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GRH
11-07-2006, 09:33 AM
I just recieved my Enco order and the 81 piece set of gage blocks for $57.95
is amazing , the wood box is worth that much plus you get a certification sheet with the deviations of each block. For home shop machining the value is great. I would not have this set if it was not for Enco.
I also bought a "Borerite" electic centering tool for $17.95 (made in U.S.A.)
so now I no longer will use a .004" piece of paper and a 1/4" dowel to locate off my vice jaws in the mill.


Regards Graeme

japcas
11-07-2006, 09:43 AM
I've got the same set but still haven't gotten around to cleaning them up and measuring a few of them. I thought it was a good value also. I also have the .011 to .061 and the .062 to .250 size plug gage sets. They come in real handy for checking those small holes that you can't get anything else in to and I have used them a lot more than I initially thought that I would. Very handy to have around.

Spin Doctor
11-07-2006, 12:14 PM
I've got the same set but still haven't gotten around to cleaning them up and measuring a few of them. I thought it was a good value also. I also have the .011 to .061 and the .062 to .250 size plug gage sets. They come in real handy for checking those small holes that you can't get anything else in to and I have used them a lot more than I initially thought that I would. Very handy to have around.

I've got the same set and it worked well enough for general work that I needed it for. If things were really fushy I got real good ones out of the inspection office. The metric set came in handy too, but it may of been overkill.

outback
11-07-2006, 11:54 PM
I have the same set of blocks and gage pins from .011 to .500". That stuff is great for the home machine shop.
Jim

retusaf99
02-01-2008, 12:55 PM
SIMF (Search Is My Friend)...Thanks all for the old threads, but more questions about ENCO gage blocks.

I went looking for the gage (or gauge!) blocks for $59 or so on the ENCO site. This was for the grade B, 81 piece set, China origin. Would probably be overkill for my clumsy fingers at this point.

What do I come across but this set:

http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PMAKA=319-3801&PMPXNO=19507166&PARTPG=INLMK32

Regular price is $485, on sale for $169, a mere $110 more than my budget.

How do I explain to the wife that I SAVED $316 bucks plus the $59 I would have wasted on the clearly inadequate grade B blocks. So...$316 saved plus $59 not spent...That's $375, less the actual $169, means the blocks are free, plus I have $206 left over for more tooling!

Am I missing something here!?

Serious question, How does ENCO sell something for 35% of regular price? How much am I kidding myself that this is a "good deal"?

Doug

lazlo
02-01-2008, 12:58 PM
I just recieved my Enco order and the 81 piece set of gage blocks for $57.95

plus you get a certification sheet with the deviations of each block.

You should post this on PracticalMachinst :D

By the way, does the cert sheet look like it was mass produced? I have a NIST-traceable Mitutoyo gage block set, and the individual block deviations look they were typed, and the cert sheet is signed by the inspector.

BobWarfield
02-01-2008, 02:21 PM
I like that SPI deal, I just ordered a set to upgrade my no-name Chinese set.

What's the link to the borerite?

Best,

BW

retusaf99
02-01-2008, 02:23 PM
You should post this on PracticalMachinst :D

By the way, does the cert sheet look like it was mass produced? I have a NIST-traceable Mitutoyo gage block set, and the individual block deviations look they were typed, and the cert sheet is signed by the inspector.

Hehe...Yeah...But it looks like I saved ANOTHER $10 by buying Swiss Precision:

http://www.swissprec.com/cgi/ISSRIT2?pmaka=30-911-2&pmctlg=01

Or not!!

Doug

lazlo
02-01-2008, 02:36 PM
That's a NIST-traceable set -- great deal! My theory is that they're a lot less likey to forge (photocopy) the cert sheets if they claim NIST-traceable.

By the way, someone pointed out on PM that MSC recently bought SPI, which would explain why MSC and ENCO have been having lots of sales on SPI.

macona
02-01-2008, 02:49 PM
How do I explain to the wife that I SAVED $316 bucks plus the $59 I would have wasted on the clearly inadequate grade B blocks. So...$316 saved plus $59 not spent...That's $375, less the actual $169, means the blocks are free, plus I have $206 left over for more tooling!




