Author Topic: 123 Blocks  (Read 27517 times)

Offline Rickard

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123 Blocks
« on: June 13, 2011, 12:54:50 AM »
Hi I'm a Real Self Taught, guy and I got a ton of stupid questions first one is what's a 123 block for, and how do you use it. Do I need a set? 

Offline websterz

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2011, 01:17:03 AM »
123's, and their larger cousins 246's have many uses. One of the most common is fixturing parts up on a mill. They allow you to lift parts up off the table for drilling holes all the way through a part for example. Cheap imports are often not precise enough to use in applications where gauge blocks are better used. Some blocks have numerous 3/8" holes in them that aren't REALLY 3/8". Someone made one wrong and it was used as a template (so the story goes) , and through the trickle down effect there are now MILLIONS of blocks that are wrong. They are hardened so opening the holes is not much of an option. If they are out of square you can true them up on a surface grinder though.  You need at least 2 sets.  :poke:
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Offline kvom

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2011, 08:06:44 AM »
I've used mine as squares, as measures, as a vise stop offset, as big parallels, as a CNC tool setter, etc., etc.  As stated above, a decent set is what you want for any precision. 


Offline TroyO

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2011, 10:32:28 AM »
Heh, I always wondered why the holes on my block aren't big enough to pass the 3/8ths threaded sections that screw in to it. :doh:

I've got to believe (Well, hope..) that there is a better reason than "It's just made wrong", though... maybe? Machinists are smarter than that right?  :)

I have been tempted to try opening them up with a cobalt drill bit or something because it bugs me I can't use my "normal" T-Slot hardware on my 1,2,3s.



Offline joshagrady

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2011, 10:45:26 AM »
Somebody on this (or possibly another) forum once posted an extremely clever trick for finding the degree of taper in a conic object. 

First place the jaws of your Vernier caliper flat along the 123 at the 2" height.  Measure the taper from that position.  Next, rotate the block to the 3" position, replace the calipers and remeasure.  The difference between the two measurements is the taper per inch.  Obvious and brilliant.  Now I just wish I could remember to whom the credit for the trick is owed.

Offline mklotz

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2011, 11:31:17 AM »
Somebody on this (or possibly another) forum once posted an extremely clever trick for finding the degree of taper in a conic object. 

First place the jaws of your Vernier caliper flat along the 123 at the 2" height.  Measure the taper from that position.  Next, rotate the block to the 3" position, replace the calipers and remeasure.  The difference between the two measurements is the taper per inch.  Obvious and brilliant.  Now I just wish I could remember to whom the credit for the trick is owed.

You may have seen my explanation of that procedure on HMEM.
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Offline websterz

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2011, 11:49:22 AM »

I've got to believe (Well, hope..) that there is a better reason than "It's just made wrong", though... maybe? Machinists are smarter than that right?  :)


The guys making these in China aren't machinists.  :scratch:
"In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird.  Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal."
 :med:

Offline joshagrady

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2011, 05:59:01 PM »
You may have seen my explanation of that procedure on HMEM.

What was it that Newton said about giants and their shoulders? 

Here's the original post.

Thanks.

Josh

Offline Rickard

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2011, 01:24:58 AM »
Thanks Guys for all the responses, I'm keeping an eye out for a set or Just one block @ the Pawn shop, so I can look at making some for my Setup, I'm limited to my Unimat SL lathe mill so 1-2-3 are kinda big and I've found Either I make tooling for it or pay though the nose, Also I'm looking hard for a watchmaker's Lathe to replace this Monster machine that is too big by 4 times :) THanks for the ideas :)

Offline No1_sonuk

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2011, 07:58:31 AM »

I've got to believe (Well, hope..) that there is a better reason than "It's just made wrong", though... maybe? Machinists are smarter than that right?  :)


The guys making these in China aren't machinists.  :scratch:
Could it be as simple as it being a metric thread, or Whitworth or something?

Offline AdeV

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2011, 10:19:32 AM »
Could it be as simple as it being a metric thread, or Whitworth or something?

My set are tapped 3/8" Whitworth, I got them from either RDG or Chronos, I forget which.

Just like to say THANKS! to the contributors to this thread who have given me a whole new insight into the usefulness of 123 blocks! I've used them as risers before now, to lift work off the table so you can drill right through; also to lift clamps up when clamping tall workpieces; but the methods described here of finding a taper angle & measuring up round stock are just plain genius.  :thumbup:
Cheers!
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Offline TroyO

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2011, 10:32:05 AM »
Hmmm, I think it may have just become my goal to find a way to drill those buggers out so they work "right".  :lol: :proj:

Since they are "glass hard" what are the chances a glass drill bit might do it? Hmmm.... off to research.

