I don’t remember where I first saw this form of push stick… but I do remember thinking – “That is the right way for me”. A simple plan that I’ve used for several years.
Some push sticks are narrow enough to handle 1″ strips but the form factor is the type that requires a long reach. To me, and more importantly with my technique, I don’t feel safe with that style. The other style I use is a the “paddle” style, which I do really like, but doesn’t work well for cuts where the width is less than 4″.
I like the handle form, where I can press forward a bit to engage the toe, but the center of gravity in my hand is pretty much right over a small hook that is engaged on the trailing edge of the board. There are number of styles out on the internet, so look around to see what suits you best. Most importantly – Use Them!
Since I have the old one (yeah, it gets chewed up over time), I used it as a template and laid out the form on some 1/4″ scrap, and some on a 3/4″ scrap. I pretty much just use plywood for this, I expect MDF would work as well – but I would not try to do the thin ones from solid wood, unless I was sure the grain wasn’t going to give out.
I cut out the forms on the bandsaw, and just sand them down. In the past, I’ve glued strips of sandpaper to the bottoms for extra grip, but have not done that with this set. (at least not yet!)