Popular Woodworking 2007-12 № 166, страница 33

Popular Woodworking 2007-12 № 166, страница 33

is definitely necessary. Again, be aware that you will lose some control. Push sticks should not be used at the beginning of a cut on a long board — your hands have more control and will not be at risk. I keep my push stick handy, and when my push hand gets to that 3" limit, with one hand holding the board firmly, I let the other hand pick up the push stick and finish the cut.

There is one catch to push sticks. We've all seen the old-style push sticks — you know the kind you had in high school shop class that look a bit like a snake with an open mouth. Well, those are the ones I would use as a second choice. These types of push sticks have a pushing vector that is almost straight down at the back of the board. With too much pressure applied at the wrong time it could cause your board to tip upward. However it is always a good idea to have a variety of different styles of push sticks available. Here are my recommendations for making a first-class push stick, which works more like a push block.

1. You can make push sticks out of any scrap material in the shop, however Baltic birch would be the best choice because it has great internal structure, is rigid and can bear a great pushing load. Particleboard and MDF would be lesser choices because they have no internal structure and can fracture easily. Still, if

particleboard or MDF are all you have, they will make acceptable push sticks.

2. Never make a push stick with a handle grip (similar to a handsaw grip). Although this seems like a good idea, it can cause your hand to be trapped, and if for some reason the push stick gets grabbed or thrown, your hand will be caught and could be seriously injured.

3. Push sticks should always be thinner than the width of wood being cut. If the push stick is too wide, it will not clear between the guard and the fence. It is a good idea to make several push sticks of varying thicknesses.

4. Push sticks should be designed to hook the back of the board, however,

I think it is very important to have the push stick also sit on top of the wood. This will change the vector of push from the back of the board to on top of the board and will greatly improve the amount of control. Again, it would be a good idea to have push sticks of varying lengths for different-sized work.

5. Good push sticks that sit on top of the board (such as the one for the router table pictured above) can be used both on the vertical and horizontal, which make them very handy.

Wrong and right. The push blocks that came with your jointer are useful if you use them correctly. Don't grasp the handle as shown above left. This traps your hands. Instead, wrap your hand over the push block as shown at right. Don't forget to replace the pad's foam with a piece of sandpaper.

54 ■ Popular Woodworking December 2007

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