Yep, what you are missing is the old addage:

"Its easier to get forgiveness than permission"

HTRN
02-02-2008, 03:07 AM
You should post this on PracticalMachinst :D

By the way, does the cert sheet look like it was mass produced? I have a NIST-traceable Mitutoyo gage block set, and the individual block deviations look they were typed, and the cert sheet is signed by the inspector.

One of my former bosses bought a set of Chinese gauge blocks like 10 years ago, to use on the shop floor for setup - the cert sheet was a photocopied form, but the deviations were handwritten in red ink. If I hadn't of gotten a SCREAMING deal on a big set of B&S gauge blocks, I probably would have bought a set too.

And oh, the shop in question? Did mostly defense work, where everything is inspected by the contractor.:D


HTRN

Forrest Addy
02-02-2008, 09:58 AM
I bought one of those Enco sets about 10 years ago. I had an in with a cal lab at the time and got a few items calibrated in exchange for scraping.

Thus a well respected cal lab calibrated my blocks. Their report tallied about the same deviations per block from nominal as the calibration sheet from Commieland; give or take a millionth.

I don't know about your more recently purchased Enco gage block sets and their cert sheets but mine seemed to be on the level. I woudn't be surprised if their cert sheets weren't computer generated. Gage blocks are calibrated by the millions every year and automated equpment has been developed to do the work producing a report as part of its software package.

I understand in China, personal stanps are often used in place of the Western ipractice of inscribed initials. It carries the same legal force that is.

heidad01
02-04-2008, 03:09 PM
GRH, thanks for letting us all know of a (not super expensive) tool item worth the price. I value members' view of the items, and since I have always wanted one of these sets, I will order a set this week.
BY the way, I was at Little Machine Shop last week and bought a Proxxon grinder. It is like a Dremel rotary tool on serious steroids. It was $114 with a bunch of wheels and accesories, and goes up to 20K. I also got a bracket ($20) to mount it on the lathe. I have not tried it for grinding yet but it runs beatifully smooth and quite. DavidH.

J Tiers
02-04-2008, 10:31 PM
So what SHOULD it cost to get a set of blocks (or even a few specific blocks) certified?

I was under the impression that when cal'd at the mfgr they are fairly cheap to do, because volume certification means that they have suitable equipment to do a lot of blocks.

However I am told that if you want a set certified "at retail rates", you are better off to buy a new set, because certification will cost hundreds of $$ more than a new set of the cheaper blocks, EVEN a set that is NIST traceable.

Am also told that the likelihood of a block "going out of spec" is nearly zero if they still wring. Of course since you can't PROVE it unless they are certified, that means nothing.......... :rolleyes:

BobWarfield
02-07-2008, 02:33 PM
Got my NIST certified SPI blocks yesterday. They're gorgeous:

http://www.cnccookbook.com/img/Tooling/P1010189.JPG

http://www.cnccookbook.com/img/Tooling/P1010189.JPG

http://www.cnccookbook.com/img/Tooling/P1010190.JPG

Unfortunately, they've called my favorite micrometer into question. The really bad news the two gage blocks sets agree, my cheap Chinese mic agrees with them, and the Mitutoyo digital is off.

DOH!

Best,

BW

lazlo
02-07-2008, 07:09 PM
What grade is AS-1?

I've normally seen Grade AAA, AA, A, B (B is workshop grade), or Grade 1, 2, 3, which are tweeners (Grade 3 is halfway between A and B, Grade 2 is halfway between AA and A).

Your largest error is +10 microinch, which is somewhere between A and B grade.

BobWarfield
02-07-2008, 07:36 PM
What grade is AS-1?

I've normally seen Grade AAA, AA, A, B (B is workshop grade), or Grade 1, 2, 3, which are tweeners (Grade 3 is halfway between A and B, Grade 2 is halfway between AA and A).

Your largest error is +10 microinch, which is somewhere between A and B grade.

AS-1 is an ANSI grade equivalent to Grade 2:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauge_block

As the Wikipedia dryly notes, it is somewhere between A and B grade.

JRouche
02-08-2008, 12:28 AM
Not to say anything neg re: buying certified blocks but why do it? Other than the fact that they may be a nicer fit and finish, maybe even tighter in tolerance. But, seeing how this is a home shop type environment. When is it that you need to prove up your blocks to your customer if you have one. I would think if you are doing govment work maybe? I dont know, never worked for them LOL Then again, the cert is only good for how long?

So if it really doesnt matter to have the written certs cause they are still gonna be meaningless to the end customer, it comes down to precision.

