Hockey Pucks!

That’s right — hockey pucks!

Hockey Pucks and Lee Valley High Friction Discs

Hockey pucks and Lee Valley's high friction rubber discs

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?

Hockey Puck and High Friction Adhesive Discs

Hockey puck and high friction, adhesive discs

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).

Puck Henge: All eight pucks and attached discs

Puck Henge: All eight pucks and attached discs

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:

The Hockey Puck does have a potential to leave marks, however...

The hockey puck does have a potential to leave marks, however...

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!

A non-slip, hockey puck-based keyboard elevator

A non-slip, hockey puck-based keyboard elevator

In a forthcoming post, we’ll see how these pucks stack up (no pun intended) in a very simple application: Cleaning removable window sashes.

About John Poole

My interests include historic homes, architectural preservation and restoration, improving the energy performance of old houses, and traditional timber frames.
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5 Responses to Hockey Pucks!

  1. Nice idea, John! (But why is your space bar so huge?)

    • John Poole says:

      Thanks, Allison. I can’t take credit for the idea, since it’s something Lee Valley just started promoting as an alternative to more expensive, over-engineered standoffs. I am proud, however, to proclaim myself an early adopter…

      The space bar only looks bigger against the scale of the hockey pucks. It’s just an optical illusion (actually, I’m just making all that up). What I actually did find, however, was that I could position my keyboard right above the notebook keyboard, so I did that for a little while, just to give my hands yet another typing angle to ward off fatigue. Not sure if it’s actually working, but it’s a change of pace, anyway :-)

  2. Love the idea for this John. My dad used to own a conveyor manufacturing company and occasionally we would test really high friction rubber pads. I remember one pad that was flexible, but had such a high coefficient of friction you could sit it on a coffee table with a mug on top, and if you pulled straight down over the edge of the table, you’d sooner tip over the table than pull the mat out from under the cup. Pretty impressive.
    I really like this idea for homemade stand offs!

    • John Poole says:

      Hi Fred!

      Thanks for the comment. Wow…that’s quite a bit of friction! I’m not sure if these pads are any where near that, but in time, I’ll report on how effective they are. In particular, I plan to use them on a melamine surface, with downward pressure from a hold-down clamp directly above on the work piece. So I’m curious to see how non-slip they’ll be on melamine.

      Actually thought about you guys the other day while I was futzing with these hockey pucks. I saw how you flipped your bench over to glue-and-screw the torsion box bottom, and thought that these pucks would’ve been great for something like that, so as to protect the bench top while the bench was overturned.

      Anyway, I hope you give this idea a try in your future work-bench related adventures! :-)

      ~John

  3. John Poole says:

    How do you know I don’t already have one dedicated to that purpose? Heh heh heh! :-)

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