Introduction: Hilted Push Stick
As a woodworking instructor for mentally and physically challenged individuals, I have evolved a style of push stick that's functional and very safe. My inspiration came from a basket-hilted sword and if it was practical I would've added a basket as well. ;-)
In our shop we must almost always operate with our guards in place therefore the push stick has a longer toe to provide extra down force.
The added "baskets" really help people with lesser wrist strength and I must say that when you're ripping one or two thousand
pieces the sticks are very comfortable and non fatiguing. I've included a jpg that puts three sticks on a 8-1/2 X 14 sheet.
The push sticks are made out of 1/2 in., 5/8 in., or 3/4 in. plywood with the outside plies oriented to run the length of the stick.
I prefer 1/2 in. plywood.
Print and glue or tape the pattern to your plywood. If you wish you can do this to a piece of hardboard and save it as a pattern. Alternatively, it's very "old school" but if you don't have a printer I've included a 1 in. X 1 in. grid that you can transfer by eye to a drawn grid on your material.
Proceed to cut out the pattern. You can use a band saw, scroll saw, jig saw or even a coping saw. Boring holes on the tighter inside curves is sometimes helpful.
Hand sand all edges to ease the corners. Sand extra on the handle and the hilt to give it a comfortable grip.
(Optional) I like to paint them a bright color like orange or yellow to make them easy to spot on a cluttered work bench.