Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jointer Push Block

Since I got my jointer, oh, I don't know how many years ago, I've been using those orange push blocks to guide my stock across those spinning blades.  But lately, those push blocks have been slipping on the stock, creating an inconvenient if not dangerous situation.  I could have glued on some rubber padding left over from our carpets or even a piece of sandpaper.  But at just the right time I saw a blog entry by Steve Shanesy of Popular Woodworking Magazine describing a wooden pusher he made for his own use.  I liked the looks of it and decided to make one for myself.  The blog has full dimensions and also includes patterns for cutting the parts.

My pusher was made of poplar.  I cut a dado in the base to receive the tenon on the handle, which is oriented cross-grain to the base.  I had intended to cut a tenon on the handle that would fit the dado, but in my zeal to cut dados, I cut one in the handle where the tenon was supposed to go.  Whoops!

I recovered by cutting a piece of white oak to fit into the resulting dado grooves and glued it in place.  I rounded over all the exposed edges with a 1/8 inch roundover bit.  I added a 1/4 inch deep cleat at the rear of the base.  I finished the whole piece with several coats of shellac just to give it a better appearance.  I did not finish the base as I did not want it to be slick.

I've had a number of chances to use it since I made it and I can happily report that it performs very well.  The length of the base holds the wood firmly to the infeed table and gives me positive control over the stock as it moves across the table.

Shanesy also wrote a blog on making a table saw pusher and I plan to build that as well, when I can find time in between other projects.


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