Question About Cool Blocks

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Just picked up a set of Cool Blocks from Highland Hardware. Went to install them and noticed that they don't fit well at all. Measured the old blocks, exactly 1/2" Measured the Cool Blocks, they are 1/32" shy on all dimensions. Makes for a pretty sloppy fit and it's hard to make the faces parallel to the blade and stay that way when tightening.
Can anyone who uses these things tell me if this is normal, or did I get a bum batch?
Thanks,
Greg G.
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On Wed, 24 Dec 2003 16:10:31 -0500, Greg G. wrote:

Hi Greg,
I would doubt that you have a bum batch... My guess would be that you have a set for a different machine.
HTH,
--
Kenneth

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Kenneth said:

Right part number. And it included the 45 degree block for the lower guide on a 14" Delta. Should be the right parts - they just fit poorly.
Greg G.
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On Wed, 24 Dec 2003 17:19:18 -0500, Greg G. wrote:

Hi again Greg,
If they were whittled on someone's porch maybe, but these are machined parts. It just does not seem at all likely that they would be off by a 32nd in every dimension.
I would not try to install them if it were my machine. Of course it is tough with the holidays, but I would contact the retailer to find out what's up.
Good luck with it,
--
Kenneth

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Kenneth said:
Hello Kenneth,

Ahh, thou who are so young and naive. <g> People sell crap every day of the year.
I know they *shouldn't* fit badly, but they do. This could be their excuse for 'normal'. This is why I asked if anyone had experience with them on a 14" Delta Bandsaw.

Tried to call them, they closed early today. <grrrr> I still have the stock blocks, but I have this new $30.00 WoodSlicer blade, and REALLY wanted to re-saw some oak tomorrow with tight new guides.
SWMBO is out of town, and I got nothin' else to do.
Bastages. <g>
Greg G.
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"machine" some out of oak to the correct tolerances. some posters here also soak them in WD40 but I haven't found a need to do that. sometimes I use PAM on the the blade but only if I am cutting green stock. I use them for all my blades, from 1/8 to 3/4.
BRuce
Greg wrote:

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---

BRuce


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BRuce said:

Yea, I've heard of that. Was trying to avoid the machine work. The time is worth more than the $10 Cool Blocks cost, but then again, maybe not - if they fit like these do... these things suck! Thanks,
Greg G.
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On Wed, 24 Dec 2003 18:51:09 -0500, Greg G. wrote:

But the upside of that, Greg, is that you spend an hour machining the width and height on a four-foot long piece of scrap, cut them to length and you've got enough "GG-Cool Blocks" for the rest of your life. :)
Michael
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Yea, I know. <g> Heck, it wouldn't even take an hour. Scrap oak around here usually ends up as miter guides on jigs. Already bought the things, not realizing...
Thanks, and have a Happy Holiday!
Greg G.
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Kenneth said:

BTW, do you use them? Do you have a Delta 14" bandsaw? How do they fit your machine?
Greg G.
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On Wed, 24 Dec 2003 17:22:19 -0500, Greg G. wrote:

Nope, I have an Hitachi, and use ball bearing guides...
--
Kenneth

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Howdy, Greg,
I've had them on my Delta 28-299 14" for a couple of years. Saw your post and went out to the shop and hit them with a dial caliper for you.
Mine measure precisely 0.46 square, which is, as you say, about 15/32".
I never had a problem installing them, or adjusting them and they work fine on the saw.
FWIW ...
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 12/23/03
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Swingman said:

Hey, KC,

I appreciate you doing this on Christmas Eve!

Same here...

Hmmm....
Thanks, I was a little concerned by this - I wonder why they make them so danged small? They definitely cock in the bore, and seem awfully sloppy to me. Well, at least I didn't get an errant batch.
Seems to me, that depending on how they are installed, they could pinch the blade when acted upon by blade movement.
I modeled them in software, and sure enough, this is what happens: (blade clearance is increased slightly so the human eye can perceive the blade pinch)
These are very small animations that will load in Media Player on all Windows systems. Probably won't work on anything else...
Perspective view: http://videodoc.home.mindspring.com/images/CBanim01.avi (21kb)
Front view: http://videodoc.home.mindspring.com/images/CBanim01.avi (44kb)
http://videodoc.home.mindspring.com/images/drain.jpg
Anyway, Thanks Again for everyone's input on this. Being the anally retentive engineer type, I will probably shim them before using.
Merry Christmas! Hope everyone gets what they desire. (Health, Happiness, Family, Whorled Peas, and TOOLS!!!)
Greg G.
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If anyone really cares:
Stupid me - Copy, paste, EDIT! Wrong filename on the second file... Who knows why that last picture got in there. (!)

Perspective view: http://videodoc.home.mindspring.com/images/CBanim01.avi (21kb)
Front view: http://videodoc.home.mindspring.com/images/CBanim02.avi (44kb)
Greg G.
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You skipped the part where you tell us what you used to model them.

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Mark & Juanita said:

Ahhh... But if I told you, I'd have to kill you. <g> [ADI]
Only took a few minutes, just to visually demonstrate my criticism. Being as they ARE made of a soft material, the slop shouldn't cause any harm to the saw or blade, but will cause accelerated and irregular wear of the blocks. As I said, I'm kinda anal about machinery... <g>
Greg G.
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One question that comes to mind in looking at your simulation, what is causing the downward forces on the blocks in the frontal view? You are showing a gap between the blades and the blocks; my understanding is that the blocks are to be in contact with the back of the blade. If the blocks are contacting the blade, it would seem that the blocks would be pulled toward one another and provide mutual support to prevent a gap from forming.
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Mark & Juanita said:

As mentioned in the text above the links, the gap was exaggerated so that the human eye could perceive it. The downward force is the movement of the blade. This 'invisible force' is handled easily in software. The block pinch is not a desirable behavior. In fact, the cool block instructions claim that they are to be set with clearance, not against the blade. Tilting is not a desired action.
Doesn't matter, I just shimmed them. Cut up a 12" x 2' log into planks. The WoodSlicer is a great blade, unbelievably quiet and very little lead.
Merry Christmas!
Greg G.
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Greg, Don't have a Delta; went with the 14" JET Open Stand.
It came with their 'Cool Blocks' {Brownish material; striated like Micarta}. Although they worked well - I just HAD to try the machine out as soon as I had it assembled - I replaced them with Ceramic blocks.
If memory serves . . . 1) BOTH types are a 'loose fit' 2) A very simple {KISS Principle}shim material - more of a protection from the screws gouging the Blocks - is the material of your favorite beverage can. 3) I changed the difficult to reach & tighten 'Thumb Screws' to Cap Head Socket Screws . . . and painted the heads Fluorescent Red.
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop
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Ron Magen said:

I have seen those, how do they work in comparison to the 'cool blocks'? I got them primarily for re-sawing. I figured the stock guides were OK for ordinary work. But with a riser and 1/2" blade, I figured I could use all the help I could get keeping the blade stable when re-sawing.

I have a roll of aluminum flashing that's about the right thickness. You're right about the screws digging into them. One additional concern about them fitting loosely - the constant re-tightening.

Interesting. Mine came with allen head screws, I was considering installing thumbscrews. Maybe I should re-think that one.
Thanks for the info, and have a Merry Christmas!
Greg G.
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