|Review by vipond33||posted 07-22-2012 12:05 AM||10523 views||0 times favorited||14 comments|
Next to keeping your fingers attached to your hands, easily the most important thing in regular woodworking is keeping things square. I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten myself in trouble over the years by being lax about this. The cure to out of square is painful, time consuming and often fruitless. “Oh, it’ll be alright” is the faint siren song in your memory as you look in dismay upon your project. This is what I do for a living so it’s worse than it sounds.
To that end there are many traditional aids to success. Metal squares naturally, measuring diagonals, meticulous machine setups and for this review a pair of precise clamping blocks from Woodpeckers. For that’s needed sometimes, clamping up against something that you know to be square.
Woodpeckers is a remarkable company, offering many thoughtful well machined products designed for our craft. These blocks are no exception. Sized at ¾” thick, 1” wide, 6” x 6” and CNC machined from solid aluminum with slightly radius-ed edges and with corner relief (for them and for us), they’ll convince your wood that it’s hip to be square. Hard anodized for durability and non-reaction to any glue. Their accuracy is beyond my measuring capabilities.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Why would I buy these when I can make perfectly good corner squares out of wood in my shop? Well I do that too but only for inside squares. There you may have a substantial gusset or rib giving great strength and repeatable accuracy, all because you have the luxury of a long inner diagonal.
Outside clamping with wooden aids is another story. Your members must be massive in relation to metal in order to prevent flex and the joinery is difficult to make ‘precisely’ 90 degrees, with any corrections over time being equally difficult. The compact nature of Woodpecker’s product often means not overwhelming your project with blocks and clamps. The metal ones will go into small spaces much more readily as well.
Another nice feature to these blocks is they are pre-drilled for screwing to your bench or a setup board, allowing you to push into them for assembly on repetitive tasks.
Nae cheap for sure and don’t use them everyday but what price the gloom at viewing your ruined work?
Made in usa, by those crafty usans.
Check out their One Time Run tools. There may be something of interest to you as this is an innovative company always trying new things.
-- firstname.lastname@example.org : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.