|Review by Tedstor||posted 03-19-2011 12:10 PM||8627 views||4 times favorited||24 comments|
Want a cheap way to check the “squareness” of machine fences, table saw blades, drill press chucks, and any other 90# angle in the shop?? Check out this set of 1-2-3 blocks. I bought this pair off Amazon for $10ish bucks several months ago. Several different types of these blocks are available from different manufacturers at widely varying price points. This model, was the cheapest. However, I can’t seem to find any flaws despite the low price. I’m sure the expensive blocks are superior in some way that would be important to an aerospace engineer or OCD machinist; but these econoblocks should satisfy the needs of most woodworkers. I’ve checked my set as closely as my current resources would allow. My micrometer confirms the 1”x2”x3” demensions, and my combo square confirms a 90# angle on all corners.
What I like about them-
1- The weight. Being a chunk of metal, they’re nice n’ hefty. They aren’t likely to shift around accidentally while in use.
2- The holes. I occasionally use them as stop blocks and the holes make them easy to attach to my drill press table and table saw jigs. The holes also make them hang nicely on my pegboard.
3- Demensions. Its rare that I need a sqaure larger than 3”, but I do occasionally need one smaller than 3”. A 1-2-3 block is usally the right tool.
4- Value- Two blocks for $10 makes these a bargain. I try to take care of my tools regardless of their price, but if I happen to drop, ding, or scrape one of these, its not a significant loss. Heck, they’re probably cheap enough to buy one for each machine in the shop.
*UPDATE to address brand name* See below thread for applicable Amazon link. No brand name was assigned to this tool by Amazon. It is distributed by “All Industrial Tool”. The purpose of this review was to introduce people to this tool that is traditionally used my machinsts. Plenty of woodworkers have known of 1-2-3 blocks for eons. Others have not. Its not a tool that is sold by many/most woodworking outlets, and is rarely discussed in woodworking magazines and books. When the topic does some up, its usually about a brand name product that costs $100 or more. That turns many people off from a tool that is not absolutely essential, but definitely useful. Now we know that a serviceable set of blocks can be had at modest cost. Maybe I should have just started a discussion in the tool forum?? Anyway, I can see that the review has already helped at least one person, so I’m cool with it.