If there is one thing I really dislike on a construction site it is Oriented Strand Board or OSB. It is full of splinters even when fresh off the stack. It puts out a most irritating sawdust when cut and it is heavier than it ought to be. I try to avoid it whenever I can, but in my part of the country, it is used as sheathing on the side of the house and under the roofing. Handling this stuff is just an unpleasant part of the deal when you are building a house.
Highland has a new tool that I am looking at. It is called the Gorilla Gripper and is specifically designed to work on stuff like OSB. Have you ever seen the highway construction guys moving those concrete barricades used for traffic control when the highway is being built? They put a big gripper on it which clamps the top of the block and when raised by a big enough tractor, grips tighter and tighter as the weight increases.
Same thing with the Gorilla Gripper. You just grab the middle edge of the sheet with it and the harder you pull, the tighter it grips. The trick to picking up a heavy sheet with a Gorilla Gripper is to get your hand under the Gorilla handle and fold your arm under the load while you bend your knees, and then straighten your legs to lift the material. Your hand ends up at your shoulder and the heavy sheet hangs comfortably by your side so you can walk with it.
If you are less than four feet to the shoulder, you might have a little trouble with the sheet dragging on the ground. (Someone a little taller than you could always put another Gorilla Gripper on your head and pick up you and the sheet, and if you are still able to talk, you can tell the secondary lifter where you need the sheet. If you can’t talk, you still have one hand free and you can point with it to get the sheet where you want it to go.)
If your shoulder is over eight feet from the ground, then you can work from the end of the sheet rather than the side. You really big guys can even put one in each hand.
The other thing that had not occurred to me is dragging a heavy 4×8 sheet up a ladder. I watched their video and the demonstrator carried a sheet to the bottom of the ladder and then turned his hand over and holding the Gorilla Gripper at his hip simply walked up the ladder dragging the sheet behind his feet as he walked onto the roof. Works like a champ!!
All you cabinetmakers out there will love this thing too. Banging those precious sheets of 3/4 inch hardwood veneer plywood around the shop gets to be a real pain, plus they cost a lot of money and you sure don’t want to mess one up. If using a Gorilla Gripper saves you just one sheet of walnut or cherry ply, this little machine will have already paid for itself.
Click over to the Highland Woodworking website and see the Gorilla Gripper video and then place your order.