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Thread: Set up blocks just $419.99 - what am I missing?

  1. #1
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    Set up blocks just $419.99 - what am I missing?

    I got an email from Woodpeckers offering a deluxe set of 42 setup blocks for $419.99. Huh? What am I missing here? I use a set I made from some old white oak that have worked great for many years.
    Dennis

  2. #2
    I think a lot of their one time tools are pretty cool. I've never purchased one because of the price.

    Must be the anodized Red that makes them expensive. Hahaha. I will admit all their tools are high quality but being a cabinet builder by trade most are out of my price range.

    Bill

  3. #3
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    Some like to own all the tools they imagine they might need when they begin building furniture. "Be Prepared" ... must be a lot of boy scouts out there

    They do look nice.

    I make set up blocks as needed out of hardwood.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  4. #4
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    Lee Valley sells I believe the exact same sets for far far lower cost. I have them and they measure accurate on my micrometer. Can’t see the red ones offering a single benefit other than color! They are handy to have but not $300-400 handy.

  5. #5
    Can I ask a dumb, off topic question?
    What is the no-kidding benefit of a set of set-up blocks (either home made or store bought)? I use a ruler and havent noticed any problem. Maybe Ive been missing something very useful?

    Thank you.
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  6. #6
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    I use setup blocks and parallels commonly in machine work. They’re required for sine plates and they make quick work of making an offset from a stopped position. If you need to offset something a fixed distance, it’s quicker and more accurate to use a block than to move the machine.

    Same practice applies in woodworking.

    Not sure I’m over the moon about using aluminum, but it is not as dangerous around the cutters as a block of hardened steel or ceramic. My setup blocks are rarely at risk of doing so.

    Best to have a good set for checking instruments and a user set that can get shop worn. Typical of this in the machine shop where the AA grade are treated with extreme care. The B set are users.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  7. #7
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    Lol.. you can get a 80 pc set of machinist gauge blocks accurate to .00001 for under $100..

    Woodpecker "selling machinist tools to desperate woodworkers for a 5000% markup since 1988"

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    Can I ask a dumb, off topic question?
    What is the no-kidding benefit of a set of set-up blocks (either home made or store bought)? I use a ruler and havent noticed any problem. Maybe Ive been missing something very useful?

    Thank you.
    Fred
    I certainly agree with you in general. The notion that I would have a use for 42 setup blocks accurate to .001" in all 1/32" increments is laughable. For one thing, not many wood working operations can be set up to .001" accuracy using blocks (unlike many metal machining tasks), because of the tool configuration and usage.

    But, I was given a set of these by a family member for Christmas some years back, and I do admit that they are handy. Mostly I use the recessed mode, to set height on router bits. Certainly can do with a rule, but the fact that the block quickly and reliably finds the highest part of a bit, and the arms span the table inserts is rather nice for this task. But even then, on the router, a single block that sets, say 1/4", would be sufficient for most uses, since the lift is accurate to 1/128" inch. I can get to any required bit height from the 1/4" known height and the accurate lift index.

    On the other hand, if you own tools for the pleasure of owning them, the design, color, presentation of the blocks would make them a perfect tool. And I've found that quite a few people do in fact own tools primarily for the pleasure of having them. I think Woodpeckers caters a lot to that crowd.

  9. #9
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    I will say that I prefer the 4" length (I have the small Whiteside brass set) to the Lee Valley or Rockler ones that set in a drawer. Most machinist sets I have seen are also too small for my use in woodworking. Like others, I make hardwood blocks for some tasks. This is hardly the only area where folks are marketed out of their money by the color of something. Top notch products though.
    I am familiar with modern idioms but they are outside the vocabulary of what I want to say.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Kuhlman View Post
    Lee Valley sells I believe the exact same sets for far far lower cost. I have them and they measure accurate on my micrometer. Can’t see the red ones offering a single benefit other than color! They are handy to have but not $300-400 handy.
    A very complete, although not identical, set for $120 in fact. But then Woodpecker's doesn't actually sell the $420 set referenced by the OP. It was a one time tool some time ago.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Demuth View Post
    A very complete, although not identical, set for $120 in fact. But then Woodpecker's doesn't actually sell the $420 set referenced by the OP. It was a one time tool some time ago.
    Woodpeckers has this set right now thru Oct 28, 2019
    https://www.woodpeck.com/onetime-too...lock-2019.html
    Not for me,
    HOWEVER do have a Woodpeckers centering rule, 36" that will leave my shop after I do. VERY handy setting up dovetails among other things
    I am old enough if I want it I don't need to justify it, when I was young, raising kids and struggling for every dollar then I got by however.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Demuth View Post
    A very complete, although not identical, set for $120 in fact. But then Woodpecker's doesn't actually sell the $420 set referenced by the OP. It was a one time tool some time ago.
    Well I got an email today offering it , so I guess they're bringing it back
    Last edited by dennis thompson; 10-12-2019 at 5:51 PM.
    Dennis

  13. #13
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    Setup blocks need to be accurate so that the setup is accurate. Same applies to machining metal, Knee mills are not really accurate to under .001” but it’s not unusual at all to have setup equipment that is accurate to a few tenths of a thousandths or in the case of setup blocks a good set is more accurate than .0001”.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  14. #14
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    Seems like a pair of 123 blocks and some shim stock would be a lot cheaper. For woodworking a set of used 123 blocks would be plenty accurate.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    Setup blocks need to be accurate so that the setup is accurate. Same applies to machining metal, Knee mills are not really accurate to under .001 but its not unusual at all to have setup equipment that is accurate to a few tenths of a thousandths or in the case of setup blocks a good set is more accurate than .0001.
    I appreciate your pursuit of accuracy and machining but I use to argue about .001 which is ridiculous for the "nahm" hobby shop but can play a hand in a CNC shop, but now were treading into even deeper territory lol. Maybe going off the cliff is not a full on free-fall to the bottom but rather just a fall to a slightly lower cliff projection.

    I cant even fathom a place for a .001 set of gauge blocks in a wood shop... but low and behold. Will the next thing be being able to wring two boards together after surface sanding and somehow lapping? Insane.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

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