small workshop ideas #24: Rant about Gripper and Baby Bot and Sanding pads ....

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Blog entry by oldguy2 posted 05-27-2022 10:13 PM 865 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 23: Its Bulk Trash Day, So What? Part 24 of small workshop ideas series no next part

I like my money and while cheap I like quality for what I spend. So at our move West and my new Shop I was the Woodworker Store and decided to TREAT myself to The Gripper. $59.00 After all age 67, I should be more careful and I have done a lot, its time to look like a real woodworker. Now it feels good to the hands, easy to find on the stand, BUT it does NOT STICK to the wood. What gives. Further reading, you must CLEAN the rubber, cheap alcohol is recommended or some said water. REALLY $60 safety tool you have to clean to get it to work. All the wood push sticks…I only have one that looks like any the companies provide…all mine have more handle, more block for the blade to cut into and a notch to push the board. ANOTHER little less not given item, you pay more for a little plastic block to add on to push the wood, wouldn’t you think for $60 that would be included with a real nice safety tool. If you make you own, good for you, I hope you are doing well. My gripper is for sale and at half price. box and directions and all.
Baby Bot…I ordered mine to give it a try Again with my years of experience, this should be nice for $7. So my experience is…the cap has broken in less than a year, no more red ring holding the stopper. more glue jams than other bottles I have had. And back to the $1 cheap picnic ketchup bottle or refill the original store bottle ( I buy gallons for $18 better than the smaller bottles ) NO glue jam in my cheap one dollar bottle and they were sold as 2 for $1 at the dollar store.——fyi I don’t get glue freeze here in Arizona I get glue hardening if I have too large an amount out in my shop so small bottles are best, my gallon is in the house …write the date of purchase on your gallon…
Rubber Velcro Sand pads….I have a Shopsmith pad I bought over 10 years ago for 5 inch hook n loop. (about $10 ) It has finger molds for the 3 middle fingers so it can be a right or left hand use. Lowes is selling one with a knob on top for gripping almost as good for comfort, and some rectangular blocks for sanding. All have a nice comfort to add to hand sanding. I have a plastic box with black sand pads, my yellow hook n loop pads, some mesh pads from Diablo that work very well and hardly wear out. Another box has my assortment sorted in order by grits, I don’t have the wall space for a nice box, never had. I do buy some sand paper and belts at yard sales when cheap and either fits my sanders or the price is real good.
I think I will set some new plan for my money for the rest of the year. Thanks for reading.

7 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile


5622 posts in 3482 days

#1 posted 05-28-2022 12:47 AM

I love my Gripper and have never cleaned the pads….they work great.

I also like my baby bot . yes, it clogs up but so do all glue bottles. The smaller the glue bottle, the faster you get clogs.

View Rich's profile


8289 posts in 2083 days

#2 posted 05-28-2022 05:01 AM

Well, if you can invent a synthetic coating that does not start to slip when it get dusty, you can make a fortune. MicroJig sells an inexpensive Gravity Heel Kit that works beautifully to eliminate slipping. You should look into it.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Eric's profile


5763 posts in 1367 days

#3 posted 05-28-2022 11:03 AM

I usually make my own push blocks and stuff like that. May not be OSHA approved but saves my fingers. As for the glue I just buy the 16 Oz bottled of Titebond, don’t worry about clogs just close the cap.

-- Eric, building the dream. the "Loft"

View Lenny's profile


1752 posts in 5021 days

#4 posted 05-28-2022 01:02 PM

I’d like to implore you not to give up on the Gripper! It really is a remarkable shop tool. Next to my Sawstop I consider it to be the 2nd safest tool in my shop. Like Redoak I have never had to clean mine. I will rub the green stuff on my shirt from time to time if see it has dust on it but that’s it. You can safely rip stock as narrow as 1/4” (1/8” if you buy that leg). You push both the piece you’re cutting and the offcut through the blade. Lots of benefits both safety-wise and in general. Seriously consider giving it more time.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View robscastle's profile


8617 posts in 3698 days

#5 posted 05-28-2022 09:45 PM

hey there again Hal

I would have to agree using glue effectively is one of the annoying aspects of woodworking.
I too never throw away my tomato sauce or honey bottles

flocking puffers, ... Glue distributors, ... Talc distributors when working with cable and conduit, and sugar dispensers in the kitchen, ... keeps the ants out well and truly.

Try not to get to dissapointed wth the quality of products these days When I was a kid I had a Boomerroo Tractor in my sand pit that toy was bullet proof I thing it even got run over one day, ...didnt miss a beat.

And if it did break my Dad just welded it back together with his PTO driven Lincon welder!

I doubt if you can even buy them these days, ... and if you can I but you cannot electric arc weld them!

So hang in there, ... solid metal dash boards have been replaced with Air bags.

The only thing that has increased in size is the cost. every thing else like quality has shrunk.

-- Regards Rob

View squazo's profile


418 posts in 3139 days

#6 posted 05-29-2022 10:56 AM

I couldn’t agree more. I bought the gripper and used it once. Then I put it in its permanent storage location. The municipal dump. I much prefer regular push sticks. I can make on in about 5 minutes, for free, it lasts about a year. I also had a glue bot. I don’t remember what happened to it. So it must have not impressed me all that much.

View EarlS's profile


5609 posts in 3842 days

#7 posted 05-29-2022 11:01 AM

I have 2 Grrippers. They are probably the most used items in my shop. Both of them have the adjustable tab on the back that hooks the end of the board. One is at least 5 years old, the other one I bought last winter when I had something go wrong on a board I was ripping (IIRC – a knot) and the resulting forces cracked the Grripper I was using. I don’t rip anything on my table saw without using them.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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