Grr-Ripper - Why it impresses me for both safety & performance - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 6Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 22 Old 04-24-2016, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 194
View JimGnitecki's Photo Album My Photos
Grr-Ripper - Why it impresses me for both safety & performance

I grew up with a Dad that was first a carpenter, then a fine cabinetmaker, and then a remodeling contractor, so I have been around woodworking equipment for decades, and in fact as a young teenager, I both worked alongside My Dad and did my own woodworking projects as well, because I truly love working with wood. Then I got busy in my career, and for a long time, there was insufficient time for woodworking at all.

I recently rekindled my love for it, now that in semi-retirement I have more discretionary time, and have been equipping myself slowly with tools and devices available with “today’s technology”.

One of the big changes for me is the type of saw I will be using as my primary saw. My Dad used an exquisite quality 1930s DeWalt radial arm saw that he bought used in the late 1950s, and used actively into The 21st Century. It had no blade brake, and the bearing quality was so good that it ran for several minutes once shut off. I loved that saw, and knew how to use it safely and effectively. But, for my reality today, which requires small size, low weight, and portability, it was far too big and heavy and non-portable to be a viable solution as my cutting machine.

After considering both compound miter saws and band saws, and doing considerable research on lightweight and portable table saws, I bought the table saw whose quality and safety makes the most sense for me, a SawStop Jobsite saw. I really like it so far.

But, the work processes, quality, performance, and safety issues for a table saw are considerably different than those for a radial arm saw.

Being a hobbyist versus a woodworking professional, I am not very concerned about productivity, but I am very concerned about both quality and safety. And I know that an operator changing from one type of machine to another is at risk, because the safety and quality habits needed for the new machine can differ a lot from those developed on the old machine.

So, I did a LOT of research on table saws, and prepared for myself lists of the safety issues and the quality issues to keep in mind as I equipped myself for the 21st Century version of what I used to do in the 20th Century.

In the process of the research and preparing the lists, I learned about a few 21st century devices that simply did not exist when I last did woodworking.

One of those devices is the Micro Jig Grr-Ripper, in its various configurations and with its various options.

The ore I have learned about the Grr-Ripper, the more impressed I have become. I think it is a genuine technology breakthrough, that even the MicroJig advertisements and videos underestimate. I see how it can have a profound effect on quality, performance, capabilities, and safety.

I’m going to try to cover in this posting just some of the basics. It would take a small book to cover them, and other advantages of the device, properly and fully. But I am hoping that if anyone reading this is curious enough after doing so to research product independent reviews and watch at least a few of the Youtube videos out there, he or she will do so, and will start to see at least some of the potential I am seeing, beyond what I have included in this already too-long posting.

Let’s start with the fundamentals.

Things you want to avoid on a table saw for safety reasons:

- Avoid touching the top or side of the spinning blade with your fingers, to avoid immediate serious injury

- Avoid getting any push device onto the top or side of the spinning blade, which could then be thrown backwards at you

- While pushing the workpiece forward into the blade, avoid letting your hand slip and contact the blade

- Avoid letting the workpiece being cut move away from the fence and sideways into the blade, especially at the rear of the blade where the teeth would instantly accelerate the piece upward off the table and rearward towards you, at faster-than-you-can-react high speed

- Avoid letting the leading edge of the workpiece move forward without downward pressure on it, because without downward pressure on the leading edge, if either the workpiece or the cutoff piece gets into the blade teeth at the rear of the blade, it will instantly be lifted upward and rearward towards you at faster-than-you-can-react high speed, even more so than if you have downward pressure on both the workpiece and the cutoff piece

- Avoid removing the blade guard that keeps your fingers off the blade and deflects wood splinters and sawdust away from you

- Avoid removing the anti-kickback pawls that try to prevent the workpiece from being thrown rearward due to unintended workpiece contact with the rear of the blade

- Avoid standing directly along the plane of the blade, as that places you right in the path of any projectile launched by the blade, including work pieces, cutoff pieces, and carbide blade tips

- Avoid using two hands to push and control the workpiece if possible, since that doubles the chances of getting a hand in contact with the blade, if concentration wanes or a kickback event occurs.


