Posted: Jan 11, 2010
Updated: June 28, 2010 - Added new purchase option; May 20, 2011 - Links to all the related products from Rockler
Review: Rockler / Bench Dog Bench Cookies
It's OK, I thought it is was a dumb idea, too
This review was on the original Rockler version, but Bench Dog has now come out with their absolutely identical version (except that they're orange).
When I first saw the new Bench Cookies being offered by Rockler, my first thought was "what a stupid product".
Boy, was I wrong.
Holding work in place is an age-old problem. Clamps, bench-dogs, hold-downs, router mats, and many other things have been used to keep your work where its supposed to be. Bench cookies are just the latest tool and, while they don't completely replace all the other items, they're an elegantly simple solution to common problems.
There's nothing complex about them. A simple disk, about the size of a hockey puck, with non-slip rubber on each side. Put them down on your bench or other work surface, put something on top and it just stays there.
You can see the bench cookies in the photo, sitting on my blast-gate part-building jig. It used to be a battle making the jig stay in place while routing and drilling parts. Clamps would get in the way, unrolling some rubbery shelf liner meant clearing out space for it. Now, I just clear out four little spots, plop down the bench cookies, and set the jig on top. So simple and easy. When I'm done, pick it up, set the cookies on the jig and set it aside.
The cookies don't need to stay clean to work, even with some sawdust on them they stick fine. If they really get crudded up, just brush them off and you're back in business. And not only is the rubber non-skid, it's also completely non-marring. It leaves no marks or any kind of residue as some non-slip pads will do.
Yes, you could use some rubbery shelf liner, I've done it before. But it's so much easier to plop down the cookies rather than unrolling the liner. And you don't need to clear off the entire area, just a few little areas. Not to mention that your work is elevated, so doing edge-routing or finishing is a snap.
The concept has really taken off. Rockler now has an entire line of products based on this idea, including cones, risers, and saw horse adapters. Even stylish black models for use in the home!