Simple push stick for safe bandsaw cuts
I had heard a lot about Tim Rousseau, but I only recently got a chance to visit his shop for myself. It reminded me of the first time I visited Michael Fortune and found ingenious ideas everywhere I looked. This simple bandsaw stick, and Rouseau’s cool trick for warming up hide glue, are just two of 100.
Like all of us, Rousseau found himself a little befuddled at the end of resaw cuts: How to keep pressure on the board without putting your digits in harm’s way? The usual move is to reach awkwardly past the blade, switching from pushing at the front of the board to pulling at the back, all while keeping it flat against the fence.
But unlike all us, he found a simple solution. He milled a thin stick to sit in the bandsaw’s miter slot, out of the way but close at hand, and drilled a hole in it to make it easy to grab. Now when the resaw cut is almost done, he can keep his right hand holding the board against the fence, pick up the little stick with his left, and push the back of the board through the blade.
Store a push stick in the miter slot. Duh!
The stick stores in the miter slot, where it won't interfere with your cuts (using the miter slot is very uncommon on the bandsaw).
When you reach the end of a cut, just grab the stick and use it to push the back of the board safely past the blade.
The belly trick: When Rousseau needs to keep both hands on the board, he just props the push stick against his torso and uses his body as a third hand.