If using a table saw is a little intimidating to you, you’re not alone! We were all beginners once! Using a plywood push stick can help keep your fingers out of the way and give you more confidence.
I traced one of my push sticks and made a pattern for you, it can be downloaded here: Pushstick Pattern
Once you’ve printed out your pattern you can either use a jig saw, or band saw to cut these out of scrap plywood or 1x boards. I like to keep a pile of them right by my saw so I can grab a new one if I’ve sawn through the old one one too many times.
A benefit of using wooden push sticks rather than store bought ones is you’re not as afraid to run it through the blade if that is what you need to do to cut your wood safely.
- If you are right handed, you should set your fence to the right of the blade, stand on the left, never right behind and use a push stick whenever you are in doubt. Which may be to finish every cut as you get started.
- Place your push stick just to the left of center between the blade and fence, this allows you to keep pressure on the wood to hold it against your fence.
- My picture ended up being a little narrower than it could be, I use a push stick on anything less than about 6 inches to finish the cut.
- Know where your hands are going, then watch the fence, not the blade to ensure a straight cut.
- When doing very narrow cuts, it is worth the time to make a zero tolerance throat plate to keep the pieces from slipping between the blade. On my saw 1/4″ hardboard is the correct thickness.
- If you’re still unsure, add a feather board just in front of the blade to help hold your wood against the fence as you go.
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