That’s right — hockey pucks!
I just received an order for a bunch of them from Lee Valley Tools, for only a dollar a piece (a buck a puck, basically). I’d also ordered two bags of Lee Valley’s high friction adhesive discs. Why?
Well, when you apply a rubber friction disc to each side of a hockey puck, you get a cheap, strong, and (almost) non-marring, work standoff for use on any bench top, or even on your shop floor. In other words, something that temporarily cushions and supports a work piece just slightly above the work surface; for example, you might want to do this while hand sanding, or lightly trimming or planing, a work piece. (Or so I’ve been told, anyway — I haven’t actually put these to use yet, but will very soon).
To attach the friction discs, you simply peel the paper backing from the sticky side, center it over one side of the puck, and smooth it down. I actually washed and dried the pucks first, because they had an awful lot of rubbery dust and matter sloughing off their surfaces when I initially began handling them.
Similar, but much fancier, bench standoffs are available from both Rockler (“Bench Cookies”) and Bench Dog. But I like the simplicity and durability of the hockey pucks. The only thing I’m a bit concerned about is the potential for the edge of a puck to smear a finished surface when brushing against it:
But as long as one uses a reasonable amount of care, I don’t think this should be a significant problem.
And yes, you can also find numerous uses for these things around the house. Just use your imagination!
In a forthcoming post, we’ll see how these pucks stack up (no pun intended) in a very simple application: Cleaning removable window sashes.