As some of you may know I’m using a different table saw now. When I sold my last one I gave all the jigs and push sticks with it. Including my favorite one. So, no time like the present to make another.While I prefer this style of push stick more than any other style I do not claim it to be the “best”. There isn’t a “best” push stick out there but rather a lot of great options. What I find to be extremely useful you may not. What you find to be extremely useful I may not. The “best” thing for you to do is to familiarize yourself with as many options as you can and use the one you are comfortable with as needed for the task at hand.
The style push stick I’m showing you here is an easy design that you can make without a bandsaw. It’s nothing more than a block of 2×6. Any 2x dimensional lumber is 1-1/2” wide. Once the factory rounded edges are ripped off you have a nice flat sacrificial base for the push stick. And because it is about 5-1/2” tall (standard for 2×6) you not only have a fair amount of distance between your hand and the blade but also you have a lot of wood that can be trimmed flat again as the base gets chewed up.
The length is up to you but I like mine to be about 15” long. This gives a nice distribution of pressure along your work piece and greatly reduces the chances of a piece flying up in the back side of the cut (given that your table saw is set up properly). To reduce weight I cut a small miter on the back side of the block as well as a longer angled cut on the front side of the block. The back miter also makes holding it a little more ergonomically friendly. A random size hole is cut near the back miter as a hand grab.
To actually push the material forward I screwed a scrap piece of wood to the back and let it overhang the bottom of the block by about 1/4”. The only thing of importance here is that the right side of the block and the right side of the scrap push piece are on the same plane. This will prevent the push block from hanging on the saw fence as it passes the front of it. Having the entire right side of the push block on the same plane is also handy so it will slide evenly across the entire fence when working with thin stock.
The scrap push piece can be whatever you have but I like to use 3/4” thick stock because when it gets chewed up pretty bad even the thin “fingers” that are left will still have some strength due to the thickness. When it gets too chewed up just unscrew it and screw on another scrap block. We’re woodworkers so there should be an endless supply of these tiny blocks laying around. Because this push area is on both sides of the blade with thinner stock you can rip multiple thin strips with the strip on the fence side of the blade and both pieces will be pushed through the cut safely.
So that’s pretty much it. If you watch my video at the top of this post it walks you through making one and some things I like about it. But like I said, it’s not the “best” push stick out there as there is no such thing. It’s just my favorite. I invite you to check out a few other push stick options that I like as well. Make as many as you can and us them all as needed. The following approaches have differing opinions but all contain useful information.
Izzy is using the same design as John.
I keep a set of his two handed sticks on my saw as well. Very handy for smaller stuff. Matthias also has a free template you can download by clicking here.
Steve made a mudflap girl push stick. A+ for creativity!