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Tip: Ride the rails for safer ripping

Ride the rails2

While using a pushstick to rip some thin strips, I realized that there must be a better, safer way to get the work done. This fence-riding pusher provides downward pressure on the workpiece and keeps your hand well clear of the blade.

The pusher consists of two subassemblies: the sled and the hold-down, which are held together by a 14 " wood dowel. The dimensions shown are for a fence body that’s 4" wide and 2-12 " tall, so you may need to adjust them to fit your fence. And you can skip the cutouts if you like—I used them to lighten the overall weight of the jig.

Assemble the parts as shown, and don’t forget to bevel and notch the sled parts where indicated. The bevel allows the hold-down to rotate freely. Also, cut the dowel rod 34 " longer than the width of the assembly so you’ll have space to install cotter pins at both ends.

 

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