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February 23, 2017

Using Push Sticks for Safe Woodworking

Push Sticks –  Develop a Safe Habit

 

Push Sticks- Push Blocks - Work Safety - Health & SafetyPush sticks are essential woodworking accessories. If a woodworker is going to work with power tools like a table saw, band saw, jointer, or router table, it is an excellent idea to have a variety of push sticks on hand. (Under the general heading of “push sticks” are included push blocks and featherboards as well.) Push sticks are used to keep the woodworker’s hands away from moving saw blades, router bits, and jointer knives during woodworking operations. The wood material being cut or shaped is controlled and guided with the aid of one of more push sticks.

Push Sticks – A Woodworker’s Choice

The intent of this woodworking article and YouTube video is not to serve as a public service announce regarding safety. This article and video are also not intended as a safety guide for all woodworkers to follow. However, the individual woodworker can consider this article and video as a reminder to stop, take your time, and think about what he or she doing when working with power tools. Woodworking safety is an individual’s responsibility.

 

Why use a Push Stick? 

Push sticks and push blocks are woodworking accessories that are used to control material as it is being cut, jointed or shaped.  These safety devices allow for a safe distance between the woodworker’s hands and a spinning saw blade or router bit. Simply put, it’s better to have the accessory nicked that a woodworker’s fingers and hands.

Push Sticks & Hands on Training

Push sticks are part of any quality training course when the use of power tools are discussed. The woodworking instructor will demonstrate how and why the various push sticks are used before any of the stationary power tools are even turned on. If you are a beginning woodworker, it is a good idea to seek out a competent woodworking instructor so that you can learn the basic skills of the wood craft. A great instructor will show you how to work safe.  It’s just a very good idea to get some hands on experience and some safety training.

 

How to Get Push Sticks & Push Blocks

Push sticks are available from online stores like Woodcraft and Rockler. The are plenty of choices of push sticks and push blocks available for the woodworker. Also, it is quite easy to make these woodworking accessories in your own work shop. Be sure to have the push sticks close at hand for each of your stationary power tools. Remember, using push sticks and push blocks is a skill and a habit that we develop when we are new to woodworking. It is also a skill and a habit that we maintain throughout our entire woodworking career.

 

Push Sticks & Work Safety 

Many of us have different levels of woodworking experience. Decide for yourself what your work safety standards are for your skill level. It is your health and safety. Remember to stop, take your time, and think for yourself. Too often accidents happen when a woodworker gets in a hurry. If you aren’t already, consider using push sticks, push blocks, and featherboards.

 

Watch more YouTube woodworking how to videos online.

…Your comments are welcomed…

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Online how to Woodworking Guide – The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

An Online How to Woodworking Guide

Segmented Woodturning - Woodturner - Online how to woodworking Guide- The Apprenticeand The Journeyman UniversityThe Apprentice and The Journeyman University is an Online How To Woodworking Guide  specifically for woodworkers. This ongoing collection of  woodworking videos, articles, and wood projects is for the beginning woodworker as well as the experienced woodworker. The primary goal of sharing this woodworking knowledge base is to pass on experience to those who want to take their woodworking skills to a higher level.

The online how to woodworking guide is set up so that you can easily browse through the various woodworking subjects at a glance.  This offers woodworkers an opportunity learn many new woodworking ideas. These are how to woodworking tips that you can immediately apply in your woodworking shop. So, if you are new to woodworking and have been wanting to learn how to woodwork, take your time and enjoy this knowledge base. If you are an experienced craftsman, here’s an opportunity to share proven woodworking ideas and techniques. If you find value with this online how to woodworking guide, consider The Apprentice and The Journeyman University as a regular source for your online woodworking.

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Woodworking Power Tools


Band Saw Woodworking Safety Tips

“The way we communicate with others and ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.”
Anthony Robbins…(1960- ) American self help author and success coach.

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Band Saw Woodworking Safety Tips

 

Learn two Band Saw Woodworking Safety Tips to make your band saw woodworking safer, more productive, and more enjoyable. Work confidently. Work with safety

Band Saw woodworking safety is often overlooked. In this article we will focus on two simple band saw woodworking safety tips for the band saw that can make a big difference for us in the long run. However, do not underestimate the importance of these safety tips. Many accidents on the band saw could easily be prevented if the following safety tips were followed.

Band Saw woodworking safety tips

Push sticks…use them.

Push sticks come in all shapes and sizes. They can easily be purchased online or they can be made out of scrap material in the woodworking shop. It’s always good to have a variety of push sticks available for different situations. Push sticks provide the woodworker with a greater margin of control over the workpiece as well as keeping one’s fingers and hands away from the band saw blade.
In the photos we can see a simple push stick that is made from scrap plywood. This push stick can easily be made on the band saw in just a few minutes. Yet, it can serve the woodworker for a long time. Notice how this push stick lays horizontally on the band saw table. There is a notch in the push stick that can push the material thru the band saw blade. However, the push stick has plenty of width where one’s hand can confidently control the cutting action of the workpiece. The material needs to be pressed alongside the clamped fence while being propelled forward. Obviously, it would be too risky to attempt this type of a cut without the aid of a push stick.

Band saw woodworking safety tips 2

Roller Bearing Guides…adjust them properly.

Proper adjustment of the band saw roller bearing guide assembly is often overlooked by woodworkers. Too many times woodworkers leave the guide assembly high above the workpiece and this is an invitation for disaster. Yet, how many times do we see woodworkers making cuts on the band saw while the bearing guide assembly is high above the workpiece?  There is just too much band saw band exposed and one mistake could be quite regrettable. It’s not an error that we want to make. It only takes a few seconds to prevent an accident like this. (A major woodworking magazine recently had a photo on its front cover with the band saw bearing guide high above the workpiece. )

Band saw woodworking safety tips 3

What is a good distance between the roller bearing guide assembly and the workpiece? As we can see in the above photos there is a space of about 1/2″.  This way the work can easily be seen and there is a minimum of band saw blade exposed. The answer to the question may vary according to the thickness or height of the material being cut. For example, if a thin veneer is being ripped, it would be a good idea to have the guide assembly even closer to the material. The important thing to remember is to use good common sense. Make these band saw woodworking safety tips a habit. Working safely allows for working with confidence. It’s a good practice.

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Cutting Thin Strips on the Band Saw

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How to adjust for Band Saw Drift

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