Offline Corvus corax

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2011, 01:31:08 PM »
My set came from Chronos. I assumed them to be M8  :palm:till I tried an M8 stud in them and realised it wasn't going to work. Since then they have simply been spacers on my mill.
I suspect the Chronos ones are Indian and not Chinese.

lordedmond

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2011, 01:54:53 PM »
well they use a tap to make them,  I cannot bielive that the had some made just to make the 123 blocks

they could be  UNC

Offline matnewsholme

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2011, 02:12:05 PM »
ones I got from chronos were 3/8" x16 from memory.

mat

Offline Rickard

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2011, 03:14:17 PM »
Could it be as simple as it being a metric thread, or Whitworth or something?

My set are tapped 3/8" Whitworth,

Huh??? you mean there is still Whitworth floating around England ?in the US  "An OXYACETYLENE TORCH is  Used almost entirely for lighting those stale garage cigarettes you keep hidden in the back of the Whitworth socket drawer (What wife would think to look in there?) because you can never remember to buy lighter fluid for the Zippo lighter you got from the PX at Fort Campbell. "

Offline No1_sonuk

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2011, 07:45:58 PM »
We mostly use Whitworth to confuse the Americans...  See how it worked with the 123 blocks? :thumbup:

Offline Rickard

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2011, 08:45:35 PM »
sonuk I learned a lot about British Culture when I was in Manchester , I learned Why English drink Warm beer, all Refrigerators are made by Lucas Prince of insufficient light, and why everything is brazed and nothing is welded, because of the high cheese content in British Steel :) :)  I APOLOGIZE, but until you you have to make sockets with a Dremel to fix you 1964 BSA 441 Victor, you Just ain't lived !!!!

Offline Rickard

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2011, 08:54:10 PM »
OK I'm Convinced I'm HAVE To make some .500", 1",1.500" blocks can anyone look at there's and tell me which ones are drilled and which holes are taped ?
+

Offline AdeV

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2011, 04:13:17 AM »
On mine, there are 5 holes drilled on either of the large sides, in the pattern that you'd see on dice. However, rather than slavishly following that pattern, I'd consider - how would you anticipate using the threaded holes? And then drill/tap accordingly. There's no actual rule saying they have to be drilled at all.... they can be completely solid.
Cheers!
Ade.
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Offline Rickard

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2011, 04:48:17 AM »
Cheers Adev ,
Being a real self taught / trial and error, monkey with a dangerous tool, I really don't have any place to reinvent 100's of years of engineering buy Craftsmen who know better. my whole thing is I race Model Slot Cars, and I have to make tools I can't buy like a miniature lathe/mill and tooling on the order of the Clisby. I seriously need a lathe with a 1" swing and 4"-5" bed. I'm building something like my Unimat DB but scaled down to fit in my slot car box :) the biggest part I'll need to drill / mill will be on the order of 1"x1"x2" :) thanxs for the ideas
 

Offline Bernd

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2011, 07:56:15 AM »
Richard,

How about some pics of those slot cars? Haven't heard anything about slot cars in a long time. Had a set many moons ago when I was a kid, HO scale if I recall right. They had some kind of vibrating device that made them go, if I remember right. Aroura (sp?) was a slot car maker too, wasn't it?

Bernd
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Offline Bogstandard

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2011, 11:45:46 AM »
TroyO,

Don't bother, I have tried to drill them out using diamond coated tube drills designed for drilling glass. All it did was rip the diamond coating off.

The only thing that I think would be successful is spark erosion.

BTW, UNC is very close to Whit threads, and in a lot of cases, either mixture will sometimes screw together enough to clamp up and get you going. Plus Mr Whitworth was the man who got everyone to standardise their threads, and without him, you people would still be hand making nuts and bolts for individual fitting, so don't knock it.


John
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Offline Corvus corax

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2011, 12:48:51 PM »
Can one still get Whit dies?
I guess I could make some studs for them.
My 9x20 is the metricv ariant and the few times I've tried to cut UNF thread ( Haven't tried to set up for UNC yet) it came out wrong. I suspect due to mistakes in the lists of gear combos for imperial thread.

Offline Bogstandard

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Re: 123 Blocks
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2011, 01:34:08 PM »
I buy all my tap & die sets from here. They look expensive, but in reality, if you bought everything individually, they would cost a lot more. I have yet to find any others that cut stainless as well as these.

http://www.tapdie.com/html/wooden_box_taps__dies__holders.html

Click on the blue prices at the RH side of the list to see all about the set.


John
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