Sounds like a good project. If a member has a really nice certified set from so and so and a inexpensive set from enco if they were to take five blocks and compare the deviation in size. If its even measurable with simple home shop type tooling.

Just curious if the cert is even worth the extra thirty bucks. I know the case is already worth more after seeing Bobs set. And overall, the set of blocks just appear nicer, not that means much. Heck. If even the size markings on the blocks was nicer that would be a selling point for me :) Dunno, just curious.. JRouche

BobWarfield
02-08-2008, 02:03 AM
Not to say anything neg re: buying certified blocks but why do it? Other than the fact that they may be a nicer fit and finish, maybe even tighter in tolerance. But, seeing how this is a home shop type environment. When is it that you need to prove up your blocks to your customer if you have one. I would think if you are doing govment work maybe? I dont know, never worked for them LOL Then again, the cert is only good for how long?

So if it really doesnt matter to have the written certs cause they are still gonna be meaningless to the end customer, it comes down to precision.

Sounds like a good project. If a member has a really nice certified set from so and so and a inexpensive set from enco if they were to take five blocks and compare the deviation in size. If its even measurable with simple home shop type tooling.

Just curious if the cert is even worth the extra thirty bucks. I know the case is already worth more after seeing Bobs set. And overall, the set of blocks just appear nicer, not that means much. Heck. If even the size markings on the blocks was nicer that would be a selling point for me :) Dunno, just curious.. JRouche

Hey, sorry to have wasted your time with the blocks. Thought people might be interested. Sometimes I get too excited about things that probably aren't important.

I'll knock of the spurious posts and be more of a lurker here.

Ya'll take care,

BW

Forrest Addy
02-08-2008, 04:37 AM
Bob, I found your post interesting and supportive of my experience. One cloud doesn't make a rainstorm and neither should a single sneer be regarded as general condemnation.

I'm a home shopper now but I still prefer my reference standards to have calibration tracible back along the line to NIST references. It might be a petty bragging point but once in a while I need to make stuff right on the button like a bearing fit. Having good reference standards handy makes this easier and the work if done for someone else, more credible.

Bob's post and the others here supporting the posession of good standards may not make sense to some but it does to others having a need or even a desire. Checking a mike against a standard when precision work is in the offing is but common sense. Bob checked one of his best mikes against his gage blocks and discovered an error. That alone was worth the price of the blocks in my estimation.

oldtiffie
02-08-2008, 05:28 AM
I agree whole-heartedly as regards standards.

All measuring equipment needs to be checked at least once a day - even if it is only to zero a micrometer or a digital caliper.

If you have a 0 - 6" (0 - 150mm) micrometer set, the setting guages can do most of the "end of measurement" checks. The check where most use is given really does need another checking guage. Frankly, I'd rather use my (yep Chinese) slip guages to make a set of mid-range setting blocks. I can use them to set/check my mics. as every-day items. They can be checked back against the slip guages on a say quarterly basis if needed.

All that is needed is a record in tabular form - similar to that used on NISA-ed guages - for the setting guages.

If it were all that fussy here, I'd be more concerned about ambient temperature and the effect that differential co-efficients of linear expansion can have.

I've seen a lot of talk on "sizes" to the "nth" degree of precision but hardly, if ever, any mention of "Class of Finish". That can or does have as much or more an effect on functionality that having a "raw - off-machine" accuracy.

Check your bearing catalogues.

I will cover "Class of Finish" in the not too distant future.

Having a "nice" finish is not always the same as having a "good" or "adequate" finish.

And how do you know just how good your finish either has to be or is?

FWIW, NIST-certification is the ultimate assurance of size and flatness on slip guages.

It follows then that slip guages are the best reference for checking of sizes in the shop.

It might surprise some just how handy slip-guages are on the surface plate for setting height guages and checking job sizes as well as reference when a "comparator" requirement comes up.

Very handy too when setting or checking angles with a sine bar.

My Chinese "Vertex" slip-gauges are great. They are truly one of those things that you might not use very often - but when they are needed you will be sure thankful that you have them.

They are the tool of choice for checking or setting DRO's.

Never done or taken a spot check of your DRO's with slip-guages?

Hmmmm.

And why stick to linear measurement and accuracy?

How often - if at all - have or do you check your protractors or dividing heads or rotary tables or angular set-up?

