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1-2-3 Block Recommendations?

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Uglydog

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#1
I've been using some unhardened 123 blocks I made from cold rolled on my mill.
They've worked well enough for most set ups. However, I been wishing for something far more accurate for inspection.

Yes, fabbing some from this chunk of 1" O1 tool steel is option, but in the absence of a grinder I don't think I will be pleased with my results.

I'm good with used precision shop made and import. Ebay can be problematic for precision instruments/tooling.
Does anyone have recommendations for a reliable source for precision 123 blocks?
Or, have someone have extra good used ones they want to sell?
Note: I don't have a jig bore? Thus, I don't need silly accurate/precise.

Daryl
MN
 

tomh

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#3
Try to find a set that the bolts will fit through the unthreaded holes. There are a lot of sets out there on ebay and through some importers that the bolts don't fit. I have a set that I got from enco and not being able to use the included bolts they have very limited uses.
If you can talk with the seller to make sure that they do otherwise you are wasting your money.
 

Billh50

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#4
you will find sets with through holes, some through and some tapped, as well as solid ones. I like the ones with both threaded and through holes. These can be bolted to angle blocks or flat plates for various setups. Most all of them are accurate as for size.

here is a set with both through and tapped holes.
http://usaknifemaker.com/123-block-set.html
 
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chips&more

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#5
I have collected several 1,2,3 block sets through the years. And can probably count on one hand the times I have used just one set. And I’m sure it was not for the reference of any of its size measurements. Can’t explain why someone needs them and why I do not? I am in my toy house just about every day too. However on a similar note. I do have and use daily, parallels of various sizes. I have many sets of them and use them. I have working sets that I don’t mind seeing a scratch or two on them. And then I have like new sets that I baby. I even have the spring wavy ones that come in handy…Dave
 

rgray

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#6
The cheap ones are plenty accurate. They are $12.00 a set from CDOC. They won't bolt together but I've never needed that as I have angle plates.
I'd be happy with 123's with no holes but they are more money, seems backwards.
I'm usually using them as spacers on the surface grinder, and I keep one with the lathe and use it to square the tool post off the lathe spindle, and even off the chuck face at times...they are way more accurate than needed for that.
 

sanddan

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#7
I have 2 sets of 123 blocks and use them often. I'd love a set of 246 blocks also.
 

Uglydog

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#8
Try to find a set that the bolts will fit through the unthreaded holes. There are a lot of sets out there on ebay and through some importers that the bolts don't fit. I have a set that I got from enco and not being able to use the included bolts they have very limited uses.
If you can talk with the seller to make sure that they do otherwise you are wasting your money.
tomh,
Thank you for the reminder! This is exactly what I was hoping for was some input before I drop some $ on stuff I cannot use.
Daryl
MN
 

Uglydog

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#9
Interesting short video from Suburban Tool. ..

Daryl
MN
 

12bolts

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#10

wawoodman

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#11
Does drilling them out relieve stress before grinding, or something?
 

royesses

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#12
From the website "The blocks have 23 holes through them. Five are threaded 3/8-16 NC, and the other through holes are 5/16" diameter." What is the point of that? It just makes them as useful as a solid block!
edit Although I guess they are lighter........

Cheers Phil
I have not come up with a reason for 3/8 threaded holes with 5/16" through holes or a reasonable excuse for making them that way. Seems that all the Asian blocks are that way. I did watch that Bailey video last year hoping to find out why, but no such luck. I use them as spacers, cheaper than solid blocks.

Roy
 

Billh50

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#13
not sure why they have 5/16 thru holes instead of 3/8. probably because they can use the same drill for both thru and threaded holes. But the threaded holes are handy at times to bolt an angle block from behind with a 3/8 screw so no screw head is in the way. The thru holes can be used to bolt it to a plate when the screw head would not be in the way.
 

Uglydog

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#14
On my shop made 123s I've found that my counter bored through holes handy to bolt the block to the table.
Because I have tapped right angle blocks I've scraped in I haven't bolted the 123s together.
However, I've found the tapped holes in the 123s handy for bolting small parts to the blocks.
Seems like I've been doing more mill work that doesn't hold in a vise.
The 123 also work well on my RT as well as the mill table.


Daryl
MN
 
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EmilioG

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#15
Suburban Tool has a value line of import blocks and other tools. Must be well made if ST are putting their name on them? The ST value line 123 blocks do not bolt together though. $25.00

The USA ST 123 block set is $111.00 plus shipping. These are nice. Moore Tool 123 blocks are awesome also. Where do they sell new Moore Tools 1 2 3 blocks?
 
