Tips & Tricks Issue 91: Shoe-Style Push Sticks

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This article is from Issue 91 of Woodcraft Magazine.


A shoe-style push stick offers the best control over your workpiece. The long sole allows good downward pressure while the heel hooks over the end, offering positive forward feed force. The straight sole also provides enough bearing to help keep the workpiece against the fence to prevent kickback. Commercial models are available, but you can make your own from 1/4"- and 1/2"-thick plywood. Because they’re cheap and easy to make, you can consider them sacrificial, meaning that they’re perfect for ripping thin strips that require cutting into the push stick as part of the process. You can make a pusher any size you like, but it should be tall enough for your hand to pass over a tall splitter during narrow rips. The heel should be deep enough to positively grab the workpiece without slipping, but not so deep as to prevent solid sole contact on thin workpieces. 

—Paul Anthony, senior editor

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