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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Default Question About The MJ Grr Ripper

I know that often I think to much and ask strange questions, but why quit now.

I'm waiting for the BBT, otherwise known as the the UP'S truck, to deliver my new MJ Grr Ripper and have been wondering if it is supposed to "always" be used with its' right edge firmly against the TS fence and if so, what if the workpiece being ripped is just the right width that the outside, non movable leg is in line with the blade of he saw? In that scenario the ripper would not work, so obviously it does not have be positioned against the fence does it?

So, when used without it being positioned against the fence it seems like one needs to be very careful to get it lined up so that blade passes through the opening in the tool for it. Not a big deal, but looks like an issue to be careful about, any comments, or am I missing something?

Jerry B.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 01:47 PM
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Yeah, in the scenario you describe, I'm not sure I'd use the grippers. Using 2 grippers allows me to avoid straddling the blade though it still doesn't feel 100% comfortable to me. I usually use a feather board when I use the grippers on a wider piece. This means that I'm not using it to ensure the work piece is against the fence but rather to push the piece forward. I wish the outer "leg" was movable too.

I love my grippers but find that for some cuts, a good old fashioned push stick and feather board is actually safer. Your scenario is one. Heck, I also use board buddies a lot. belt and suspenders...

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, in the scenario you describe, I'm not sure I'd use the grippers. Using 2 grippers allows me to avoid straddling the blade though it still doesn't feel 100% comfortable to me. I usually use a feather board when I use the grippers on a wider piece. This means that I'm not using it to ensure the work piece is against the fence but rather to push the piece forward. I wish the outer "leg" was movable too.

I love my grippers but find that for some cuts, a good old fashioned push stick and feather board is actually safer. Your scenario is one. Heck, I also use board buddies a lot. belt and suspenders...
Phil,
Maybe my question or wondering wasn't so far off base after all.

I use the magnetic feather board with the roller that provided downward pressure on the workpiece along with the MJ Splitter. I'm thinking that for long cuts, which in my shop is seldom longer that maybe 30", that I will use the Gripper to feed the workpiece into the blade and far enough for the roller to be engaged and then just use a long push stick and push the board through the cut while standing off to the left of the blade, talk about wearing a belt and suspenders, I'm the poster boy for that I suppose, but I learned about kick backs the hard way and have no intention of ever having it happen again.

I also see one real good use for the Gripper, or so I think until I try it, but until now I had learned to never attempt to rip a piece shorter than the distance from the front to the rear of the TS blade. T

hat's how I got hurt with a really bad kick back, The part that hit me was the part to the left of the blade. I was only 3/8" thick, an inch wide and about 8" long but it almost puctured my gut and I had a lump the size of a base ball for several weeks, had the piece been sharp it would have gone right into my stomach. I think that I described this before on the forum, but if repeating the story saves even one person from being hurt by a kick back, it's worth repeating.

Jerry
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 02:15 PM
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My grippers have a plastic edge piece that can push sideways on wider boards. That being said, they are "grippy" enough to use just pushing down and into the fence by themselves

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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My grippers have a plastic edge piece that can push sideways on wider boards. That being said, they are "grippy" enough to use just pushing down and into the fence by themselves

I only bought the one simple model 100 and so I don't think that I can take it all the way through on a long cut. After I get it and try it, I'll be better informed about it's value to me and its' limitations.

Jerry
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 03:04 PM
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Jerry and Phil,

You should both watch the Grripper demonstrations on Youtube or buy Micro Jig's DVD to learn how to use them properly.

The Grrippers aren't intended to be used the way that you plan because there is no part of the Grripper that is holding down the piece of the stock that's between the blade and fence. This is the piece of stock that will give you kick-back if you don't hold it down during the cut. The fence will hold the offcut against the blade and as soon as the off cut is cut completely free from the stock, the friction of the blade rubbing against it will lift it up to the blade teeth and then the teeth will throw it at you.

Micro Jig makes a side piece for the Grripper that is 1/8" wide ,so it can handle cuts down to 1/8" with this side piece installed. But the way the Grripper is shipped, it only has 1/4 and 1/2" sides, making 1/4" is the narrowest cut that can be safely made using it. You will need to buy and use the 1/8" side piece for one side of the Grripper to cut strips between 1/8" and 1/4". If the piece being cut off the stock is narrower than 1/8", you should be using a thin strip ripping guide instead of the Grripper. To avoid kick-back you should always have a way to hold down the stock on both sides of the blade, and a way to push both pieces of stock completely through the cut.

To be certain that the Grripper is positioned properly for narrow cuts it's best to position it on your stock and against the fence, then bend down and look under the Grripper to see where the blade will be cutting, then decide what adjustments need to be made to the Grripper to be certain that it will be holding down both the stock and the off cut without the Grripper being damaged by the blade as you make the cut. The center piece of the Grripper will need to be moved frequently if you are doing rips of varying widths and you may need to occasionally make adjustments to it to keep it out of the blade path. With the Grripper on the stock to be cut and against the saw fence, with the fence set for the width of cut sight through the bottom of the Grripper before you make the cut to be certain certain that the position of the Grripper can hold down both the stock and the off cut. This is the time to make any needed adjustments before you begin the cut.

