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Thread: Using a push stick?

  1. #1

    Using a push stick?

    What is the correct way to use a push stick? Everytime I try the cut always comes out crooked and feels like it is going to kick back at any give time. I have a craftsman plastic push stich. Is it possible that my blade or fence needs adjustment? How would I go about checking something like that?


    I have this push stick, is it good or should I make on out of plywood?

    http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...seBVCookie=Yes
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  2. #2
    Andrew, I would rule out the problem being with the push stick. You should see the old thing I use I would check to make sure that your fence is parallel to the blade by checking it against the miter slot. It should be ever so slightly out of parallel away from the blade. If this is good, focus on your technique. I not only focus on pushing forward, but also making sure that I push into the fence at the same time. Make sense? Try this out. Be safe.

  3. #3
    How do you push forward and into the fence at the sametime? Do you use two hands or something? What is a miter slot?
    arcone inverter W/ scratch start tig setup
    victor oxy-acetylene torch
    Miller XLIX STARS AND STRIPES
    MILLERMATIC 135
    task force abrasive chopsaw
    Craftsman 263 piece mechanics tool set/chest
    Craftsman 10 inch tablesaw
    Delta ShopMaster belt/disk sander

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    53,262
    Don't use a push "stick"...use a push block. Shop-built or commercial...it doesn't matter. You then have several inches of the thing directly in contact with the top of workpiece which gives better control. Push "sticks", IMHO, are an accident waiting to happen. I make my push blocks out of scrap and have 3/4", 1/2" and 1/4" thick versions to allow for narrow rips.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
    Whats the difference? Do you have pictures of the one you made?
    arcone inverter W/ scratch start tig setup
    victor oxy-acetylene torch
    Miller XLIX STARS AND STRIPES
    MILLERMATIC 135
    task force abrasive chopsaw
    Craftsman 263 piece mechanics tool set/chest
    Craftsman 10 inch tablesaw
    Delta ShopMaster belt/disk sander

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    53,262
    I don't have a picture of mine, but here's an example of something similar from a commercial source (Lee Valley)

    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
    Mine is kind of like that if you click on the link. How do you use that?
    arcone inverter W/ scratch start tig setup
    victor oxy-acetylene torch
    Miller XLIX STARS AND STRIPES
    MILLERMATIC 135
    task force abrasive chopsaw
    Craftsman 263 piece mechanics tool set/chest
    Craftsman 10 inch tablesaw
    Delta ShopMaster belt/disk sander

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    53,262
    Just like the picture I posted above...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
    Whenever I do that the workpiece wont stay flush with the fence.
    arcone inverter W/ scratch start tig setup
    victor oxy-acetylene torch
    Miller XLIX STARS AND STRIPES
    MILLERMATIC 135
    task force abrasive chopsaw
    Craftsman 263 piece mechanics tool set/chest
    Craftsman 10 inch tablesaw
    Delta ShopMaster belt/disk sander

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    8
    Check out the GRR-Ripper. Will solve the problem described. Description and pics available in WW mags or online. I have 2 of them.
    Randy

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Andrew, my suggestion would be for you to practice with the saw blade off until you feel you can control your workpiece with the push block. The tab at the back moves the workpiece forward as you advance your hand and downward pressure you exert should allow you to easily keep the workpiece against the fence.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker
    Don't use a push "stick"...use a push block.
    Jim: I agree with you. "Push sticks" are worthless and dangerous. I was using his words in light of the link that he sent that is similar to the one I use and that you linked to.

    Andrew: You press down on the piece of wood and gently apply pressure forward and to the side. It's a single motion. Beyond that, I don't know how to describe the process. As I'm typing, I'm looking like a fool as I "air-saw" trying to put it into words

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    155
    Andrew,

    I use to use the same stick that you are using...basically a very skinny block.

    The one safety issue that I have with these types is that your hand is trapped inside the block - sort of unsafe - like burying your boot all the way in the stirrup and then getting thrown off of the horse! If something happens and you need to let go, you can't as easliy as you could a solid handle.

    The best block that I have found is a shop-made block about 2" thick x 3" wide x 12" long with a piece of 1/4" baltic birch or hardboard glued / screwed onto the back that sticks down about 1/4" to catch the board being pushed. You can even spray-glue some sandpaper to the bottom to improve the grip if you want to.

    Put a handle on the top for pushing and you're off and running. I like to make a solid handle that is angled forward just a bit to assist in pushing down and forward.

    The block that you have is a little too thin and tall which may be causing you to rock from side to side and push away from the fence a bit.

    You might try a feather board to push the stock in toward the fence as well. Just be sure and locate it properly so it does not interfere with the stock as it reaches the blade. The end of the feather board should be located about 1/2" or more behind the blade (toward you away from the blade).

    Good luck and stay safe! Don't ever do anything with a tool that you don't feel comfortable with.
    <DT class=quote>Brad K.</DT>

    <DT class=quote>Old Higbee Mill

    <DT class=quote>____________________________
    If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything!
    Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

    </DT>

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Jason...I was kinda taken aback that the LV pages refer to the thing as a push stick! Here I am trying to post a picture of a push block, at least in the context of my wild mind...and they mess me all up. Sheesh!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
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    Here is a home-made block with a store-bought handle (from Rockler).

    Of course you could make your own handle as well - just be sure that the grain is running up and down the handle - not from front to back or it could break off and there you'd be with your hand back in the saw!

    Hope this helps clarify my earlier post.

    By the way - I agree with the previous post about "The Gripper". I don't have one yet, but I plan to look into them.

    <DT class=quote>Brad K.</DT>

    <DT class=quote>Old Higbee Mill

    <DT class=quote>____________________________
    If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything!
    Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

    </DT>

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