Now that requires the (sort of) angular equivalent of slip-guages - otherwise known as angle guages.

I have a Chinese "Vertex" set. They are top class. They are that flat and smooth that they will "wring" together just as slip-guages will.

I would be very surprised if the ideal operating environment for the level of accuracy talked about here could be achieved and consistently maintained in too many HSM shops.

In every test that I've read of in NIST-certified compared to "China" (particularly "Vertex") stuff, the "China stuff" comes up very well indeed.

So, onto Bob Warfields post:


Hey, sorry to have wasted your time with the blocks. Thought people might be interested. Sometimes I get too excited about things that probably aren't important.

I'll knock of the spurious posts and be more of a lurker here.

Ya'll take care,

BW

Bob, don't be put off by the "flack" as your posts are always excellent - and this is no exception.

Just to bring a bit of reality into all of this talk of "super accuracy" and the inference that it can be regularly and easily achieved in the average HSM shop, a "micro inch" is one millionth of an inch and there are 100 micro-inches in each "tenth" (of a "thou") that is about the best you are going to get from a micrometer under ideal conditions.

I am satisfied to get consistency of about +/- 0.001" sometimes and a lot coarser (less accurate) than that most times.

Your Old Dog
02-08-2008, 06:20 AM
JRouche, I think the advantage to an inexpensive set of gauge blocks in my case is more for the pursuit of excellance. I likely will never get there but it gets me thinking in the right direction and tends to narrow my work down a bit. At first blush it might look like overkill in the home shop environment but it is an aide to better thought process while working.

When teaching me archery, my FIL told me to use paper plates on strawbales. He said I would do better if I made smaller X rings as I would concentrate harder. He was right. I think the gauge blocks work the same, at least for me they do. Besides that, if a real machinist ever walked into my shop I'd want him to think I knew what I was doing. Maybe I'd get more of his time :D

Optics Curmudgeon
02-08-2008, 12:39 PM
This has come up just as I was considering such a block set. For the price it's ridiculous to pass it up, if the quality is even close to what it's claimed be. I looked around for "reviews" or other discussion and found not only this, but the PM "discussion" and an interesting comment by Long Island Indicator. I don't know how many here have dealt with them or looked at their website, but among other opinions they don't think much of Things Chinese. On the other hand, they offer for sale the same sort of gage block set that Enco and many others do. They also make the wry comment that they would be glad to sell you the $4500 US made set if you insist, but they just don't see the point. Rolling together all of the input (none of it solicited) I've made up my mind to buy it.

Joe

JCHannum
02-08-2008, 02:47 PM
Bob's post on the gage blocks he purchased is a good one, and sharing information such as this is very appropriate to the site. Product reviews are never a waste of time.

I also agree with JRouche questioning the value of gage blocks, especially the higher priced certified sets to the home shop machinist.

At any given time, I have three or four sets around as well as probably 5 or more pounds of loose blocks in a couple of boxes in the corner. I have yet, in over ten years of home shop machining had a genuine cause to use any of them. Once in a while, I might occasionally use one to check a micrometer or other gage, but can do that just as well by other means.

In the past ten years, I have been in several hundred professional, paying shops, and a large percentage of these have no gage blocks. Some have partial sets under a bench somewhere, but not in daily use. Most of the shops that do have sets that appear in good shape and in use are grinding shops, or shops with very complete inspection departments.

In the overall scheme of things, I place gage blocks well down the list of requisites for a home shop. When I put them out on eBay, they rarely bring a high price, and for that reason I do not buy them unless I can get them for a few dollars.

oldtiffie
02-08-2008, 03:28 PM
Bob's post on the gage blocks he purchased is a good one, and sharing information such as this is very appropriate to the site. Product reviews are never a waste of time.

I also agree with JRouche questioning the value of gage blocks, especially the higher priced certified sets to the home shop machinist.

.......................................
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In the overall scheme of things, I place gage blocks well down the list of requisites for a home shop. When I put them out on eBay, they rarely bring a high price, and for that reason I do not buy them unless I can get them for a few dollars.

Thanks Jim for the "reality check".

It is "horses for courses" "out there".

If people needed 'em and they are at the right price, then they should, by all means, get them.

The NIST-certified blocks are the "top of the tree" - no doubt about it. But the "China" ones - particularly the better ones should be more than adequate for most HSM shops if and when they need them.

