My Grandfather—they tell me—had many careers . In one of them, he owned some sort of small, wildly unsuccessful machine shop. Nobody knows the details.
One of his things that I’ve had … pretty much all my life … and NEVER knew what it was … was a black box with something like eight or ten differently sized metal blocks, and some plastic “button.”
Only when I started woodworking did I figure out what they were.
They’re GAUGE BLOCKS !
They seem to date from about 1944
And … as a visually impaired dude … I’ve been using them a LOT, since I started working on bigger projects.
I have a steel ruler—a good one. I have Incra T-rules. I have a Wixey digital height gauge. I have three different tapes. I have a wood folding “carpenter’s” rule.
I’ve got all that stuff.
But … for setting up blades and bits … nothing has worked better for me, nor been EASIER for me … than these gauge blocks.
They’re the only approach I can take that gives me incredible accuracy (beyond that which I care about) WITHOUT putting my eyes into contortions. Everything else has to be stared at, lined up, parallax considered, etc., etc., etc.
So … since I’m adopting more of a story stick approach—get the first measurements right, and then build to the PIECE, rather than to the PLAN (consistency being more important than accuracy, to the 10,000ths of an inch !), I’m finding it moves much faster with this set … the set that Poppa left me.
Hey Mama, I heard Papa call himself a jack of all trade.
Tell me is that what sent Papa to an early grave?
Folk say Papa would beg, borrow, steal to pay his bill.
Hey Mama, folk say that Papa was never much on thinking.
Spent most of his time chasing women and drinking.
-- -- Neil