Things to avoid on a table saw for performance and/or quality reasons:

- Avoid changes in feed speed, as they cause the cut to be less than perfect

- Avoid temporary “pauses” in feed, as they can cause burning of the cut surfaces of the wood

- Avoid letting the workpiece move away from the fence, since that will instantly make the cut line no longer perfectly straight and ridge-free

- Avoid really small / thin/ lightweight workpieces or cutoffs, because they are very hard to control, and can rather easily get into the blade teeth, where they get destroyed and then launched upward and rearward at you

Things get more complex when, like me, you want to cut primarily very small workpieces (I love to make small children’s toys with many small component parts that also include many combinations of miter and bevel cuts).

Here are some safety and performance issues that make cutting small parts on a table saw makes even more challenging:

- Cutting small parts often necessitates removing the blade guard just to be able to get the fence close enough to the blade

- Cutting small parts without a Grr-Ripper often necessitates getting fingers VERY close to the blade, where even a minor kickback or slip could lead to finger contact with the blade

- Conventional pushstick devices, when narrow enough to handle really small parts, cannot provide the simultaneous stability in fence pressure, forward pressure, and downward pressure needed for a safe and successful cut

- The geometry and mechanics of conventional pushsticks pretty much force you to stand directly behind the blade when cutting very small parts

- Small parts are usually also lightweight parts, with little inherent stability when being pushed past a high speed spinning blade that also generates a good destabilizing “wind” as it rotates. The small pieces tend to not stay where you would like them to stay


How the Grr-Ripper addresses safety issues:

- The Grr-Ripper gives you a specific “safe spot” to place your hand (its handle), and also covers the blade for the several inches when the workpiece is being moved over the blade

- The Grr-Ripper prevents you from getting it onto the top or side of the spinning blade, by enabling you to control the Grr-Gripper path precisely, via creating a “tunnel” for the blade and keeping the Grr-Ripper controlled tightly against the fence by its design

- While pushing the workpiece, the Grr-Ripper prevents letting your hand slip and contact the blade by providing a specific spot for your hand to grip (the handle) and keeping the Grr-Ripper body between your hand the blade

- The Grr-Ripper avoids letting either the workpiece or the cutoff piece from moving away from the fence and sideways into the blade, by gripping each piece tightly via its green friction surface, and forcing a path that hugs the blade, via its design

- The Grr-Ripper avoids letting the leading edge of the workpiece move forward without downward pressure on it, because by using just one, or even easier if using 2 Grr-Rippers, you can always keep downward pressure on the front of the workpiece, and on smaller workpieces, you can apply downward pressure to the entire workpiece throughout the entire cutting process

- The Grr-Ripper avoids the problem of removing the blade guard that keeps your fingers off the blade and deflects wood splinters and sawdust away from you, by BEING a replacement “moving” blade guard

- The Grr-Ripper avoids the issue of removing the anti-kickback pawls by itself acting to prevent kickback, by enabling you to hold BOTH the workpiece and cutoff piece precisely and with as much downward pressure as you care to apply

- The Grr-Ripper allows you to stand offset, versus directly along the plane of the blade, for a couple of reasons: it allows you to exert directional and pressure forces via the handle, and the height of the handle makes it possible for you to even do so from the right, versus left, side of the fence

- The Grr-Ripper avoids the extra risk exposures of using two hands to push and control the workpiece , by enabling forward push force control, consistent force against the fence, and downward pressure using just one hand on one well designed handle

continued below . . .
JimGnitecki is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 22 Old 04-24-2016, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 194
View JimGnitecki's Photo Album My Photos
How the Grr-Ripper addresses performance and/or quality issues:

- The Grr-Ripper helps you to avoid changes in feed speed, via its reliable constant hold on the workpiece