In saying that, I am not in any way denigrating anyone who chooses to get/have a NIST-certified set.

Mention has been made of "partial sets". You can include incomplete or "broken" sets as well here. These will be very cheap but I'd guess that 10 pieces randomly but fairly evenly spread over the "81-piece" set size range will more than suffice in just about every case in the HSM shop. In most cases if say all you had was 1.260" in slip guages and you needed 1.234" then a good "tenth" micrometer checked at 1.260" will be that close at 1.234" that it will neither matter nor will the difference/"error" - if any - be detectable. The key is to check as near as is reasonably possible to the job or to check at the mid-span (say middle 50%) of your micrometer.

Widths of bearing races/rings are an excellent source of sufficient accuracy in most cases. Precision balls are another. By "precision" I mean +/- 0.00005" (half a "tenth") will do in most cases in the HSM shop.

alanganes
02-08-2008, 04:24 PM
Interesting discussion here. I'm not entirely sure that JRouche was being sarcastic, but even if he was, it may be a good question. For the record, I'm asking in all sincerity (and ignorance): Beyond pushing one in the right direction, being able to check my mic to an externally traceable standard etc., IS there any value to such tools in a HSM type setting?

This may be a related question, but in another gauge block discussion (either here or on another forum, I can't seem to find it right now) something was mentioned sort of in passing about the proper use of gauge blocks, ie placing them on a cleaned off bench on a clean towel, no grubby hands, etc. Also mentioned was that there is lots of "technique" involved in their correct use. Would any of you who have some actual experience in using these things care to elaborate? Please explain their correct use. What sorts of uses could a decent set of gauge blocks be put to, beyond the obvious mic checking and height-gauge setting, etc.?

Thanks, always learn something new here.

-AL A.

lazlo
02-08-2008, 04:26 PM
The NIST-certified blocks are the "top of the tree" - no doubt about it. But the "China" ones - particularly the better ones should be more than adequate for most HSM shops if and when they need them.

In this case, both the sets (the generic Enco set, and the SPI NIST-traceable set) are Chinese.

As I said earlier in the thread, I think the real value to the NIST traceable sets is that the factory is a lot less likely to fake the certs, which implies a certain level of quality control.

Forrest Addy
02-08-2008, 04:39 PM
The choice to acquire a set of gage blocks for the average home shop depends more on the interests of the purchaser than the actual need. So for the average HMS, no, not necessary but sometimes advisable given the low cost of cheap but adequate sets.

However, given the low cost and the potential benefits, I don't see how any commercial shop can operate without a set of gage blocks on hand especially if they make parts to be assembled with parts made elsewhere.

Yes, clean technique is necessary. When you're working with items measured in millionths; you have to protect them from dirt and debris. All you have to do is set up a little clean area, wash up. assemple your stack, and go to work. No biggie. Takes little time.

The assembly technique isn't rocket science. Clean the blocks, line a pair up end to end and slide one onto the other. Once you acquire the knack the blocks will adhere together from the van der Waal's force or whatever it is that makes them stick. If the blocks in good shape and they don't stick that's a good sign there is dirt interfering.

heidad01
02-08-2008, 05:31 PM
I would like to thank those members who went through the trouble and time of taking pictures of their newly aquired tools and posting them here for the rest of us to see and read their views of such products. IMHO that is one of the best things that members get in a forum dedicated to HSM. Whether the product at hand is needed or not in a home shop can be determined by people depending on what they do in their home shops. I have seen some amazingly accurate and nice work from home shops and mostly from the members here posting their pictures.
I ordered a set from Enco, simply because I have always wanted a set and the original post from GRH was enoough of a review of the product for me. Most of us (me, at the least) do not have the time to research every item to death. I probabely use the tool a half a dozen times in the next 10 years (aside from playing with it upon arrival) and if a buddy member posts a picture and says it is worth the price, I will get one. So please keep the reviews and the pictures coming.
BY the way, bad news if you got excited by the new mailer from Travers advertizing Phase II wedge type AXA QCTP for $89 a set. I called them to order it and was told that the ad was wrong. It is the piston type they have on sale for that price which Enco sells for the same price all the time. DavidH.

pntrbl
02-08-2008, 06:54 PM
I don't know from nuthin' on machining, but I've got a broken, as in severely, set of gage blocks that I use quite frequently. The wringing to stick together part was news to me tho, mine don't do that! LOL! I think ....

