Step 1 – Plot the basic outline of the push stick
Using measuring equipment and a marking tool, plot out the push stick on the piece of wood as per the supplied dimensions.
Step 2 – Soften the edges
Using the marked lines as a guide, free hand draw a curved edge for a more comfortable look and feel.
This will be the cutting line.
Using a marking tool that produces a more prominent line or a different color can make differentiating between the lines easier.
Step 3 – Cutout
With a scroll or figure saw cut along the guidelines to produce the rough push stick. (If needed a jigsaw can also be used).
Step 4 – Router and sand
Use a router to cut a curved edge on the push stick for a better look and feel. Do not router the base (sole) of the push stick.
When completed all that is left is to cut the heel in and sanding down the push stick for a smooth finish.
Step 5 – Cut heel and finish
As indicated in figure 1 & 2, cut in the heel of your push stick. When doing so it is important to keep in mind that a deeper heel offers more control but also limits the operator with regards to the minimum stock thickness it can be used on (The stock should not be thinner than the heel of your push stick).
The heel in this tutorial is a 1/2″ deep but can be produced at a 1/4″ to accommodate thinner stock.
Table saws are dangerous if not used correctly.
If you have no experience or you are not familiar with the operating procedure of a table saw it is strongly advised that you only use the saw under supervision. ALWAYS follow the safety instruction in the manual of your saw and use the appropriate protective equipment.
Woodworkjunkie.com, DIY like a pro.
If the tutorial was useful or you have any suggestions please let us know in the comment section below. Alternatively, you can mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org