LumberJocks

1-2-3 Block. 123 uses around the shop

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Review by Tedstor posted 1224 days ago 5036 views 4 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
1-2-3 Block. 123 uses around the shop No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

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.




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Tedstor

1369 posts in 1232 days



24 comments so far

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Jack_T

621 posts in 1630 days


#1 posted 1224 days ago

How about the brand name or a link where we can find them.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View jim C's profile

jim C

1452 posts in 1697 days


#2 posted 1224 days ago

Tedstor,
These blocks were indispensable when I was in the Tool & Die trade. Funny, we used to make our own, as the cost then (1960’s) was about $50.00. It still took material, milling, drilling, heat treating, grinding, and probably 8-10 hours of labor. (When you think about it, $50.00 was cheap) HA!
Jack, just log on to Amazon and search for “123 blocks. They are $12.50 for a set with the woos box.

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11638 posts in 2287 days


#3 posted 1224 days ago

Jack , Google search 123 blocks and you’ll have more links than you can shake a stick at !

Tedstor, thanks for the review , but we don’t know whose blocks you are reviewing.

A quick look on ebay resulted in everything starting at $8.50 up thru $300.00 Starrett , no box , but monkey is offering free shipping…. LOL

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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Jack_T

621 posts in 1630 days


#4 posted 1224 days ago

I did the search. I assume that the product that is reviewed is the 123 Blocks sold by All Industrial Tool Supply. However, a good tool review includes the specific brand name of the product being reviewed, not just a generic description. Otherwise, his review was very good. that is why I asked; I shouldn’t have to guess what the brand is.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11638 posts in 2287 days


#5 posted 1224 days ago

Agreed : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1369 posts in 1232 days


#6 posted 1224 days ago

OK. The band name listed on Amazon, is “1-2-3 Block”. Hope that helps LOL
Heres the link

http://www.amazon.com/1-2-3-Blocks-Pair/dp/B00092CJC6/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1300543191&sr=1-1

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6116 posts in 1399 days


#7 posted 1224 days ago

I never heard of 1-2-3 blocks, I appreciate the review.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View jackass's profile

jackass

350 posts in 2312 days


#8 posted 1224 days ago

I know what brass set-up bars are used for, but not sure how you use the gizmo with all the holes in them (ie; 123 blocks). Would someone please explain the use.
Jack

-- Jack Keefe Shediac NB Canada

View jim C's profile

jim C

1452 posts in 1697 days


#9 posted 1224 days ago

Dusty,
Now you understand what I was saying about the material, time and effort involved. That $300.00 is about what the cost would be if you made one set yourself today.
Maybe Starrett has 1 employee left waiting for orders. HA!

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View TTF's profile

TTF

1 post in 1776 days


#10 posted 1224 days ago

I used 123 blocks all the time in the machining trade. I have made wood ones as well for jig setup in my shop.

I bought the metal ones from Starrett – they aren’t cheap, but they are high precision.

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11638 posts in 2287 days


#11 posted 1224 days ago

jimC LMAO : )

TTF , can you answer jackass’s question about the uses for these blocks other than the dimensions ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View jim C's profile

jim C

1452 posts in 1697 days


#12 posted 1224 days ago

Jack,
1-2-3 blocks are precision ground, extremely square, (perpendicular) matched sets used for set-ups and gaging purposes.
An example would be, using a dial indicator you would place the 1” side down on your table saw, and indicate the block. Then you would bring up the blade until it zero’s out. You now know your blade is exactly 1” high.
You can also screw them down on a machine as a stop or reference height gage. They are very handy and can be used thousands of ways for extreme accuracies.

Hope this helps.

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View Toolz's profile

Toolz

1003 posts in 2341 days


#13 posted 1224 days ago

Thanks for the review. I’ve been looking for these for some time but refused to pay the prices at other suppliers. I just ordered a set.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1369 posts in 1232 days


#14 posted 1224 days ago

In retrospect I should have mentioned that the Amazon listing did not offer a specific band name for the tool. I cannot remember if the box had any info about the manufacturer. I actually almost aborted the review all together because I wasn’t sure how to specify the brand. However, since I only recently discovered this tool I felt there might be a cross-section of the LJ community that might benefit from it too. I guess I was reviewing the tool species, not so much the individual tool.
Sorry for the ruffled feathers. I’m off to give myself 10 lashes now. LOL.

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11638 posts in 2287 days


#15 posted 1224 days ago

No ruffled feathers here , just wondering what brand is all we were asking.
Think about it this way for example : ”I bought a Phillips screwdriver a few years ago , and the tip hasn’t worn out despite heavy use”. Wouldn’t you want to know what brand I was referring to ?
By the same token , I’m always glad to hear about tools that others have found that help them with their woodworking experiences , and thank you for bringing this one to our attention : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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