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Woodpeck One-Time Tool: Setup Blocks

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Forum topic by DrTebi posted 10-12-2019 04:37 AM 956 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DrTebi

347 posts in 3802 days


10-12-2019 04:37 AM

Topic tags/keywords: woodpeck one-time tool gauge blocks setup blocks

Hi there,

I just thought I would share this here in case anyone missed it. Woodpeck now has re-issued their setup gauge block sets as a one-time tool:
https://www.woodpeck.com/onetime-tool-setup-block-ws-2019.html

I have used gauge blocks for a few years now for many tasks where I wanted precision cuts etc. I find them extremely useful. In my collection is a set of parallels from 3/4” to 1 3/4” in 1/8” steps, and a gauge block set from 1/16” to 2”. I use the parallels mostly when I want exact rip cuts on my table saw. You may say that this precision is not necessary in woodworking… nevertheless, I find it often quicker and easier. For example, my cross-cut table saw blade is thinner than the rip cut blade, so my scale will be off at least for one of them… instead of resetting it, I simply use the parallels.

The gauge blocks are great for router table setup. I use them often to set the distance from the fence to the edge of the bit. Or, when hand routing, to set the depth of cut.

Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea to have these made from aluminum. I am often a bit irritated that Woodpeck makes great tools, but always out of aluminum… I use a marking knife, and it is quite easy to cut into aluminum with that. Setting up a table saw blade with aluminum blocks will eventually scratch the aluminum as well. I prefer tool steel. And if you hunt around on eBay, you can find some pretty reasonably priced sets.

On another note… One really doesn’t need a jumbo set if one is willing to use a little math. The gauge blocks for metal working are usually supplied in very clever sizes—my set for example has only 9 blocks, but I can get any thickness from 1/16” to the max. To make life easier, just for fun, I once programmed a little website “app” where you can type in the fraction you want, and you will get a visual response which blocks to use… it’s pretty neat, check it out if you like:
http://drtebi.com/blockcalc/

Anyway, let me know what you think about gauge blocks, aluminum vs. tool steel, and whether anyone needs this type of precision at all… could be an interesting discussion :)


31 replies so far

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1441 posts in 1351 days


#1 posted 10-12-2019 12:13 PM

What? You mean you are actually supposed to use that stuff? I thought Woodpecker machined and red anodized aluminum objects were primarily manufactured in “limited editions” for tool collectors. The material used in manufacturing is selected for appearance rather than durability. Who wants a collector’s item made out of ugly tool steel? If they were made for real woodworkers, then they would have them available all the time. They would also be priced so that average woodworkers could afford them.

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

1035 posts in 3328 days


#2 posted 10-12-2019 12:46 PM

I do have and use a very limited amount of woodpeckers tools. I have other set up blocks because woodpeckers had them out of production. I use the square to check which of my other “squares” are or mostly are not square. The coping sled is the best I have used. And after I bought the saw guage at the wood shows, they came out with the extended version. I called, and received a credit for the tool, unused because this was right after the show, and was able to get the extended version. Nice people to deal with. Expensive, yes. That is why I don’t own many. But the old saying, cry once or forever.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

538 posts in 1124 days


#3 posted 10-12-2019 01:51 PM

I use a digital height indicator for my TS and router cutter adjustments. While I can feel a few thou of error on a gauge block the DHI is faster and easier especially when measuring an odd (non fraction) for a half depth cut.

You also want soft metal in a gauge block (alum/brass – not steel) to avoid damaging your cutters.

M

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MrRon

5767 posts in 3779 days


#4 posted 10-12-2019 03:45 PM

I have setup blocks that I made from aluminum. I use them along with a 6” digital caliper to set a dimension greater than 6” as in laying out on a flat surface. Since I have many machinist’s tools, I can use them for woodworking set-ups. It’s considered not necessary, but what the hey; you got them; might as well use them. Any setup blocks I make are accurate to ±.001”.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

4079 posts in 1109 days


#5 posted 10-12-2019 04:30 PM

I can’t imagine the price on the WoodPecker blocks, but it must be outrageous.

For a long time I have realized products from i Gaging are equal to Starrett on accuracy. Lew sells a 15 piece set of their blocks for 59 bux.

The 1, 2, and 3” blocks allow you to stand off before starting a closer measurement for TS set ups, router, and I even use them on my BS. They were so inexpensive I have 2 sets, just to keep from chasing around for them.

