SHOP SAFETY SHOES
Fits Biesemeyer style rip fences.
SHOP OWNER: Derek Lentz
LOCATION: San Jose, CA
I used to use push sticks and push shoes for safety when ripping stock. There were times when they would slip into the blade. This would slam them into the saw table, leaving my hand aching for a couple of days from the force.
I don't remember where this idea originated but I decided to make a shoe, which would travel along the top of my Biesemeyer fence. The sides of the Biesemeyer fence are perfect for this because they project about ½ " above the top surface of the fence. This allowed me to make a base, which travels trapped between them.
The advantage of this is, when I am ripping a board, I am pushing along the fence and never toward the blade. My hand is quite safe this way. When ripping, I always use a splitter and my Biesemeyer guard and I stand to the left of the blade. The push shoe pushes down on the back of the board while pushing it forward.
The shoes are very simple to make. I used ½" Baltic birch plywood for all of the parts except for the one I use for ripping thin stock. For that one, I used ¼" hardboard for the pushing part of the shoe.
Each shoe has three pieces. The pushing piece, shaped with a notch to catch and push the board, a bottom piece, which rides along the top of the fence captured between the sides, and the third piece, which attaches to top of the bottom piece and also to the push piece. Glue and good quality screws hold everything together.
I can make a variety of push shoes for different ripping jobs. I actually have two I use now: one for thin strips and one for normal ripping. I intend to make some for ripping thinner stock when the need arises. Another nice feature of the shoe is that I can hang it over the opposite side of the fence when I am not using it and it is usually out of the way but within easy reach.. . . Derek Lentz
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