When should you use push sticks?
Push sticks or push blocks should be used when operating standard woodworking machinery, including table saws, band saws, radial arm saws, jointer/planers and shapers. These sticks protect the hand while allowing good hand control of the stock as it is pushed through the cutting head or blade. Push blocks for jointer/planers should be constructed for two-handed positioning.
To keep your hands away from the blade:
- Always use a push stick for pieces less that 30 cm (1 ft) in length, or for the last 30 cm of a longer cut.
- Use a push stick of appropriate length to ensure your hand is away from the blade. For example, if you need to cut wood within 30 cm of the blade, use a push stick that is at least 45 cm long.
- Use the push stick to remove the cut piece from between the fence and the blade.
What are some features of a push block?
Hold-down push blocks should:
- be rigid
- enable the operator to protect both hands
- allow the operator to exert a firm and steady pressure on the work piece.
The following are samples of push blocks.
- Simple push sticks are useful on a table saw when distance between the blade and fence is narrow.
Simple push stick useful on table saw when distance between the blade and fence is narrow.
Double-handled hold-down push block
Frontal Push Block
Side Push Block
Use of two push blocks on single application
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