- The Grr-Ripper likewise helps you to avoid temporary “pauses” in feed due to the superior hold and control it provides. It enables non-stop, constant speed feed of even very long boards or workpieces, by using 2 Grr-Rippers in leapfrog tandem mode as illustrated in Grr-Ripper videos

- The Grr-Ripper keeps the workpiece from moving away from the fence, via its reliable 3-way control (force against fence, forward push force, and reliable downward pressure)

How the Grr-Ripper enables cutting even very tiny pieces:

- The Grr-Ripper allows you to cut very small / thin/ lightweight workpieces or cutoffs, because it CONTROLS the location and stability of even very tiny workpieces, and cutoff pieces, via its multi-track friction surfaces and optional auxiliary stabilizing pieces and tail pieces, as needed

- The Grr-Ripper’s “tunnel” design, and selection of different widths and placement positions of friction walls, allow for positive control of both the workpiece and cutoff piece down to even pieces that are only 1/8” thick


Bonus features of the Gr-Ripper beyond the above:

- It enables “jointing” of a piece of wood that lacks a true straight edge. This is done by keeping the workpiece slightly away from the fence, but riding a righthand edge on the Grr-Ripper itself against the fence instead. The combination of reliable pressure on the fence, and reliable downward pressure on the workpiece allows you to “joint” even a board that does not have even a single reliably straight edge to begin with

- For those who need to cut tapers, combining either 1 or 2 Grr-Rippers with a MicroJig Microdial Tapering Jig, dramatically reduces the risks involved in tapering cuts

I don’t know if I have written this posting well enough to communicate all the safety, performance, and quality advantages I see in this product, but if I have gotten you at all curious, and you do lots of table saw work, I’d encourage you to take a look at the product in some detail if you have not already done so. Dismissing it as a “fancier pushstick” is like calling a Porsche sports car a fancier Model T – it’s THAT dramatic a difference that you see once you really start to understand what the product can do, when you understand each of its accessories and options.

I myself have been impressed enough that after buying a “deluxe” Grr-Ripper 200 with handle bridge kit, and learning more about it after buying it and assembling it, I have bought a 2nd Grr-Ripper 200 with handle bridge kit, a “Deflector Connector” plate, a Gravity Heel kit, a Grr-Rip Block, an a Microdial Taper Jig. I’m that impressed with what I can see these devices doing for me.

If my posting helps any of you improve your work processes, your quality, or your safety, I’ll consider it a total success.

Jim G
Pilgrim15 and Minnesota Marty like this.
JimGnitecki is offline  
post #3 of 22 Old 04-24-2016, 08:20 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Cottage Grove, MN
Posts: 152
View Minnesota Marty's Photo Album My Photos
Jim,
Very well stated. great post thanks. Should be required reading for new woodworkers.

Marty
Minnesota Marty is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 22 Old 04-25-2016, 07:29 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 11,532
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
Anyway you can summarize that for those of too lazy to do that much reading?

George
mat 60 likes this.
GeorgeC is online now  
post #5 of 22 Old 04-25-2016, 09:20 AM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 25,153
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
I read it all...

Conclusion is, he liked it enough to get 2 of them.
There are videos on You Tube for those who can just "listen and watch" .... that demonstrate how it's used:

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
woodnthings is online now  
post #6 of 22 Old 04-25-2016, 12:14 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 4,849
View FrankC's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
Anyway you can summarize that for those of too lazy to do that much reading?

George
I am with you there.

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
― Marcus Aurelius
FrankC
http://sawdustmaking.com
FrankC is online now  
post #7 of 22 Old 04-25-2016, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 194
View JimGnitecki's Photo Album My Photos
Summary:

- The design of the MicroJig Grr-Ripper shows a VERY strong knowledge of, and experience in, the safety, quality, and performance issues in operating a table saw

- Anyone who says that a Grr-Ripper is "just a fancy and too expensive version of a push stick" has not actually read the independent (not just MicroJig) reviews and videos, and therefor does not fully understand what the product is

Jim G
JimGnitecki is offline  
post #8 of 22 Old 04-25-2016, 07:29 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Illanoyed
Posts: 306
View Tree Hugger's Photo Album My Photos
Great safety product ......and watched the you tubes ...but I'm a cheap bastard when it comes to fund my hobby
( thankfully I just found a better paying job ....but now my wife wants to retire ..can't win ), so who has them at the best price?