But I use 'em to set rough dimensions to a carriage stop on my lathe all the time. Not looking for .001. More like somewhere around 1.5".

I'm currently having a layout problem on a 3 hole bolt circle and I'm thinking I'll set the dimension I keep messing up with blocks this time so I can scribe more accurately.

If any of this is sacrilegious please forgive me. :)

FWIW, the set, and I use the term loosely, has about 4 different manuf and was essentially free.

SP

oldtiffie
02-08-2008, 08:02 PM
I think that a look at what might really be needed as well as what is available and at what cost might help here as regards precision setting in the typical HSM shop.

A good degree of setting and checking accuracy is available at reasonable cost in the USA.

The links I've used are from CDCO - from whom I've had excellent service as regards price, quality and service.

Product is mainly very good Chinese stuff.

Littlemachineshop.com is another that is just as good.

I'd guess that there will be others.

This is the "81 piece Grade B" slip/guage block set. Grade B is for work-shop use and is at "Inspection/checking" grade for most HSM shops.

Accuracy is +/- 5 millionths of an inch (there are 100 in a "tenth", and 1,000 in a "thou").
http://cdcotools.com/item.php?itemid=55

Next is a set of spacer blocks which will more than suffice for most purposes.
http://cdcotools.com/item.php?itemid=237

Next is a set of "Adjustable Parallels" which can be set very accurately with a micrometer.
http://cdcotools.com/item.php?itemid=14

And last and by no means least, a set of angle guages which are very accurate.
http://cdcotools.com/item.php?itemid=16

No doubt these items will be available on eBay etc. at much better/lesser prices.

A little bit of reality as regards angles and sine-bars might be in order here.

Slip guages are not essential for adequate accuracy in setting a sine bar for most purposes in the HSM shop.

Most protractors (vernier and digital) as well as rotary table calibrations are not much better than 5 minutes (direct reading) or perhaps 2 minutes by interpolation.

So why try to split seconds with a sine bar if its not needed?

So, let's see what is achievable with a 5" sine bar.

I will work at the "horizontal" as that is where the most angular error per 0.001" of spacer/guage error will occur. This error reduces as the sine bar increases the elevation toward 45 degree after which even slip-guage accuracy is highly questionable.

An error of 0.001" (a thou) in the "stack" height of slip guages or spacers in a sine bar length of 5.000" is:
1/5,000 = 0.0002 = ArcTan 0.115 arc degree = 0.6875 arc minutes = 41.25 arc seconds.

WOW!!!

An error of 0.005" (5 thou) in the "stack" height of slip guages or spacers in a sine bar length of 5.000" is:
5/5,000 = 0.0010 = ArcTan 0.0.0573 arc degree = 3.4377 arc minutes = 3 minutes 26.26 arc seconds.

Oh yeah!!!

I could run a similar set of figures for an error of 0.001" and 0.005" in the length of the 5" sine bar.

Even together the errors in stack height and sine bar length are not all that bad most time if you are only needing to work at a tolerance of +/- 5 arc minutes.

So, let's not get too carried away with either needing or achieving accuracy at such high orders.

And if you need reminding of the sort of work that is achievable on small "inadequate/Chicom/3-in-1" and similar machines, just have a look at what the model makers can do. And while you are at it, check out the "Smithy" advertisements in the HSM magazine etc.

Just check Marv Klotz's work - it is ingenious, superb and extra-ordinarily well done.

A lot is possible with very little.

I really enjoyed my time on some excellent bigger machines with all the "goodies" - but that's in the past when I was (to use two terms I dislike) a "real" machinist in a "real" shop.

It is my contention and assertion that everyone on this forum is a real machinist in his own real shop.

And here is a link to a pic of anyone who says otherwise - as (I think it was) Torker so aptly described some-one as an "Ass-hat".
http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/ass-hat.jpg

I am in a small-ish HSM shop now and that's where I'm staying!!

I sure do enjoy the challenge on smaller and "lesser" machines now-a-days - very much so.

Sure - a bigger better machine might be nicer and those that have them are very fortunate, but we all have some time, space and money limitations.

Same applies to "accuracy" - and especially to slip guages, angle blocks, sine-bars etc.

