Question about TS push sticks (particularly Swingman!!)

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Newbie here, working with my first table saw. I took a class on how to use it safely, but I'm not terribly satisfied that I'm doing it correctly.
While viewing one of Swingman's recent posts, I saw a picture of one of the push sticks he was using. (
http://www.e-woodshop.net/images/PushStick.jpg )
This stick is similar to the design my teacher used. However, it seems to me like the operator's hand still gets behind the blade at the end of the cut, which the teacher described as, well, it was described as "a bad thing."
Would it not be better to use a longer stick and put the "wood hook" further forward of the handle? This way there would still be sufficient leverage to hold the wood down, but at no time would the operator's hand get above or behind the blade.
Any help would be appreciated...particularly from you, Swingman...how do you like your design?
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"Would it not be better to use a longer stick and put the "wood hook" further forward of the handle? ..."
In my opinion (if that counts at all) one point of safety when ripping on the TS is to push the wood all the way past the blade. In fact, I like to make sure I push it all the way past the insert in the table. So how are you going to push the piece that far, withouth having your hand pass the blade? You would have a push stick about 2 feet long.
Having good control and down pressure, while minimizing the possibility of any slipping is what is needed. Down pressure to avoid climb and kickback and no slippage to avoid disaster.
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That'll work ... whatever is comfortable for you, and on your particular saw.
The design of which you speak works well on my table saw with most of the rip cuts I do because the splitter I use with pawls won't allow it to go far enough past the blade to upset either your teacher, or me, on narrow rips.
If the wood is wide enough, I don't worry too much as neither the push stick or my hand is in my personal comfort/danger zone.
> Any help would be appreciated...particularly from you, Swingman...how

Obviously, yes! ;)
That said, I have many different designs of push sticks and blocks, as well as variations on each one with regard to thickness, length, etc to cover any situation that may arise.
If I don't have one that I feel will work with a particular cut, I stop and design and make one.
I still play music (bass) professionally, take great delight in doing so, and will take any precaution I feel necessary to protect that ... even going to measures that others may feel extreme .... so be it.
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That reminded me of this old chestnut.... you've likely heard it, Swingman, so this is for those who haven't:
An anthropologist decides to investigate the natives of a far-flung tropical island. He flew there, found a guide with a canoe to take him up the river to the remote site where he would make his collections. About noon on the second day of travel up the river they began to hear drums. Being a city boy by nature, the anthropologist was disturbed by this. He asked the guide, "What are those drums?" The guide turned to him and said "Drums OK, but VERY BAD when they stop."
Then, after some hours, the drums suddenly stopped! This hit the anthropologist like a ton of bricks, and he yelled at the guide: "The Drums have stopped, what happens now?"
The guide crouched down, covered his head with his hands and said, "Bass Solo".
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"Robatoy" wrote in message

LOL ... yeah, but it's still funny. :)
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http://www.manyirons.com/Puker/musicjokes.txt
- Owen -
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I use one very similar. I patterned the handle after the one on my hand plane and placed the 'handle' just forward of the hook at the bottom. This gives me good leverage to push down and forward at the same time.
IMHO the key to this type of push stick is to raise the blade only as high as is necessary to complete the cut. I normally raise the blade just high enough so the bottom of the gullets will be at the top of the piece to be cut.
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Nobody asked me, but ... I prefer to use at least (2) push-sticks. Typically thin-section ply, about 2 x 12 in, with suitable notch(es) cut into one end.
With work to rt of blade, stick in left hand holds piece down and against fence; right mainly pushes.
Nothing too fancy, so hitting stick with blade is no big deal. Certainly nothing to prompt any reaction. This is important- let the sticks get hit, which they will, and stay calm while cutting more.
Keeping paws at least a foot from blade while pushing towards anywhere in its vicinity is a great idea, as you and your teacher seem to opine.
Of course, you can use combo of side- and down-pushing featherboards as you desire. Very beneficial for safety, if done carefully.
HTH, J
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I have a variety of pushsticks and blocks.
The one I prefer if cutting thin stock is one that straddles the fence.
That in combination with side featherboards gives excellent control for pushing short length through the saw. Short being 1.5 - 2 times the distance from blade front to rear of splitter.
For longer boards push through from the front then walk around saw and pull through from back.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote: (snip)

As a relative novice, I had thought about this technique but avoided it because it "seemed" risky to leave the workpiece unattended while I walked around the saw (yes I have roller supports for the outfeed). I hadn't really thought it through, but as a novice I am EXTREMELY cautious, maybe too much so in this case.
Is this a commonly accepted practice. Any tips to make it as safe as possible?
Thanks, Tom
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Nope ... and a decidedly risky one, IMO. Not only is it something I would never consider doing, I would never recommend it to anyone.
AAMOF, in my many years in the shop I don't think I've run across a single situation where it was ever necessary... then again, YMMV
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I burn maple without walking around the saw. I use a mix of pushing jigs including one the rides the rip fence for 1/2" strip cuts.
On 4 Aug 2005 13:02:41 -0700, tom snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

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Thanks for the quick replies everyone.
So what I'm hearing (or at least *think* I'm hearing) is that it's not necessarilly a bad thing to let your hand get slightly behind the axis of the blade if you're doing a wide-enough rip using a push stick?
The thing I'd always heard was that, if your hand got behind the blade, a kickback could pull your hand into the blade, which was described as "a worse thing."
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I would say that certainly depends upon how close your hand is to the blade, and sometimes on whether you use a blade guard or not.
It's not a bad idea to mark a "red zone" on your TS where you don't want your fingers under ANY circumstances, but it boils down to a personal decision and an individual comfort level.
Uncommon sense should rule the day when using any sharp tool ... besides, my comfort level is pretty narrowly defined.
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I don't believe I'm seeing this! A 7 message thread about push sticks and not one mention of cats (dead or otherwise). Is this NG going to the dogs or what?
Micky
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Well, it _was_ your turn; we were just letting you take it.
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wrote:

Aw gee, thanks Dave (blush)
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Swingman and I use a very similar design but mine has a handle that curves more to horizontal. The important thing with a push stick of this type is that you also have the leverage to keep the wood down on the table surface should the blade catch hold and want to lift the wood.
This type push stick helps keep you hand away from the blade as well as hold the wood down.
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I use a stick with a nail in the end. Works great.
woodstuff
first table saw. I took a class on how to

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Woodstuff wrote: I use a stick with a nail in the end. Works great.
Hmmmm. Tom
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