View Full Version : Angle plates and 2 3 4 blocks

A.K. Boomer
09-26-2006, 11:44 AM
Im still rounding up tools for my mill, im going to get a nice little angle plate and can see where it will be useful --- but what about 123 blocks or 234 or 246, I can see a few aplications but stall out after that, what do you guys use these for? and feel free to throw in what you all do with angle plates too, I worked at my friends machine shop for awhile and learned many of thing but we never used either of these so it will be helpful to me to hear it from you guys, thanks

09-26-2006, 11:59 AM
When I got my first mill I was looking around for 'useful kit' to go with it. J&L had some 123 and 246 blocks on what seemed a very good offer, that was maybe 10 years ago & I've never used them yet. One day they will, & I'll perhaps congratulate myself on having them to hand ;) Angle plates, and adjustable angle plates yes, they do get used.


09-26-2006, 12:13 PM
Just as with a lot of the other tools, 123 blocks have very specific uses. If you use sine bars you will find them handy for "precision cribbage" to raise the bar end to the required height. They are useful on the mill where you want to elevate a plate and clamp it off the table surface so you can bore thru holes or mill an edge across the table. Most parallels are not as wide and stable for this purpose. In tool and die shops they use them to support the top plate of the die shoe while laying out form blocks and such. There are many other uses too. I made mine so that they screw together and form mini angle plates (I have 4 matching) that I use to hold small pannels of plexiglass while glueing on top of a surface table. Lots of uses, only limited by one's imagination.

You can never have too many parallels and setup blocks (and angle plates too!)

09-26-2006, 01:01 PM
Hardened angle plates are nice as they don't get burrs as easy as soft ones . But on the otherr hand i would not be without thoses cast iron ones as they are handy if you got to drill and tap it to hold a part.
I like Scishopguy idea of bolting 123 blocks together . I agree you never have enough angle plates( different sizes and sets are handy) and 123 blocks. i have three sets of four.
I made one set of v blocks that uses no strap on top , instead it has a 2" x 1/2 "slot milled square to the v and to with in 1/2" of bottom of v block.A piece of crs( appox 2" x 3" has a 1-1/4" hole drilled in it so that the hole breaks out at the top of 2" edge.All of this is to mill a key way with out the straps getting in the way. The 2x3x1/2 " crs is pulled down with a bolt from the bottom of v - block. Chris

09-26-2006, 01:18 PM
I like the 234 blocks with the holes in them. That way, I can put a number of walnuts on the holes and trap them between the other block mounted on my drill press.

When I lower the drill press handle, all 6-9 walnuts will crack at almost the same time. Sure beats doing them one at a time with my micrometer........

BTW.........so's you guys don't think that I'd do anything "stupid"..........I DON'T turn the drill press on........I just use the manual handle......;)

09-26-2006, 01:21 PM
I only have a sherline mill but I have a number of 123 blocks and a whole bunch of angle plates. I pick up angle plates at sales and at harbor fright. the soft cast ones I have made fixtures from for the repeating ops that become a pain when you have to do them 100's of times over 20 years. It seemed that for the price of them at garage sales or what ever. I could build a drilling alinement fixture that could be used forever and require only minimum set up with the drill chucked up to drill a couple of gross of parts for the parrot toys I sell. Not real high tolerance work. The 123 blocks also 1/2 3/4 1 blocks are useful for cribbing around the shop, and other jobs. I too have bought a couple sets on sale at J&L for under a 20.00bill. I do keep one set for use on the machines ways only! :D

Frank Ford
09-26-2006, 02:17 PM
I do a fair bit of work with tapered things - tuning pegs for instruments, reamers, whatever. And that 1-2-3 block has paid for itself just in this one simple application:


The rest of the story:


09-26-2006, 03:39 PM
Up here in Canada we crack them walnuts in our Hands.

09-26-2006, 04:17 PM
Black walnuts require teeth sometimes.

Your Old Dog
09-26-2006, 04:49 PM
I had to take my mill out of tram for a particular cut. When I was done with that cut it was really nice to be able to re-tram by standing up my 123 block on end. Saved me from having to take my setup all down. I paid $16.00 on ebay and I'm actually thinkng on buying another pair. It would allow me more and accurate flexibility in clamping if for no other reason. The cheap ones work fine for my needs. Not only that but the ambiance they contribute is priceless. Makes the place look like a machine shop :D

09-26-2006, 07:41 PM
We need a rating system. ie - I would buy a xxxx before I would buy a yyyy.
(and do you know how many times I have needed a xxxx? let me tell you.)

I have 2 sets of 123's and 1 set of 234 blocks. I use the 123's for all sorts of stuff. And the 234's hardly get touched. (but they do have thier days)

As for the order of operations, I would spend money on a set of adjustable parallels before I would buy a set of 123's. Seems like I am always using them things. Or a good clamp down set for the mill.

But thats me.


A.K. Boomer
09-26-2006, 11:55 PM
thanks for the advise everyone, even the walnuts, although i usually just use two in my hand and pressure them together till one cracks i could see using the 234 blocks for shop parties around the holidays... It seems like i will be investing in both the angle plates and the blocks, different combinations produce more options and thats what im after, thanks again.