Hi, I’m new to woodworking and have seen on-line videos of people making ‘push sticks’ from differing materials. My question is are there any guidelines/advice on selecting what material to use for certain styles/types of push stick? Regards Jack
Mine are plastic...
Both of mine are notched so there is push and some downforce.
I would rate the materials as Plastic first, hardwood, softwood, plywood, MDF and finally chipboard.
Avoid metal in them.
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I trust Brad's response is very helpful. Feel free to post whenever you need a hand with anything.
I would stick with Ply or Plastic. It is a safety item so your hands stay away for the blades. I would never use MDF or Chip Board. as they could give way under pressure, or crack. They might work but I dont think its worth the risk..
That’s great, thank you for your reply. I’m watching some YouTube videos on how to make them!........
I used a commercially made plastic one up until recently when it suddenly cracked in two on me during use. Seems some plastics aren't as stable as we think. I suspect that the constant vibrations, with longitudinal pressure, over a period of time created an unseen crack that suddenly gave way. I am sticking to real wood from now on - it has a grain, is made of fibres and is designed by nature to have enough flexibility to absorb small movements, unlike plastic or artificial "wood".
In my local men's shed we have tried all sorts, and different guys each have their favourite. I tend to prefer push sticks made out of softwood such as radiata pine. When cutting thin slivers of timber the push stick will often catch the edge of the saw blade. The softwood will give easily and the blade just cuts in a little. With hardwood and plastic sticks however, I find the they tend to shatter often sending pieces of material out in all directions. My second choice would be MDF as it resists shattering also. Having said that it depends on what type of saw you are using. A drop saw, a bench saw and a band saw all opperate completely differently from each other, as does the range of materials used these days. In short I would suggest trial and error to see which you find suits your style of woodwork. Hope that helps.