Friday, January 18

The Wondrous 1-2-3 Block

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In my attempts to raise the level of craftsmanship around the Root Simple compound I’ve come to appreciate a few simple and inexpensive tools associated with the cloistered world of machinists. One such tool is the 1-2-3 block that I’ve found many uses for in woodworking.

These blocks of metal, sold in pairs, are named after their dimensions, one inch by two inches by three inches (they also come in larger sizes such as 2-4-6). Mine have both threaded and un-threaded holes allowing you to attach and pass through bolts. You can bolt them together square or at an angle. They have a million applications:

To see if a tool is square.

To clamp pieces of wood together to guarantee squareness when gluing.

To attach a machinist’s dial (a another inexpensive tool that will get its own post).

For woodworking, a cheap set from Amazon will work fine. I assume machinists will want to seek out higher quality 1-2-3 blocks. They make a great, if heavy, stocking stuffer for the precision impaired members of your household . . .

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