One Tough Cookie

COOKIE1Call 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.”

Rockler's Bench Cookies come in handy for routing, cutting, sanding and finishing jobs.

Rockler's Bench Cookies come in handy for routing, cutting, sanding and finishing jobs.

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.

Notice anything strangely similar between a supposed "cookie" and this bonified hockey puck? Nah, nothing alike.

Notice anything strangely similar between a supposed "cookie" and this bonified hockey puck? Nah, nothing alike.

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.

One hundred drops and still not giving up the game. It should be able to take all the woodworking abuse we can dish out.

One hundred drops and still not giving up the game. It should be able to take all the woodworking abuse we can dish out.

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.

Related posts:

 
This entry was posted in Tools and tagged , , , , , by Chris Marshall. Bookmark the permalink.

About Chris Marshall

Chris Marshall has been writing for Woodworker's Journal as a contributing editor and field editor since 2001. Prior to that, he spent five years developing home improvement and woodworking books. He's written five of them and has served as a contributing writer on many more. A wood and tool junkie since childhood, Chris thoroughly enjoys building projects and reviewing woodworking tools for the Journal. When he's not assembling new machinery, sawing parts, taking photos or crunching text for an upcoming story, he enjoys spending time with his family and a houseful of pets at their home in rural Ohio.

4 thoughts on “One Tough Cookie

  1. You mention how similar the Bench Cookies are to Hockey Pucks. How are Bench Cookies better than Hockey Pucks?

  2. You could certainly use real hockey pucks like spacers under workpieces, but Rockler puts a soft rubber surface on both faces of their Bench Cookies. The rubber has much more “grab” to it than the hard surfaces of hockey pucks. It reminds me of the bottom of a computer mouse pad, if that helps. The grip helps to keep them from shifting around on the bench when you apply lateral tool force—such as when routing or cutting with a circular saw.

  3. I assume that the soft rubber compund is similar to the matts sold as non-slip matts suitable for use under wood items while sanding/routing. The problem I have found with that compound is that saw dust will cling to it and quickly reduce the adhesion.

    Are the Bench Cookies better than those matts, or do you have to wash them as well?

  4. Bevin,

    In my opinion, the material on a Bench Cookie is very similar to the soft rubber of a computer mouse pad. I use my Cookies quite often in the shop, and I haven’t experienced slipping issues or undue sawdust accumulation on the rubber surfaces. I just blow or wipe mine off every now and then, just like I clean off other shop surfaces. They really do come in handy.

    Best,

    Chris

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>