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Thread: Push blocks, Make em or buy em?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Blitzburgh PA
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    192

    Push blocks, Make em or buy em?

    I just ordered my Shop Fox W1706 bandsaw and I figure that its time that I invest in a set of push blocks. I could make my own and put some rubber on the bottom or grippy (high friction) material. I also saw the post by Alan Mikkelsen where he mentions using a grout float, which does make sense. I also see some places that have different prefabed kits/single ones. Since they are new to me for the most part I was hoping to get some opinions / ideas about some good blocks. <o></o>

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Roseville, Ca.
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    68
    I've done both. I have a float that I added a piece to the back to help hold the wood, and just today I picked up a Bench Dog push stick from Lowes. Build or buy, just as long as you use them, it probably doesn't matter.
    Ken

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Northern New Jersey
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    1,958
    I have a cheap set that I think they came free with one of my tools and they work really well. I'm not sure if it's worth the bother to make them yourself.

    I was also at a Woodworking Show where a vendor was selling the Grripper. This pushblock is mainly for tablesaw use, but can also be used as a regular push block for any machine. I heard a lot of positive talk about the Grripper, but I was leary because they were $50 each and made mostly of plastic. But when I was looking at them at the Show, a fellow woodworker saw me checking them out and said "I know what your thinking...but they really do work". So I impulse bought two and I'm glad I did! Now, if I can only stop impulse buying those Reeses Peanut Butter Cups near the checkout line!

    cheers, Jeff

  4. #4
    I grab my home made ones just about every time. Push blocks don't take alot of time really. Floats that you have to glue up take more time but y ou can make them to fit yourself and your needs.

    Corey

  5. #5
    I could totally stand corrected, but I'm not sure how you'd use push blocks to a real advantage on a bandsaw (table saw, jointer, router table, yes). A push stick is useful for resawing (I use a featherboard for that, too), but for flat or curved work on a bandsaw, I can't see where I'd use push blocks.

    To answer your question, I've always made my own push sticks. Right now I've got a 5-gallon paint stirring stick that I cut a notch in. The push blocks I currently have came with my jointer, but I could easily see using a grout float.

    On the table saw, though, the Grrrippers rule. Totally changed the way I approach rip cuts on the TS, and has alleviated the need for those occasional underwear changes that I used to have when ripping thin strips. (A splitter is also part of that equation.)

    - Vaughn
    Last edited by Vaughn McMillan; 02-24-2006 at 2:58 AM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan
    I could totally stand corrected, but I'm not sure how you'd use push blocks to a real advantage on a bandsaw (table saw, jointer, router table, yes). A push stick is useful for resawing (I use a featherboard for that, too), but for flat or curved work on a bandsaw, I can't see where I'd use push blocks.
    I think Brian may be referring to his new ability to cut out the shapes necessary to construct the grip for push blocks/sticks with a bandsaw.

  7. #7
    Whether one buys or makes, the one thing I would suggest is not using a pushstick that pushes down on only the front of the piece, without another pushstick or holddown that also exerts downward pressure elsewhere (not to mention pressure against the fence). The potential problem with these, and I know because it was partly responsible for a piece of wood kicking back on me, is that it can cause the back of the piece to lift up and catch the blade. This mostly applies to ripping smaller pieces and not say a big piece of plywood which is unlikely to lift up or which is big enough to push down on. Mind you, this is coming from a novice, but one who learns fast when he sees things fly by his face in a blur. I now use Grrippers for ripping short or narrow pieces, or a set of the Griptite magnetic holddowns for other rips.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Conway, Arkansas
    Posts
    12,864
    I've got about a dozen shop made push sticks and they work pretty good, but since I got a pair of GRRRRRIIPPERS? They ROCK!!!! I use the GRRipper on the router table, tablesaw, jointer....anywhere I'd need a pushstick of sorts. Great holding power and helps improve in safety of using powered machines.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
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    ....DEBT is nothing more than yesterday's spending taken from tomorrow's income.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Mills
    I think Brian may be referring to his new ability to cut out the shapes necessary to construct the grip for push blocks/sticks with a bandsaw.
    I suspect you're right.

    - Vaughn

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Meridianville, AL
    Posts
    345
    (GRRRPERS?) for me too Dennis, I use their table inserts also, both work great.

  11. #11
    With splitter in place, I use a push stick/block similar to the Stots Saw Aid(http://www.stots.com/sa.htm), but made by Vermont American. One thing it has that the Saw Aid does not is a small rubber foot near the front of the stick. It's just sticky enough to give better lateral control (i.e. it helps with pressure against the fence). I use this for 90% of my cuts (and have for about 10 years) and a home-made one for cuts 1/2" or less.

    The Grippers...

    About two weeks ago a attended a private class and the teacher had us use the Gripper. This thing scared the heck out of me. During my first cut, the Gripper began to slide forward and actually pulled the work into the blade. Thankfully we were able to shut power before things started to fly. My next cut was successful, but I had to exert so much downward pressure to keep the thing from sliding that I felt off balance. You see, I'm only 5'3" and trying to lean on the Gripper during the cut follow-thru placed my "off balance" body too much over the table for me. And my arm was directly over the blade. I can tell you I will never get one of these.

    -joe
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Peachtree City, GA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Peacock
    I've got about a dozen shop made push sticks and they work pretty good, but since I got a pair of GRRRRRIIPPERS? They ROCK!!!! I use the GRRipper on the router table, tablesaw, jointer....anywhere I'd need a pushstick of sorts. Great holding power and helps improve in safety of using powered machines.
    What Dennis said.
    Maurice

  13. #13
    I don't use push sticks at all any more since I got a couple of Grippers...set em up right...keep em clean... and they are about as safe as can be. Two of them is also the way to go.
    Glenn Clabo
    Michigan

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