Machinist's Set-Up Blocks
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Blocks speed rip cut and other machine set-ups:
tool and die maker who's been at it for long will tell you
that a good set of "1-2-3 Blocks" used to be standard equipment
in every machinist's tool box. These simple steel blocks are
PRECISELY 1" x 2" x 3" in size and are used for speeding-up
the process of making machine set-ups.
principle behind these blocks also applies quite nicely to
woodworking. You can easily make a set of these blocks out
of a hard, stable wood such as maple or cherry and use them
when you need to set-up your Table Saw quickly for a 1", 2"
or 3" rip cut.
even more versatility, cut some 6" long by 3/4" high strips
to thicknesses of 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4" and 7/8"
. Then, merely add the appropriate strip between your 1-2-3
Block and your rip fence to quickly arrive at the exact width
you need to rip, to within 1/8", without measuring. Remember,
like the 1-2-3 blocks, these strips must be EXACT in their
you often find yourself in a production or semi-production
situation where you find yourself making a project that you
know you'll need to duplicate again and again over time? If
so, as you build your project, set aside some small scraps
off each rip cut or cutoff, along with your project plans...then
use these scraps as set-up aids whenever you have to make
another duplicate. Be sure to mark the scraps so you can quickly
match them with their specific cuts.