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$12 "Bench Cookies" are biggest news at AWFS

comments (19) July 15th, 2009 in blogs

AsaC Asa Christiana, Special Projects Editor, Fine Woodworking magazine
thumbs up 64 users recommend

A set of four Bench Cookies should be enough to hold almost any workpiece firmly on the bench for sanding, routing, or finishing.
With the workpiece elevated, bearing-guided bits have plenty of clearance.
Leave it to some guys from Minnesota to come up with a hockey puck that doesnt slide.
A set of four Bench Cookies should be enough to hold almost any workpiece firmly on the bench for sanding, routing, or finishing. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

A set of four Bench Cookies should be enough to hold almost any workpiece firmly on the bench for sanding, routing, or finishing.


It's just my opinion of course, but Rockler's humble little rubber-coated pucks are the big news at this year's AWFS. Simple as can be--just plastic pucks with grippy rubber on each face--"Bench Cookies" maintain a firm grip on workpieces for sanding, finishing, and routing. The Rockler guys said the workpiece won't even budge under a belt sander. I tried to push a board around on these little pucks, and it kept a vise-like grip on board and bench.

Also great is that the workpiece is elevated off the bench, making it possible to finish edges, and to use bearing-guided bits and router edge guides that extend below the bottom surface of a board. Plus, these clever pucks won't mar workpieces. Have you ever finely sanded one side of a piece, flipped it to sand the other side, and then flipped it back again to find that some debris on the bench had scratched the first side?

I can't say how well these will grip after the rubber surfaces get some dust and wear on them, but $11.99 for a set of four I wouldn't hesitate to find out. That said, we'll get a few sets for the FWW shop, and let you know how they hold up.

Just when I thought this year's AWFS would be more about evolution, the engineers at Rockler came up with a little revolution. They said the joke around their workshop was, "Leave it to some guys from Minnesota to invent a hockey puck that doesn't slide."



posted in: blogs, workshop, tool, WorkBench


Comments (19)

timbit2006 timbit2006 writes: I use hockey pucks with adhesive backed rubber grip pads.
You can get them at Lee Valley. They are nice and heavy so they don't move around at all unless your workbench is highly polished(That means you aren't using it enough.)
Posted: 3:31 am on February 23rd

Evan12 Evan12 writes: I`m still searching for a profile pic. This will have to do for now.
Posted: 11:06 pm on November 2nd

CW286 CW286 writes: I LIKE COOKIES
Posted: 1:07 pm on October 17th

SVEEDE SVEEDE writes: I'm a new member & new to your FWW mag & thus far I feel I've made a wise choice. There are a lot of interesting articles to assist any woodworker, from novice to professional. So keep up the great work with the FWW mag & I know I'm not going to be disappointed. Thanks for the invitation.
Posted: 3:51 am on October 15th

woodman58 woodman58 writes: Would love to test these cookies
Posted: 11:36 am on October 14th

sammyc sammyc writes: Brand new in woodworking and would love to add this to my tool box. Thanks
Posted: 10:42 am on October 14th

khiflfoif khiflfoif writes: I find that the cheap orange (sometimes black) soft hockey pucks from Canadian Tire work well. I believe they are priced a little better as well.

Posted: 3:04 pm on August 26th

tectobil tectobil writes: anybody remember the squishy rubber hockey pucks they made us use in elementary school so we wouldn't kill each other....maybe that's just a Canadian thing. anyway, i have a dozen of these in my shop. When they get dirty they go in the dishwasher.
Posted: 12:21 pm on August 26th

WoodDude78 WoodDude78 writes: Martin:
While both the router mat and the cookies grip workpieces, there is a very important difference. Ever tried to rout a profile on the edge of a piece and found that the screw on the tip of your router bit bottomed out on the workbench top? The cookies lift your workpiece up off of the bench, making jobs such as edge routing and finishing easier.
Posted: 1:23 pm on July 22nd

msteroftheuniverse msteroftheuniverse writes: There are some very creative people in the woodworking business. This product sounds like a real winner, and they're simple and inexpensive. I'm making up a "buy" list for a new shop I'll be setting up early next year and a few packs of these are now on the list.
Posted: 11:17 am on July 22nd

B.L. Zeebub B.L. Zeebub writes: I might have to try a set of these. I've been using the stuff made for non slip rug backing that you can pick up at the fabric store for cheap. They sell the same stuff under the guise of "router mats" and "drawer liners" at $19.95 for a 2'x2' chunk as retailers know what P.T. Barnum knew about suckers and birthrates.

Still, these are a pretty cool way to skin that cat again.
Posted: 7:24 am on July 22nd

kenrup kenrup writes: Ya, sure, being from Minnesota myself deese cold winters give ya plenty of time in the shop to come up with da good ideas. Ya betcha, now we have some place besides the hockey rink to puck around.
Posted: 7:09 am on July 22nd

Martin_Kalitis Martin_Kalitis writes: Hi,

Would be interested to see what the difference in performance would be between these pucks and a router mat as they both seem to be solving the same problem.

The beauty of the router mat is when it gets filled with dust, I simply wash it out and hang it out to dry and it's as good as new.

Ta,

Martin.
Posted: 3:36 am on July 22nd

spooky8 spooky8 writes: I've been doing this for years... Plastic Copenhagen or Skoal cans filled with lead shot. Tape the perimeter with a strip of Duct tape and spray glue or contact cement a piece of rubber gasket material to the top and bottom and trim. I've got maybe 12-15 of them laying around the shop. I made them specifically for routing Edge profiles and flush trimming! Who'd of thunk I could sold em' ?

I guess I missed the boat on this one...
Posted: 5:28 am on July 18th

albers albers writes: Hi CharlieP and londonjoe40, I had some of the same questions you guys asked. Here are my observations on the Bench Cookies after playing with a set at AWFS.

The rubber material appears to be the same grippy material found on push blocks and offers a tenacious grip. Even with paper between half the cookies they still held strong. As such I'm guessing that like a push block, even when dirty they will still hold well - plus a quick vacuum or blast of compressed air will clean them off.

In terms of hand plane use, they don't hold well with press applied from the side when there is no downward pressure. If you sit a door on the cookies and push the side, it will move, but if there is even a small amount of downward pressure, I'm talking probably five or ten pounds, they hold firmly.

As Asa pointed out, at $12 a set, even if they get dirty and don't stick as well, I wouldn't have a problem replacing them a couple of times each year. I think they're a real winner.
Posted: 1:57 pm on July 17th

londonjoe40 londonjoe40 writes: Would these pucks or "cookies" work under the stresses of hand planing? Not just in the forward direction but also in the diagonal direction? Thereby, giving me the ability to plane anyway without the need for bench dogs.
Posted: 6:34 pm on July 16th

CharlieP CharlieP writes: How do the bench cookies work when the bench and workpiece are covered with fine sawdust? I had to give up a vacuum hold-down on my bench because the vacuum pump kept getting plugged with sawdust (it sucked harder than the dust collector), and the rubber mats I use now keep getting slippery with sawdust.
Posted: 12:51 pm on July 16th

mnwoodworker mnwoodworker writes: Being from Minnesota as well, that is a good joke. They look pretty cool and once again it's a "why didn't I think about that" kind of thing!!
Posted: 12:44 pm on July 16th

The Wood Whisperer The Wood Whisperer writes: Couldn't agree more Asa. lol. So its a slow year. :)
Posted: 10:35 am on July 16th

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