This is How to Make a Push Stick from Scraps. In this post, I’ll show you how to take some of your scraps and turn them into excellent push sticks.
If You Like My Posts, You'll Love My Books
Scrap Wood Push Sticks
It’s important when you’re using your woodworking tools that you are always a safe as possible. Woodworking can be a really fun hobby, but it’s not fun when you start to injure yourself or possibly even lose some fingers.
That’s right, the tools used in woodworking are capable of cutting through a solid piece of hardwood, which means they won’t even notice when one of your fingers goes through the blade.
One of the ways to be safer in your woodworking shop is to create and use push sticks, which keep your hands farther away from the blades and bits as you work. This gives you a better opportunity to react if something happens, and that makes you safer.
I’ll show you how to make a push stick from scraps coming up in a post, and it will get you in the habit of saving the right type of material to always make sure you have push sticks on hand to help keep yourself safe in the shop.
Saving Your Scraps is Important
The first thing that you should do is start saving your scraps. Since push sticks are meant to be cut through on many occasions, you are going to destroy them fairly quickly if you use them often enough.
You should never be worried about cutting through the end of your push stick, that’s what it’s for. The point of the stick is to keep you farther away from the action, but also to not worry about cutting through it in order to make a good cut on your main piece.
Instead of spending a ton of money on store-bought push sticks, just develop the habit of saving pieces of wood that look like they are good candidates to be cut into a push stick. This way, you’ll always have enough from material.
See Also: Why I Wear Safety Glasses
Find Pieces Big Enough and Draw Your Stick
For most push sticks, about 12 to 18 inches in length, and an inch or two thick is about all you need. This is a good blank size, and it will let you draw your push stick outline on the piece before you cut.
If you make it a habit of looking for pieces like this, it’ll be easy for you to find them as you make other projects. Then, all you need to do is set them aside and save them. If you want, you can even draw your outline on the push stick to begin with.
The design for a push stick isn’t really very elaborate. In fact, all you need is the little notch at the front to help you grab on to the end of your piece of wood. The rest of the stick can be completely plain, though many times woodworkers like to make them look a little better.
See Also: 50 Awesome Reasons to be a Woodworker
Cut The Sticks Out and Save Them
Once you have enough scraps, draw your push stick outline on them, and then cut out a bunch of them at the same time.
Probably the easiest place to do this is the bandsaw. Though, if you are opting for a pretty squared off looking stick, you can do the bulk of the work on the tablesaw, and then take out the notch with the bandsaw.
It’s nice to have a bunch of these pre-cut, that way in a pinch you’ll always have something to use should the occasion arise. In this form, it’s not nearly as refined as it could be, but it’s better than going without and potentially cutting your finger.
Round the Edges and Remove Splinters
Just because you made it all yourself, there is no reason to have it look crappy. Especially since making your push to look a little nicer is as quick as rounding the edges, or using your router.
All you need to do is set up the router table with a round over bit, and then test it on a scrap until you get the curve that you like. Then, simply trim all of the squared off edges on your push stick with the router.
If You Like My Posts, You'll Love My Books
If you don’t want to go that far, technically all you really need to do is go over the piece with some 100 grit sandpaper to break the sharp edges and remove any splinters. This is actually really important for safety, because you don’t want any surprises when you are using the stick.
See Also: 17 Important Tips on How to Sand Wood
Keep Them Close to Your Tools
Finally, you want to make sure that you keep your push sticks close to the tools that use them. For most shops, this is the router table and the tablesaw. If you have other tools that use push sticks, keep them there too.
It’s amazing, but simply having to walk across the shop to get a push stick might be the difference between you using it or not. Most of us base our decisions on previous experience, and until you hurt yourself, your brain thinks you have a flawless record.
Instead of allowing yourself to be tempted to take the risk, keep several push sticks near your major tools, and you’ll always have one available when you need it. You won’t have to worry about making a bad decision, or having to go get the tool you need before you make the cut.
Tips on Making Scrap Wood Push Sticks
Here are some tips on making a push stick from scraps in your shop:
- Keep as many extra pieces of wood as you can in a separate location so that way you always have enough raw material to make push sticks when you need them.
- Save up enough wood until you have material to make about 10 of these at a time, and then just do them all at once. It’s faster that way.
- Spend some time removing any splinters or sharp areas on your sticks, because you don’t want to be surprised with a splinter while you’re in the middle of a complex cut.
Your Action Assignment
Now that you know how to keep a steady stream of push sticks in your shop using the scraps that you create from your other projects, it’s time to get out into your shop and take action.
Start by simply saving the pieces of wood you have that are the right size to be made into your own push sticks. Then, once you have enough pieces, create a whole set of sticks and keep them near the tools were you use them a lot.
If you have any questions about how to make a push stick from scraps, please post a question and I’ll be happy to answer it. Happy building.
- More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience
- 7 Woodworking Books Available on Amazon
- Over 1 Million Words Published About Woodworking
- Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University
I receive Commissions for Purchases Made Through the Links in This Post. Join My Woodworking Facebook Group