I saw the GRR-Ripper and thought it was a good idea, and then I saw
the price and thought I'd make my own.
Instead of an adjustable "leg", I figured I'd just take a block of
wood that was thicker than my blade's maximum height, maybe put a
handle on top, and glue an old mouse pad to the bottom. Instead of
adjusting the middle leg to avoid the blade, just let the blade cut
its own channel through the mouse pad and wood block.
I'm a little concerned that the rubber mouse pad my gunk up the blade,
and that the cloth cover of the mouse pad might shred and cause
Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing?
: > But the blade may grab the cloth and pull or throw the insert.
: No, the blade cuts wood easily, it will cut thread or cloth more easily.
And, I'm thinking that the the cloth will be glued to a block of wood,
so it's more likely to cut cleanly and less likely to have tear-out.
I have one of these things. It excels when ripping short pieces under
15" or so. It's friction surface is a very dense but sticky plastic.
Maybe silicone? The plastic has a "tread" to further increase
traction. The sides are square to the bottom, so the side of the block
rides along the fence. So you should try to find some sticky rubbery
sheets to glue to the bottom
To prove a point several years ago I purposely sacrificed a leather/canvas
glove to a TS blade. I pushed the glove into the spinning blade with a
stick and the blade cleanly cut the glove with out moving the glove. When I
stopped pushing the glove, the glove sat still with the blade running
through it. This was done on a leather finger and the canvas side.
This is not to mean that wearing a glove is safe when operating a TS. It
coulee easily get caught on something that is not moving, a jig, feather
board, etc, and cause your hand to veer off path into the blade for example.
I've been doing this for years, using contact cement to mount the pad.
The flat blocks are MDF, and my handles are bandsawn 8/4 poplar with the
edges knocked off with a roundover bit.
My arsenal includes many 4x6, and a few that are as long as a mousepad
is wide, and one that's 14" long x 1 1/2" wide, with a retractable push
stop. If they slip a bit, I rough up the rubber with 60 grit. It works
great with the pads Staples sells for $1. The rubber does not gunk the
blade. When the rubber gets too chewed up, which takes a long time, zip
it off with a belt sander and mount a new pad.
If you make them at the same time, you can whip off a lifetime supply in
around an hour.
I've had one for years and wouldn't use my table saw at all if I
didn't have it. It is as perfect a tool as I've ever seen. It comes
with a manual and it pays to read it. Great for routing small items
too. When I taught power tool use just about all the students bought
one after seeing how it worked.
Sure you can make one similar, but parts like the sliding leg, in
plastic, would be difficult- and bulky- to make out of wood. It is
expensive, but worth it. I can safely rip 1/4" off a 6" long board
just 1" wide.
It is infinitely reusable- until you forget to adjust the legs for a
change in your fence. I've cut into mine a few times, but it is still
fully functional. They sell replacement legs too.
You can make something similar, but not the same, out of wood. It
would have to be twice as big and 3x heavier. Personally I'd rather
work on a harp than a jig. Donna Menke, www.woodworks-by-donna.com
You can do the same with something similar to the top device in the
picture for less than a buck, if it's made from 3/4" plywood scraps:
The hook doesn't need to be deep, 1/8" to 3/16" will also work with
Make the first of 1/4" hardboard, and use it as pattern to cut / rout
copies. A quickie pass with a roundover where you hand goes and Bob's
you uncle. I can make 50 of 'em an hour. <G>
I have to vote with you on this one, Donna. While it's true they don't
give them away as prizes in cereal boxes or Cracker-Jacks (probably
dating my self with that comment) they are still, IMO, worth the cost
in peace of mind and confidence. And they are much less expensive that
a visit to the ER.
I use it in almost every case where there is fast moving sharp edges
in close proximity to my fingers - table saw, router table, jointer,
Ah, it is nice to not be alone- to know that I'm not the only
woodworker who prefers making things to making things to make things-
if you get my drift. Anyhow- back to the harp in walnut. Don't suppose
anyone here has made a lap harp? Donne, www.woodworks-by-donna.com
I've been using GRRRippers for a couple of years and I am convinced that
homemade "equivalents" simply cannot approach the commercial product in
performance. The designer of the GRRRipper paid a lot of attention to choice
of materials for the gripping surface, both in firmness and friction
coefficient. There is no way a mouse pad works as well. This was brought
home to me when I was recently trying to use the commercial padded push
handles that came with my powermatic jointer and I had great difficulty
pushing a 6" wide board through, no matter how thin I set the cut. I had an
"aha" moment and reached for my GRRRipper blocks. They grabbed the wood and
allowed me to push the wood through the jointer with authority and safety.
I threw away the commercial push blocks that came with the jointer. I
decided it was a safety hazard.
Its possible to emulate the GRRRipper with homemade pieces but I have yet to
see a homemade version that is adjustable and flexible for so many
situations. Its very nice to adjust a few screws and reposition parts so I
can create a very safe cut on what seemlingly was an impossible situation
for odd shaped small parts. I think these are worth every penny I paid for
them (I own two with several of the add-ons). I had to do a lot of
rationalization when I bought them. As I have learned more about them and
used them more, the rationalization is no longer necessary.
Don't make it pretty. It's supposed to get chewed up in normal use.
This is similar to what I use 95% of the time. Easily made from a
3/4" ply (actually 11/16", better than 3/4 ply because you can rip to
without cutting the pusher):
Hangs from a joist to the left of the saw with the rest of my pushers,
it's always within arm's reach. Push "sticks" go into the open left
the Biesemeyer rail.
Use friction tape. The tape still grips long after the annoying
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