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Profkanz

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#16
Interesting short video from Suburban Tool. ..

Daryl
MN
I like the Moore set a lot. No protruding bolt heads. Sometimes a small bolted up angle plate is just what is needed.
 
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Profkanz

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#17
I'm sure the ones where the bolts don't go through are made on CNC mill and all holes drilled with a 5/16 drill. Some holes are then tapped 3/8-16.
Some programmer in China who had no as to what these were for should have used 3rd tool for the clearance holes.
 

petertha

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#18
I'm no expert but my gut tells me someone from Knockoff 123 BlockCo figured it was less expensive to drill all pilot hole size & tap every odd one. A) without fully understanding how they were intended to be used or B) maybe just pulling the winky-winky on people (like me!) who didn't know better. I fully admit buying these & figuring I must not be using them properly. The Suburban video was valuable in highlighting this point - completely useless if the intent is to stack & bolt them together. Yes they knockoffs, yes are still useful, yes they are accurate & reasonably priced. Its just that they don't perform this function which in hindsight for me would be very desirable. Why they continue to be sold in this configuration many years later would be a great thesis topic. Maybe the herd mentality (speaking as one from the herd): low cost & misinformed criteria. Until either/or dissipates, why change the drill bit :)

I did notice offshore blocks that DO have clearance + tap hole combinations like the classic bolt-together blocks. For the most part they are sold in 'matched' sets of 2. Not sure why exactly. Makes me suspicious. Even on those you have to read the fine print in terms of the hole patterns & some do a lousy job elaborating & properly detailing. Either the middlemen distributers themselves don't understand what they are flogging, or its broken English trick to make you just throw the dice & buy them thinking 'logically they would work this way'.
 

petertha

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#19

EmilioG

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#20
Yes, they cost more than import blocks, but these are so well made and bolt together perfectly.
Suburban Tool Precision USA 1 2 3 blocks. They use 5/16-18 SCHS, 1" long. 12354_HDR.jpg 1233255.jpg 12300213.jpg
 

Reeltor

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#21
I do love well made precision tooling. Everything Suburban Tool makes is really nice. I just can't justify the cost for the low tolerance stuff I (i pretend to) machine.
 

EmilioG

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#22
I never pay top dollar for any of my tools. I always find a good deal somewhere. :)
 

scwhite

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#23
Try to find a set that the bolts will fit through the unthreaded holes. There are a lot of sets out there on ebay and through some importers that the bolts don't fit. I have a set that I got from enco and not being able to use the included bolts they have very limited uses.
If you can talk with the seller to make sure that they do otherwise you are wasting your money.
Brown & Sharp 1-2-3 blocks have the tapped hole in them I have two sets
I love them
 

Andyjb

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#24
I buy a lot of my tools second hand i have a guy near me deals in good quality used tools from companies that have shut down some is ex military very good value it some time pay's to shop around/
 

gi_984

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#25
Second the Suburban Tools 1-2-3 blocks. Yes, they are expensive but will last a lifetime if cared for.
 

Andyjb

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#26
The Suburban tool's one look very nice i have got stuff from the little machine shop in the past they are a nice firm to deal with also some time buy from US ebay i have a Atlas 10 lathe love the US made machine's and tool's but the post to the UK kills it. Just got a Rhodes shaper machines made in the USA and England back in the old day's were made to last now it all come from the over sea's.
Love the forum some great stuff on here have spent a lot of time just reading the post i'm a new boy on here but hope to pick a few tips from you guy's my main love is steam engines big and small.
 

KBeitz

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#27
I just bought the cheap sets and re drilled the holes with good bits...
 

Cadillac

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#28
One thing I've notice a difference between offshore and American made ones is the details. The hole clearances like said and the worst thing is crowning around all the holes. Blue up a surface plate and rub. Every hole will have a ring around it and nothing surrounding it. I have both solid a ones with holes. Precise ones and shop ones.
 

Forty Niner

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#29
I just bought the cheap sets and re drilled the holes with good bits...
I was thinking about drilling the holes out to body size as well. The tapped holes in my cheap set are 3/8" x 16tpi. The untapped holes measure around 0.350" (not 5/16" as others have noted) So the holes are only about 0.025" undersized. 1

So KBletz, how difficult were they to drill? Did you destroy any drill bits?
 

BaronJ

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#30
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