Accuracy Counts

A few weeks back in Ron Herman’s video presentation, “Quick Joinery Using Sticks,” Ron talked about making a set of shop-made spacer blocks out of hardwood. His premise was that when you’re setting up a saw cut, say at your human-powered miter box, if you hit an aluminum spacer with your saw blade you can damage your blade. I get that. But while working on a contemporary table for a presentation later in the month, I found a place where I needed to set my router depth of cut at 1/2″– a place where accuracy counts. I turned to my Infinity set-up blocks.

Shop-made blocks would have worked if I would have made them accurate at the time instead of knocking out something close to get the job done. It also matters if  the hardwood spacer blocks were still in good shape. No erroneous saw kerfs located along their lengths, and no corner dents and dings from falling to the floor. (While my set of aluminum spacer blocks stay in the foam-lined case for safe keeping, my shop-made blocks tend to live around my table saw.) Any of those problems could affect my setup, which is not a good thing when accuracy counts.

It’s Best to Have Both

When it comes to setting accurate measurements, I think having a set of precision-made, aluminum set-up blocks and a set of shop-made, hardwood blocks is the way to go.

— Glen D. Huey

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5 thoughts on “Accuracy Counts

  1. I keep a set of hardwood blocks of various sizes around the bench to use as you do and they come in handy, but for a real gauge block set, I went with the four piece set from Whiteside AND a set of two 1-2-3 blocks.
    And the combined price off Amazon is STILL 1/3 that of just the set from Infinity you show in your article.
    Nothing against the Infinity guys, I know them and hung out with them at the Tampa Woodworking Show recently.
    But when I have to get the most from my limited shop budget, the way I went is way better.
    I know you guys try to promote certain companies, but you should also try to look out for your subscribers too.

    1. Eric,
      I appreciate your input. I’m not promoting certain companies other than I have companies from which I get products that I feel are a good value. I often turn to them and seldom take the time to search around the Interwebs to find better deals.

      Thank you for commenting on the combination of setup blocks you use. It’s always great to hear what other woodworkers are using in their shops, and to learn about other options.

      1. Hi Glen,
        After seeing a Ron Herman seminar, I went home and created a set of spacers made of maple. Use them for sawing tasks and they work great. For drop dead accuracy, I use a Kreg set of aluminum spacers. Very happy with having both.

  2. While the 5-Pc. Brass Bars are good for quick setup (we sell them too) and certainly have their place in the shop, they are not in the same league as our precision machined and laser engraved 8-Pc. set. Comparing these two products is like saying imitation crab meat is as good as the real thing, it’s just not.

    David Venditto
    Infinity Tools

    1. Thanks, David. I appreciate your input.

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