Push Sticks

AutoCAD Files

Push Sticks and Push Blocks

These safety devices are required when using power woodworking equipment. They provide vital protection when operating band saws, table saws and jointers. You should be trained in their use by someone who is experienced and safety-conscious. When using push sticks and blocks, position your hands and fingers so that they are well clear of sharp blades and rotating wheels.

Push sticks and blocks are easy to make. We manufacture our push sticks from 19 mm (three-quarter inch) and 13 mm (one half inch) thick Douglas Fir plywood. Paint them with a bright orange marine enamel. (Red signifies danger. This colour should be confined to danger zones.) Enlarge the drawing of our push stick by 200% in a photocopier. Use it as a template.

Wooden push sticks and blocks have a higher frictional coefficient than some plastic versions. They grip better. They seem less prone to fragmentation. Their length and height provides additional protection. Every band saw and table saw should have at least two push sticks. Hang them from the side of the machine in a prominent location. The push stick can simultaneously exert force in three directions: down, across and forward.

Design History

The designs for these push sticks and blocks were developed by Bob Merriam and Don Rolls. Their research took place at the Industrial Education Training Centre, British Columbia Institute of Technology in the late 1970s. Rolls and Merriam experimented with a range of styles and dimensions. These designs were selected as the safest, most ergonomic and versatile.