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Nothing says “cheap tool” like leftover plywood I found on the shop floor.  I needed a push-stick last year and, being the tightwad that I am, I wasn’t going to pay five bucks for a decent one.  So a search of the scrap pile yielded a stick of adequate dimensions to fashion my own.

First off, I know this homebuilt model probably isn’t going to meet OSHA standards.  But the price was right, and when a board tried to kick back on me a few months back, with this stick I was able to both keep it under control and not injure myself — so I’m satisfied with its performance.

Pretty?  No — but I can still count to ten on my hands, and I’m going to count that as a win.


9 Responses to Cheap-Ass Tools: Homemade Push-Stick

  1. akbar fazil says:

    I can’t say for the life of me ever using a push stick I have ever paid for one.

  2. BarelyFitz says:

    Bonus points if you can declare “I made this using only my hands and teeth”.

  3. Michael Pendleton says:

    I worked in a shop that had a factory-made push stick. It did have a magnet in the handle, which made it less likely to get lost, but that’s about it. It was the same style as the one you’ve got pictured there, and I prefer to use a different style. I’ve found that push stick engineering is one of those places that the creative urge comes out of lot of people and you will see some pretty wacky designs if you look around. Sounds like a photo-essay to me…

  4. aaron says:

    I believe that buying a pushstick would be more than just a waste, it could be dangerous as well. at least to cheap ba$tards like myself. A pushstick is there to get cut when your fingers dont – ie, it shouldn’t be “precious,” as they say. spending $ on one would counteract that tendency, which leads to danger.

  5. Leaf says:

    you want more wood at the tip to keep the work from lifting up.

  6. Michael W. says:

    I do have a nice “purchased” one that came with a lot of tools I bought. It’s the same design, but made of 1/8″ thick aluminum. I would think about buying another if I lost it, just because I don’t have scraps of aluminum hanging around in my shop. It would be pretty easy to make if you did though.

    (Aluminum won’t damage your saw blade and the 1/8″ thickness allows me to rip pretty thin pieces of wood safely)

  7. Dave says:

    Now take that pushstick you made and cut a diagonal notch with the open end facing the handle and give it to your wife/girlfriend to keep in the kitchen. They’re great for pulling racks out of a hot oven, and the front is great for pushing them back in.

  8. Alex says:

    I can’t believe that anyone would pay for something that can be made from scrap in a couple of minutes. If you’re not creative enough to make a push stick, maybe you’re not creative enough to be building whatever.

    Also, I have more than one push stick. One I use all the time, others are for special situations like very thin stock.

  9. Coach James says:

    Why not just go to the billiard room and get a meat stabber or pot passer?

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