Call me crazy, but I just beat the beans out of a new tool, purchased with my own hard-earned allowance, just to prove a point: I think Rockler got the name of its new Bench Cookies™ totally wrong. They’re not cookies, guys. They’re hockey pucks in disguise.
But first, some back story…
My first close-up look at Bench Cookies happened this past summer at the AWFS Show in Las Vegas. They were crowd pleasers, but things seemed a little fishy to me. Hmmm, a Minnesota-based company with 11,000+ lakes and at least that many hockey rinks is unveiling a product that’s called a cookie but has the same shape and size as a hockey puck. What gives? I’m a former Minnesotan myself…if it looks like a puck, sold by a bunch of hockey players, it probably is a puck. So, I bought a four-pack to conduct my own “test.”
First, I used these little babies they way they are designed to be used: at the bench. I slipped them underneath some panels while I routed profiles. The soft top and bottom rubber surfaces do a nice job of keeping things in one place. Plus, they provide a good space cushion between the bit and the bench—handy for keeping clearance under pilot bearings. I’ve been using them instead of a pad for sanding jobs, and again, they keep workpieces from dancing around. I even like to use them right through the finishing stages as spacers so I can finish corners and edges easily.
But now for the hockey puck theory. If you’re like me, you occasionally push stuff off the bench accidentally. And, if your shop has a concrete floor, that can spell disaster for plastic. So, I decided to put the Bench Cookies to the ultimate test (they’re hockey pucks, after all). I dropped one on edge 100 times from shoulder height to the concrete slab of my garage. That’s about twice the height of most workbenches. Then, I stepped on it. I’m about 190 pounds these days, give or take. And here’s the verdict: Aside from some surface abrasion, this Cookie didn’t crumble. So, I stepped on it a few more times (including the bottom photo here). It’s a little banged up but still ready to go to work. More than strong enough to support a big, heavy piece of casework.
Bottom line: for about $3 apiece, these are really handy shop helpers. You deserve a tube of them in your stocking this holiday season. Heck, you could probably take them to the rink when you’re done with those winter projects. I bet they’re tough enough for slapshots.
And they’re definitely not your kid’s Oreos®.
Catch you in the shop,
Chris Marshall, Field Editor
PS - In an effort to be clear and transparent: Rockler, the developer of Bench Cookies, is the parent company of Woodworker’s Journal. With that said, I was not in any way instructed to write this post.