Ripping stock on the table saw, particularly small dimension material, is one of the most likely ways to nip a bit of flesh, or worse. Some woodworkers opt to cobble together their own push sticks or blocks. Others purchase off the shelf items to facilitate this task. One of the drawbacks common to all of these accessories is that your hands are still exposed to the saw blade. Push sticks really don’t hold stock all that securely, even when used in conjunction with a feather board.
Henry Wang, at Micro Jig Inc, has designed what is probably the safest and most versatile push block on the market: the GRR-Ripper. Henry refers to it as a ‘push block system’, and that’s what it is. I’ve been using the GRR-Ripper for the past three months, and really like the product. One of the features that impressed me the most is its ability to feed both parts of a board parallel through the saw blade. You’ll really appreciate this when ripping thin stock or veneer. As configured, it handles stock as narrow as 1/4” wide, and with a bit of improvisation, as narrow as 1/8”. You can cut stock quickly with complete accuracy. All without the use of a feather board! Another superb feature of the GRR-Ripper is the non-slip sole. It’s molded from thermal plastic elastomer and grips stock securely. Because of it’s superb grip, you don’t even have to use your table saw’s splitter. You can also use the GRR-Ripper when profiling small stock on a table-mounted router. Your hands ride on top of the GRR-Ripper. That way they are completely protected from the blade. Notice how the blade runs in a channel between the two support arms. Both sides of the stock are held securely as you cut.
There is a bit of time required to adjust the GRR-Ripper when you use stock of different dimensions. But once you get the knack of adjusting the push block, it goes pretty smoothly. Besides, the significantly increased safety and security easily offsets any extra adjustment time. In fact I’d like to see use of the GRR Ripper mandatory in all school wood shop programs.
I would recommend getting two GRR-Rippers. That way you can use them in tandem for long stock. Durably made, the GRR-Ripper comes with a well written assembly/instruction manual. That’s important, because the unit comes disassembled. The web site is also very informative and shows how to get the most from this innovative, and indispensable shop accessory.
Getting your grip on the GRR-Ripper is easy (call 407-696-6695 or visit www.microjig.com) and affordable (approx. $65.). Warranted for one year.