A Grripper isn't intended to be used like a push stick and it will greatly increase table saw safety if you learn to use it correctly. Having two Grrippers lets you use them hand over hand when feeding long stock, while holding down both the stock and the off-cut and feeding them forward continuously.

It took me a while to get comfortable with my Grrippers, but my problem was the mental block that I had planted in my head from over 50 years of woodworking. This mental block was so strong that it still makes me hesitate when I'm about to make a table saw cut using my Grrippers. My mental block is "the 6" rule". This rule simply states that "Thou shall never allow fingers or body parts to get closer than 6" of the spinning blade". This rule has kept me safe for 50 + years and I have no scars to show from table saw use. When I use the Grrippers the way that they are designed to be used, while holding the handle of the Grripper, my hand passes only about 2" above the blade. That old 6" rule gave me fits, until I managed to convince myself that while holding the handle of the Grripper there was a heavy piece of plastic between my hand and the blade teeth, and this made it OK. I still hesitate each time because of that old 6" rule, but I can get myself past it to use the Grrippers and do it safely. Please watch the videos and learn how to use the Grrippers properly.

Charley

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Last edited by CharleyL; 02-18-2015 at 03:25 PM.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Jerry and Phil,

You should both watch the Grripper demonstrations on Youtube or buy Micro Jig's DVD to learn how to use them properly.

The Grrippers aren't intended to be used the way that you plan because there is no part of the Grripper that is holding down the piece of the stock that's between the blade and fence. This is the piece of stock that will give you kick-back if you don't hold it down during the cut. The fence will hold the offcut against the blade and as soon as the off cut is cut completely free from the stock, the friction of the blade rubbing against it will lift it up to the blade teeth and then the teeth will throw it at you.

Micro Jig makes a side piece for the Grripper that is 1/8" wide ,so it can handle cuts down to 1/8" with this side piece installed. But the way the Grripper is shipped, it only has 1/4 and 1/2" sides, making 1/4" is the narrowest cut that can be safely made using it. You will need to buy and use the 1/8" side piece for one side of the Grripper to cut strips between 1/8" and 1/4". If the piece being cut off the stock is narrower than 1/8", you should be using a thin strip ripping guide instead of the Grripper. To avoid kick-back you should always have a way to hold down the stock on both sides of the blade, and a way to push both pieces of stock completely through the cut.

To be certain that the Grripper is positioned properly for narrow cuts it's best to position it on your stock and against the fence, then bend down and look under the Grripper to see where the blade will be cutting, then decide what adjustments need to be made to the Grripper to be certain that it will be holding down both the stock and the off cut without the Grripper being damaged by the blade as you make the cut. The center piece of the Grripper will need to be moved frequently if you are doing rips of varying widths and you may need to occasionally make adjustments to it to keep it out of the blade path. With the Grripper on the stock to be cut and against the saw fence, with the fence set for the width of cut sight through the bottom of the Grripper before you make the cut to be certain certain that the position of the Grripper can hold down both the stock and the off cut. This is the time to make any needed adjustments before you begin the cut.

Charley


O.K., let me try to be as tackful as I can and then if I'm still wrong, please respond in like manner. I know that you will, it's my reply to you that I need to be careful about.

Did you read and/or understand what I said about the workpiece being held down againt the table with the roller on the magnetic feather board. I have been using the feather board successfully for several years now, I just think that using the Gripper would be a better way to feed the workpiece into the cut until the roller is engaged on the out feed side of the blade and the splitter has entered the cut.

We are probably mis-communicating on the fine point here, but I certainly reserve the right to be wrong and will take seriously anything that you say that implys that I'm missing the point. Thanks for attempting to set me straight.

Jerry
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 08:21 PM
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Charley...thank you for the detailed explanation...

Not to jump on Jerry's post but wanted to be clear on a couple of points you made...maybe it's just one point...

"A Grripper isn't intended to be used like a push stick"

"be certain that it will be holding down both the stock and the off cut"

is the second point what you mean by the first...? It's intent...?

If that is the case you would not recommend the GRRipper with a short fence...?

...maybe I should ask in a different thread...?

Thanks again...Nick

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 01:20 AM
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Jerry, about 2 or 3 years ago we had a member asking questions about how to do something without the use of a table saw that should have been done by a table saw. When quizzed about it he said he had had one but got rid of it because of a bad experience with it. When questioned further he admitted that when doing a rip he had lost control of the board and had his his fingers come in contact with the blade (I think I remember 2 amputations but I'm not sure). He was using a Grripper at the time. He said that somehow the grripper flipped over exposing his fingers to the blade. The point is is that few jigs will guarantee that no harm can come to you. You still have to stay absolutely focused on the job.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 04:01 AM
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Hi Charles

I'll never understand why people think it's safe to do rip cuts without a guard in place.

Regards

Phil

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