Knot Stumped ...just confused once in a while.
Tree Hugger is offline  
post #9 of 22 Old 04-25-2016, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 194
View JimGnitecki's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tree Hugger View Post
Great safety product ......and watched the you tubes ...but I'm a cheap bastard when it comes to fund my hobby
( thankfully I just found a better paying job ....but now my wife wants to retire ..can't win ), so who has them at the best price?
They always seem to sell at the published manufacturer's price, except for a recent "rebate" offer that came directly from the manufacturer (MicroJig), that offered a $15 rebate. That ended at the end of March.

You DO get a small but worthwhile price break if you buy a "bundle" kit that contains one or more of the accessories along with the Grr-Ripper itself (e.g. the Gravity heel kit or the Deflector Connector kit).

When I shopped for my first Grr-Ripper, to try it out, I took advantage of the rebate then in effect. When I ordered the extra items just a few days ago, I listed each product (e.g. 2nd Grr-Ripper, Block, Microdial Taper Jig) and then each accessory (Gravity heel kit, Deflector Connector kit, 2nd Handle Bridge kit), did a "MicroJig" search on Amazon, saw what "bundles" were available, and bought the combination of bundles that gave me everything I want.

Remember too that having the product and some of its accessories enables you to do things that you otherwise could not do, or could not SAFELY do, or would be much slower without the product. I'm just a hobbyist, but for a professional woodworker, doing things that are otherwise impossible, or that avoid risking your fingers and therefor your livelihood, or that can be done way faster with the product means that you can pay for the product and a bunch of its accessories pretty quickly. After all, my entire expenditure, for ALL the products and accessories I bought, was a couple of hundred dollars, and any pro woodworker needs to be charging high 2-figure fully burdened hourly rates for his work or he really is undercharging, so if the combination of products bought enables saving just a few hours, or ONE emergency room visit, it's been paid for completely and every hour saved after that is additional gravy. And, don't higher quality cuts make a difference too?

For me, it was the safety and the quality of cuts that made it a no brainer for me, even though it's "just a hobby". In my hobbies, I want to produce the BEST stuff my skill sets will enable.

Jim G
Pilgrim15 likes this.
JimGnitecki is offline  
post #10 of 22 Old 04-26-2016, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 194
View JimGnitecki's Photo Album My Photos
I realized today that there IS another way to get a 10% discount on the MicroJig products.

The products are sold on the Incremental Tools website. Incra offers a program called "Incremental Tools Preferred Customer program", which brings you regular ads from them, but also gives you a one-time 10% discount on your first order after joining.

So, I guess you could join their program and place an order for all the MicroJig product accessories you want and get the 10% discount.

Jim G
JimGnitecki is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to JimGnitecki For This Useful Post:
Tree Hugger (04-26-2016)
post #11 of 22 Old 06-28-2016, 07:43 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Golden Triangle of Southeast Texas
Posts: 2
View Pilgrim15's Photo Album My Photos
These are always discounted at the Woodworking Shows, and they are demonstrated and questions answered. Thanks for the nice discussion and all of the feedback. I bought the set at one of the Woodworking Shows a couple of years ago, and have used then a few times with good results. After reading this thread, I will definitely get them out and give them more use. However, some of the issues described, such as cutting small pieces safely and accurately, I have solved with a pair of crosscut sleds from Uline, (and from Peachtree Products) which is named the "Dubby". These have a built-in hold-down for small pieces that works excellent.
But for longer work pieces, the Grr-Ripper set is a very useful accessory, and increases your safety factor significantly when used correctly. Thanks again. This was helpful.
Pilgrim15 is offline  
post #12 of 22 Old 06-28-2016, 08:05 AM
Senior Member
 
Julie Mor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Punta Gorda, FL
Posts: 404
View Julie Mor's Photo Album My Photos
Funny, I was just thinking this morning of woodworking things I couldn't do without and the Grr-Ripper was the first thing that came to mind. I have two sitting on my tablesaw/router table combo all the time and I use them every time I'm sawing or routing. It's one of those great surprises I have purchased over the years.

