Bombarde16

Push blocks

Push blocks  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. When do you discard a push block?

    • When the sole is more kerf than wood.
      11
    • When it must be held by tweezers and there is nothing but a handful of splinters keeping it together.
      2
    • It is never OK to discard a push block.
      1


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Old faithful had almost nothing left of the sole, so it was time to put her out to pasture.

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And, clocking in with a sporty, two-tone paint job courtesy of leftover interior latex left by the previous homeowners, a trio of newcomers waiting for their first cuts.

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So, this had me wondering:  How far will you push a push block?  Surely I'm not the only one who's taken it down to the point of chewed-up silliness like this.

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I have a couple different shapes of pushsticks that I just keep copying in small batches out of scrap. They last a lot longer these days because I have 2 Grrrippers. It takes a minute or so to configure them so I mainly use them for cutting multiple parts. Wooden push sticks are my go to for single or small quantity parts. 

Bandsaw the shape, dress shape on belt/spindle sander then round the edges on the router table. Make a small batch and toss them in a drawer near the tablesaw. A batch easily lasts a few years. My favorite shaped one gets a couple magnets and sticks to the side of the saw.

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I just a section of 2x4 with a piece of 1/4 scrap or ply screwed to the end to form the 'heel'. I use it until it is all chewed up like your old one, then remove the heel, rip the bottom clean, and add a new heel. Rinse and repeat until I am no longer comfortable with my hand's proximity to the blade.

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Mine is the same shape and I do the same to mine as Kev. I like mine being higher up as it allows me to rest my right two fingers on top of my fence. 

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Being brand new to woodworks I'm very concerned with safety especially since I've played guitar for over 50 years and continue to do so and I don't intend on losing any fingers...my music is the only thing that keeps me somewhat sane and my bestest friend

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On 7/2/2018 at 7:28 AM, jazzed said:

Being brand new to woodworks I'm very concerned with safety especially since I've played guitar for over 50 years and continue to do so and I don't intend on losing any fingers...my music is the only thing that keeps me somewhat sane and my bestest friend

That only sounds reasonable! There's a bunch of pretty reasonable safety instruction out there:

 

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I pretty much only use gripper blocks now, but my old stick design was such that I could bandsaw off the old chewed up head in seconds and cut a new one, giving me multiple uses before the handle was finally too short to reliably perform.

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I appreciate all the tips!  (Sorry for not taking the time to like them all.)   I haven't been using a sacrificial bottom on my sticks - a light came on (and this appears to be the inspiration for the Gripper.)  I'll have to make a few more push sticks now.

 

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Don't throw that away! It's still got at least 10 years left! Just screw a piece of broom handle to the 45* angle part on the back. This will get your hand well above the blade with a comfortable forward angle. And, you are good to go for a long time to come (you may want to dress up the bottom and put a new heal on it as well).

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post-14184-0-89380200-1387045541_thumb.jpgAll mine have a handle that sticks up, leaning forward at about a 45.   I've never used any that look like those in the first post.  The one I use the most is lying closest to the fence, but a Grripper is not far away.  I used plywood ones, similar in shape to that orange one for many years.

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 Wood push sticks and blocks to face joint.  Everyone here seems to love the Gripper. I don't do small parts very often.

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I use the Gripper. Like Steve said, easy to configure. I have a rule that anytime there is less than six inches between blade and fence, I use the Gripper. Yes, they’re great for small stuff, but don’t discount them as an all around push stick. I use them at the router table and bandsaw too. I can’t afford a Sawstop right now but I can afford a pair of these and accomplish the same goal - keeping my fingers. Oh, and I’d use them on a Sawstop too. 

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That's my portable saw, that gets moved from job to job.  Since then, I've done away with the router wing-too hard to catch the chips.

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