Gage Blocks for Woodworking?

Hi all,
I'm setting up my woodshop, and I hope (with SWMBO's advice and consent) to have several of new tools that need to be calibrated.
I have a dial indicator (with a clamp, not a mag base), and a couple pairs of calipers that are more accurate that I am.
I'd love to get a good set of gage blocks for common woodworking dimensions. Does anyone use gage blocks when setting up tools, or jigs?
Thanks in advance.
--Stan Graves snipped-for-privacy@SoundInMotionDJ.com http://www.SoundInMotionDJ.com
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Good idea, but why not make your own ....mjh
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Ever watch The Router Workshop? Man those guys probably couldnt work without their little brass set-up bars. They use them more than a rule or tape measure. I like these things alot. I only a few but they serve me well for common fence settings and such. Good investment in my opinion.
Jim

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I don't have them either but Lee Valley has a set that I drool over once in a while.
John V

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I bought some and use them all the time. Got my big kid a set for Christmas. I'm told the fingers can detect down to the thousandths of an inch difference, so they're ideal. Get the tapered scale to complete your measuring needs.
Advantage to LV over the Router Workshop setup bars - the 1/2/3 block, which is great for square, too.
Disadvantage, storage in the box is a bit inconvenient and fumbly compared to bars on a ring.

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Here is a great tool setting gauge from Veritas http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?SID=&ccurrency=2&page0074&category1,240,41064
-- Regards,
Dean Bielanowski Editor, Online Tool Reviews http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com ------------------------------------------------------------ Latest 5 Reviews: - Veritas Shelf Drilling Jig - Ryobi CID1802V 18v Cordless Drill - Workshop Essentials Under $30 - Festool PS 300 Jigsaws - Delta Universal Tenoning Jig ------------------------------------------------------------
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You bet they are a great thing to have. Also some of the tools your going to buy over time are going to have instructions for building your own to set the tools up. Also along those same lines make a set of "Roman Rulers" for a measuring device. It is many times superior for making repetitive cuts that you can't jig and only is two pieces of scrap wood.

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?SID=&ccurrency=2&page0074&category> 1,240,41064

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What is a "Roman Ruler"?
On Sat, 31 Jan 2004 00:28:38 GMT, "Eric Johnson"

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wrote:

Could you explain ? I've never come across these items, and a Google search provided me with more information on the Roman Empire and the Book of Revelation than I'll ever need.
Only one P in my real address/ Un seul P dans ma vritable adresse
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Stan:
Gage blocks are real handy to have, use mine all the time. Get together with a couple of buddies and buy some key stock from a machinist supply house and make your own by cutting the stock to length. You can get almost any size up to 3/4", maybe larger on special order.
Mike

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On 30 Jan 2004 12:23:59 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Stan Graves)

Rather than buy the expensive block sets sold by Lee Valley and others, check out key stock at any decent hardware store, including the BORGs. They come in several "common" sizes. Look and act like the blocks used for router setup, but cost only a dollar or two each.
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Also being a huge advocate of shop built vs. store bought I have this to offer. You can make your own gauge blocks using some good plywood, some thin brass strips and a caliper or some other precision measuring device. For example: for a one inch bar I measured the brass thickness multiplied it by 2, then subtracted this from an inch. I then cut a small block of plywood a tiny bit heavier than this measurement. I attached a thin brass strip to both sides using countersunk flat head wood screws and took a measurement. If its too fat which it should be, take one brass plate off and work the wood over a piece of fine sandpaper and some plate glass. (or any true flat surface) replace the brass and measure again. Work it down until the measurement is exactly one inch. Now you have a nice true gauge block of any width you want. I do check them from time to time to make sure the weather hasn't affected them but I keep them in a nice sealed box and being plywood they stay reasonable true to size especially if you don't leave them laying around. Hope this helps some.
Jim
(Stan Graves)

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Which section of the BORG do they hide these little jewels? Were they near anything in particular?
Thanks Alan
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Alan W wrote:

The hardware deparment with allthe draweres of things. These are the keys used to hold a pulley on a motor shaft. Very accurate
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Ed
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On 31 Jan 2004 09:16:12 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@worldnet.att.net (Alan W) wrote:

They are in the hardware department. A couple were in the wall-mounted baggies. More sizes were in the individual pieces drawers below the bagged items. Look for key stock.
They're used to hold wheels onto axles.
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I have the Lee Valley set and use it a lot on the router table and table saw.
djb
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The Router Workshop guys have been at the wood shows over the past several years, selling their router tables, jigs, and fixtures. Their company name is Oak Park Industries or something like that. I did a quick search on Google and got too many hits to be able to quickly find them so I leave that part up to you.
I bought my set of "brass" gage blocks from them about 5 years ago for about $12. They came as a set in a block of wood with rabbet grooves in it to hold each one. They are the same as the ones that they use in their show and I find that I'm using them almost as frequently as they do. I like the brass because there's less chance of damaging a cutter edge when I'm doing setups. Although steel key stock is probably easier to find at the local hardware store or machine shop I would not be comfortable about hitting them against the sharp edges of my cutting tools.
-- Charley

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