Tablesaw Push Stick or Push Shoe
Which is Better?
A typical tablesaw push stick puts your hand beyond the end of your work. You are using forward pressure. There is little downward pressure. If something goes wrong, your hand heads for the blade. A typical push stick can be dangerous!
The push shoe holds the workpiece down. With the Push Shoe, there is increased stability. Your hand is over the end of your work, not behind it. In addition, your hand puts pressure downward, not at an angle like a push stick.
With a Push Shoe, your fingers are high and away from the blade. Only your thumb is on the blade side;
your four other fingers are away from the blade. You can force your work to stay on the fence. This produces more accurate cuts.
Finally, the sole of the push shoe provides a longer contact area with your work, which keeps the front of the board down.
The push shoe is very simple. You can make it from a piece of 3/4" plywood. The Push Shoe only takes a few minutes to make. Mine is six-years old and still going strong. The heel is a little beat up, but doesn't bother the performance.
The best material to use is high-density plywood. Most good plywood will do.
I like the shoe around 6" tall. The sole that contacts the workpiece is up 3/4" from the heel bottom.
You can cut a 1/4" thick mouse pad about 3/4" wide. Glue this to the sole. This gives you a non-slip surface. Then the heel is 1/2" tall.
You can make the front a little longer to hold down longer boards. I would not make it much taller.
The taller it is, the less stable.
I have a scale drawing that I can send you. Then just print out the drawing, take some graph paper, and tape it to some 3/4" plywood. Trace around the scale drawing with a pencil. The graph paper will transfer to the plywood.
Cut it out, and glue a little piece of mouse pad to the sole.
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