Anyone who has ever used a table saw can tell you that it’s nice to have a push stick nearby when you are pushing a piece of wood past the saw blade. On certain cuts, it’s even nice to have two push sticks handy, to make sure and keep your fingers nowhere near that blade. When I started this project, I was actually just going to cut out a really simple template and make a basic push stick to compliment the stick that came with my table saw. Then I decided to add a saw type handle to the push stick. Then I figured if I was going to get out the scroll saw and drill press and make some dust out in the garage, why not get a little crazy with it. This is the result.
Step 1: Prepare Pattern
For my pattern, I simply printed out the words "push stick" on top of one another. I had to print out several copies before I got it to the size that I wanted. Then I ripped a piece of two by four on the table saw and cut it to length with a 45 degree cut on each end. I cut out the template and glued it down with some spray adhesive. All I had was some super duty spray adhesive, and it was very difficult getting the paper off the wood later on. Perhaps I need to invest in a super light duty spray adhesive some day.
Step 2: Scroll Saw Time!
This type of scroll saw work is called a compound cut. That is when you are making cuts on two faces of the work piece, rather that just one. Compound cuts are my favorite, they almost always come out looking very interesting. To make the interior cuts, you need some where for the scroll saw blade to be inserted. Maybe you could get this done with a hand held drill, but a drill press is very nice to have. For one, there are sooooo many holes to drill. For two, you really do need a perfectly straight down hole, and the drill press makes sure of that.
After all the holes have been drilled, nothing left to it but to do it. Insert the scroll saw blade and cut out all the white space, leaving nothing but the lettering. This is a bit time consuming, but not too crazy. Once it is all cut out, just remove the paper. Like I said earlier, mine was very stuck to the wood so I had to use sand paper to get off some of it.
Step 3: Push Stick Itself
As for the push stick itself, I cut a piece of half inch plywood into three pieces and glued them up. I let them sit overnight and came back to it. Same as before, drill out the interior holes, then cut out the pattern on the scroll saw. The flat part where the "Push Stick" lettering is to be attached needed to be perfectly straight, which is quite impossible to do with a scroll saw, so I got out the old circular saw and cut as straight as I could. Then I took it to the belt sander and sanded it down as best as I could.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
To attach the two pieces, I drilled holes at each end of the lettering piece and inserted dowels and wood glue. After they set up for a couple of hours, I cut them off with a flush cut saw and sanded everything nice and smooth. I added a small piece to the bottom to help feed the work piece through the table saw.
Lastly, I used a red wood stain that I found at the bargain store to stain the handle. I just wanted to add a pop of color, to make sure this piece wasn't too boring.
That's about all there is to it. Just a simple, plain old push stick.