-- Think safe, be safe

View SMP's profile

SMP

1419 posts in 441 days


#6 posted 10-12-2019 04:45 PM

Well its better to have the blocks get scratched than ruin expensive blades and bits. That said you can get brass ones just as accurate on amazon for the price of shipping on walletpeckers

View DrTebi's profile

DrTebi

347 posts in 3802 days


#7 posted 10-13-2019 05:46 AM

Interesting comments…

What I don’t agree with is, that blocks made out of tool steel instead of a softer material would damage my saw blades or router bits. I am not aligning the blocks with the blades while they are spinning (???). I doubt that a little bit of touching carbide to tool steel is going to damage anything. At least not from what I have seen so far.

I find it much more annoying to have tools made from aluminum, and ding and dang them up until they not only look ugly, but also start to be inaccurate.

Nevertheless, the iGaging set looks like a steal compared to the Woodpeck tools… the smallest kit from Woodpeck (apart from the metric set) is $139.99 and includes 13 pieces. Maybe it really is more of a collectors tool after all.

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1125 days


#8 posted 10-13-2019 05:54 AM


Maybe it really is more of a collectors tool after all.

- DrTebi

What you will see are Instagram poseurs pretending to actually use tools by posing with them, who have a wall of Woodpecker tools behind them. Of course they have no dust on them, and they are in their original milled MDF frames. They are just there for display.

I have some Woodpecker squares that I got on sale. Good quality, but I’d never pay retail for them.

View Peteybadboy's profile

Peteybadboy

1270 posts in 2485 days


#9 posted 10-13-2019 10:47 AM

I have their Triangles and use it often to check 45 degree angels. Also the small one is good to check inside boxes for 90 .

-- Petey

View Rayne's profile

Rayne

1239 posts in 2075 days


#10 posted 10-13-2019 02:16 PM


Maybe it really is more of a collectors tool after all.

- DrTebi

What you will see are Instagram poseurs pretending to actually use tools by posing with them, who have a wall of Woodpecker tools behind them. Of course they have no dust on them, and they are in their original milled MDF frames. They are just there for display.

I have some Woodpecker squares that I got on sale. Good quality, but I d never pay retail for them.

- Rich

You confirm my suspicion on why those tools are so clean in every shot I see. lol. There are a few -gramers that I believe use their WP tools to their fullest but can’t imagine many. I have a few of their tools myself and grab them when I want accuracy. When absolute precision is not necessary, I grab whatever is close by that can get the job done.

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

2216 posts in 2239 days


#11 posted 10-13-2019 03:47 PM

I’m curious, does anyone really routinely use set up block? I have never know any woodworkers that use them, but I don’t get out much…

I bought one of the “One Time” tools many several years ago, a little pocket thing that you mark circles with…. I haven’t used it “one time” yet….

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8785 posts in 3112 days


#12 posted 10-13-2019 03:52 PM

I routinely use my 123 blocks and brass key blocks as it gets repeatable results.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5767 posts in 3779 days


#13 posted 10-13-2019 04:26 PM

Because I build scale model trains, I find precision tools like calipers, gauges and blocks all are indispensable. When building a household project, I just follow standard woodworking procedures where precision is not as important, but accuracy is. Eyesight is also a good reason to use precision tooling. With failing eyesight, you can depend on “feel”.

View SMP's profile

SMP

1419 posts in 441 days


#14 posted 10-13-2019 04:36 PM


Interesting comments…

What I don t agree with is, that blocks made out of tool steel instead of a softer material would damage my saw blades or router bits. I am not aligning the blocks with the blades while they are spinning (???). I doubt that a little bit of touching carbide to tool steel is going to damage anything. At least not from what I have seen so far.
l

Interesting. As earlier you said that setting up your table saw was scratching up the aluminum ones. This can’t work one way. So if this is truly the case then aluminum is fine.
I know for me i like to get them to touch the high point of the blade, also ensuring parallel on a table saw, and hand rotating router bit to get to the apex of the cutter head diameter.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5414 posts in 2844 days


#15 posted 10-13-2019 04:40 PM

The comments on prices kinda tells why most everything is made over seas. But yet we complain about the quality of many of those tools. Can’t have it both ways unless we match wages, working conditions and environmental issues.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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