Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Diy Simple Push Block - Saving fingers for over 100 Years!!!

Their are dozens, probably more, variations of this versatile handy dandy piece of wood known as the push block.  It can leap tall buildings in a single bound...OK...maybe it can't leap tall buildings in a single bound.  However, it sure can push stuff.

 Its function is simplistic by nature, yet versatile in its operation.  It can be used at the table saw. then taken to the router table.  In my opinion the best push blocks are the push blocks that you make yourself.  Why?  You can customize them to you.  A push block that works for someone that is 5'3 and has smaller hands may not be so comfortable to someone that is 6'4.  A 5'3 person may want a design that is more sleek and fits better in their hand.  A 6'4 person may find that same design inadequate for a myriad of reasons.  Perhaps the angle of the handle isn't quite right which makes the use of that push block feel somewhat awkward and unsafe.  In the end that is the real purpose of a push block, to make things feel safer.  When things feel safer it instills confidence.  When you feel confident about using your tools you make better, more accurate cuts, which in turn makes your end product look better with less effort.

The first thing I'm going to do is get a foot.  In my case I have chosen a piece of scrap 2x3 lumber that I will cut to about 8".  Any length would probably do.  8" just happen to be where the 2x3 landed on the miter saw when I set it down so that is what I went with.

Then its time to lay out for the handle.  First I'll measure 2" up from the bottom of a piece of 2x6 scrap I've had laying around the shop.

Then an inch on the adjoining side. 

 Finally a 45 degree mark from the top of the stock down to the 2" mark I made a moment ago.  A second 45 degree line marks my desired thickness of my handle.

Then its over to the band saw.  I could have used a jigsaw or evan a hand saw.

Next I'll drill a couple pilot holes for some screws.

Stick the two pieces together and drive the screws.  

One thing worth noting is that when the screws are driven into the foot, make sure they are not angled down toward the bottom of the foot.  You do not want the screws to accidentally come in contact with the blade.

What I like most about this design is that when the foot of the push block becomes worn, I can remove the screws, and attach a new piece of scrap to the handle. 

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