When you judge others, you don't define them, you define yourself. - Wayne Dyer
Julie Mor is offline  
post #13 of 22 Old 06-28-2016, 09:41 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 295
View JIMMIEM's Photo Album My Photos
I've seen where several folks have made their own version of the product. I made a couple myself.
JIMMIEM is offline  
post #14 of 22 Old 06-28-2016, 07:02 PM
Interested Observer
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Dover, NH, USA
Posts: 901
View subroc's Photo Album My Photos
You convinced me. Along with skimming over what you wrote, I did some YouTube research and just bought a 2 pack.
subroc is offline  
post #15 of 22 Old 06-29-2016, 03:55 AM
Senior Member
 
allpurpose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,472
View allpurpose's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
Anyway you can summarize that for those of too lazy to do that much reading?

George
Cost of just one chopped off fingertip vs $60-70 which doesn't even mention pain and suffering and the inevitable subsequent feelings that you're going to chop off another..?
I'm sold on the idea. Just yesterday my fingers flashed in front of my eyes metaphorically speaking. Having a finger come into contact with a spinning blade again isn't something that gives me "morning wood".. if ya know what I mean.

The only thing that bugs me is can I break old habits for $60? I hope that I can.

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
allpurpose is offline  
post #16 of 22 Old 06-29-2016, 06:37 AM
Interested Observer
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Dover, NH, USA
Posts: 901
View subroc's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMMIEM View Post
I've seen where several folks have made their own version of the product. I made a couple myself.
Do you have an image?
subroc is offline  
post #17 of 22 Old 06-29-2016, 08:35 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Odenton, MD
Posts: 315
View craigwbryant's Photo Album My Photos
So after much time being skeptical of the Grr-ripper and it's value, I finally decided to give it a shot. Being as it was on the expensive side I recommended it as a father's day gift idea, and one showed up. It took me one cut to become a believer. It took me a second cut to understand why they say you need two, looking at the bank acccount there's a fair amount of extra money this month, so I'm ordering one up.
craigwbryant is offline  
post #18 of 22 Old 06-30-2016, 06:25 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 295
View JIMMIEM's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by subroc View Post
Do you have an image?
I haven't posted mine yet. I borrowed some ideas from some of the homemade ones I saw on the LUMERJOCKS Forum.....there are a few over there with pictures and measurements. Fingers are worth a lot more than the cost of the MICRO_GRRIPER...but it was kind of fun to make them and use up some leftover wood.
JIMMIEM is offline  
post #19 of 22 Old 07-05-2016, 12:48 PM
Senior Member
 
Stevedore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Morris County, New Joisey
Posts: 529
View Stevedore's Photo Album My Photos
I have a couple, & use them frequently. I feel a lot safer when ripping narrow or thin stock. Having 2 lets you feed longer stock hand-over-hand.

I bought one of them with the "bridge set" that lets you mount the handle on an angle. It makes it a little more comfortable I guess, but not a big deal, IMO. I also added the 1/8" accessory leg, which I can't recall using yet.
Stevedore is online now  
post #20 of 22 Old 07-07-2016, 09:10 AM
Senior Member
 
Pirate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 1,843
View Pirate's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by subroc View Post
Do you have an image?


Here's mine. Works great.
I just use a scrap to hold the strip against the fence (before the blade) and push the stock thru. makes ripping narrow strips, just another easy cut.
The foot adjusts for stock thickness, as well as width. On strips wider than 1/2" or so, I adjust the foot to push on the center of the strip being cut. Helps to keep the strip from cocking as it goes by the blade.
The big knob is just a handle, and the t track is not used for the pusher.
Attached Images
 
Pirate is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome