A guard for your hands and eyes

Incra are well known for their significant contributions to woodworking, particularly at the highly engineered end of the spectrum, with their precision tools (such as accurate fence positioning).

So when they bring out a new tool, it is worth taking note, so I was interested when Incra released a push block to see just what they have bought to the party.

rta_pushguard_main_zoomSold in Australia by Professional Woodworkers Supplies

The first thing that you notice is the clear shield.  It can be easily removed when the job doesn’t need it (or moreso, if it would be in the way), but for jobs that result in the cutter being exposed in particular, having added protection to prevent wayward wood chips flying in the direction of your eyes is a neat addition.

rta_pushguard_detail1_zoomThe handle is a decent size, not only so you can (just) fit two hands, but also so you can get a good positive grip on it, to control the workpiece.

Speaking of controlling the workpiece, and that is where the 178x75mm working surface comes into play, providing a decent contact area.  Often, you would want to work with two of these guards, not only further increasing the working area, but so you can further control the orientation of the workpiece relative to the tool, and prevent it twisting out from under the pushblock.

Unlike most pushblocks, the Incra one also has a double-walled ABS hand guard (grey) further protecting your rather valuable tools (hands).

rta_pushguard_detail3_zoom

I’d see a definite use for these on the router table, and the jointer particularly.  In an ideal world, I’d have 4 of these, two with the clear guard attached, and two without to cover all the jobs I’d want to use these on, without having to remove and replace the clear guard, but they are pretty easy to remove and replace even so.

Safety equipment is always something that comes secondary to the tools that allow us more capability in the workshop, but as I was told years ago when I got my motorbike license, if you can’t afford the safety equipment, you can’t afford the bike, and the same thing applies to woodworking.

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