The purpose of this instructable is to make a push block specifically for cutting thin rips between the saw blade and the rip fence on a table saw.
Step 1: Materials
For this instructable you will need
- (1) scrap 2x4 at least 8"
- (1) scrap 2x4 at least 7"
- (1) 1 1/2" construction screw
A table saw, drill, driver bit and 5/8" drill bit.
Step 2: Cut Your Push Block
-Cut your first scrap 2x4 to 8" long and rip off the rounded corners by removing 1/4 inch from each side of the 2x4. This will leave you with a block 1 1/2" x 3" x 8"
Step 3: Cut Your Handle
- Cut your second scrap 2x4 to 7" long and rip a 1" strip. The result is a 1" x 1 1/2" x 7" handle and scrap to be used later for a sacrificial strip.
- Cut an angle on the end of your handle, I prefer 15 degrees, so i set my miter to gauge to 75 degrees, the more you cut of the end of your handle the shorter it will be, try to keep it to 6-7 inches long.
Step 4: Cut Your Sacrifical Strip
-Using the scrap from the previous step, rip a 1/4" x 2 3/8" strip.
- Cut the 1/4" x 2 3/8" strip to be 3" long, to match the width of our push block.
Step 5: Attach the Handle to the Push Block
Attach the handle with a screw from the bottom side of the push block.
- On the bottom side of the push block measure 3" from the end of the block and 1 1/2" from the sides, this is where you will drill.
-Drill a 5/8" hole 1 inch into the block. Do not go all the way through. This is to countersink the head of the screw so it is never hit by the blade of the table saw.
-Screw into the angled end of the handle using a 1 1/2" construction screw
Step 6: Attach the Sacrificial Strip
Attach the sacrificial strip you cut in step 3 to the back end of your push block using wood glue and 3/4" staples or nails.
-Nail as close to the top of your push block as possible to avoid your nails contacting the table saw blade. I like to leave 3/8" hanging down below the push block because I rarely do thin rips on material that is less than 3/8" thick. With 3/8" hanging down you will have 1/2" sticking up above the push block, this helps to keep your wrist/arm elevated up and away from the table saw blade.
* The sacrificial strip provides forward pressure while the push block provides downward pressure.
Step 7: Results
As you can see this thin rip block keeps your fingers well away from the table saw blade. As you use this push block you will be cutting into it and the sacrificial strip on the back. I prefer this to a store bought thin ripping tool because it has zero cost. You wouldn't want to destroy a store bought push block and may take unnecessary risks to avoid damaging it.
As with any table saw tool, it is most important that using the tool feels safe to you. There are many views on the best way to cut thin rips, but a table saw is always a dangerous tool. Only use table saw tools/accessories you are 100% comfortable with.