PaulF
02-08-2008, 11:13 PM
Hi ,
Just for ****$ and giggles, post a few of the errors from your QC sheet so we can see if ours are different!!

If they are just printing off one sheet it would confirm, we are as stupid as they think we are!

PaulF

JRouche
02-08-2008, 11:13 PM
Hey, sorry to have wasted your time with the blocks. Thought people might be interested. Sometimes I get too excited about things that probably aren't important.

I'll knock of the spurious posts and be more of a lurker here.

Ya'll take care,

BW

LOL Naw, I was afraid you would take it like that. I will always look up your posts. And the gage blocks you posted are superb. And I see you posted them up on yer web site too. I always go to your site. You have some very informative information there. (was that redundant?)

When I said "you" in my post I was not even directing it to you meaning you personally, more like "you" as in any person. Kinda like when people say "they said" like who is "they". No one in particular..

Im sorry to have written it that way.. My bust, Im not the greatest in conveying my point :)

I was just trying to get a feel for the general thought on whether the enco blocks were up to the task for HSMs such as myself. Actually, I cant even be a member of the title of HSM cause I still cant consider myself a machinist, home or otherwise..

My point is I like the enco set I have and if I were given the slightest nudge on one of my brain cells that the SPI set would like to find a home in my garage I wouldnt hesitate getting a set. Just me trying to diswade myself from contributing to my addiction. Tool purchases!!! Trying a lil self help in that region cause all the head doctors havent gotten much headway. (PUN)..

Anyway.. Thanks for your post and keep them coming cause yer ideas on good tooling are one of my references that enables me to make smart choices while traveling down my destructive path of Tool Buyers syndrome.. Thanks Bob!! :) JRouche

J Tiers
02-08-2008, 11:51 PM
So the difference in cert or not cert is 30 bucks?

And it costs several hundred $$ to cert a set of 81 if you just "walk in and ask that your set be checked?

Why does something here seem wrong?

I have a B & S 81 piece set that I use to check things with from time-to-time. Only vaguely thought about a cert check*, but it sounds like the blocks and cert you all are discussing would cost less total NEW than a check of an existing set.

Still seems wrong, no matter how I think about it.


* Thought about a check only because I DO make things that need to fit other items correctly for work, when I don't have the other items for comparison, just a drawing.

I suspect, however that the uncalibrated set will do that fine. Takes a lot of 10 micro-inch errors to add up to a tenth.

retusaf99
02-09-2008, 12:46 PM
Hey, sorry to have wasted your time with the blocks. Thought people might be interested. Sometimes I get too excited about things that probably aren't important.

I'll knock of the spurious posts and be more of a lurker here.

Ya'll take care,

BW

Bob,
I certainly appreciate your time and effort in making your posts and photos.

In case anyone is interested, here's a link to the spec sheet that came with my SPI blocks:

http://s261.photobucket.com/albums/ii49/retusaf99/?action=view&current=GageBlockSpec-1.jpg

I guess I'm relieved they aren't the same as Bob's!

Doug

(And a PS) I notice that our set serial #'s are consecutive (4381 and 4382), but the individual serial #'s differ by the hundreds. I'm not sure what to make of that.

As for the question of "Why gage blocks for a rookie HSM?" I just wanted something in my shop that was (relatively) absolute. (How's that for an oxymoron?) I thought it would be useful as a setup tool for a new lathe/mill owner. Something in me really appreciates the appreciation of excellence as a goal to strive for, even if never achieved on a practical level.

Doug

retusaf99
02-09-2008, 02:11 PM
JRouche, I think the advantage to an inexpensive set of gauge blocks in my case is more for the pursuit of excellance. I likely will never get there but it gets me thinking in the right direction and tends to narrow my work down a bit. At first blush it might look like overkill in the home shop environment but it is an aide to better thought process while working.
:D

YOD,
I just went back and re-read this thread. It appears that I am plagerizing your thoughts.

My apologies to you if I expressed the same thought as you in your earlier post. It was not intentional.

Please remember "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", or "Great minds think alike", your choice! :)
Doug

oldtiffie
02-09-2008, 07:40 PM
I had a look via Google re. ISO 861 - the standard for slip guages.
http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=DIN+861&btnG=Google+Search&meta=

This is a link to a German PDF (English included) regarding just what the required international standard means. It also has fabulous range of what is available in metrology in this area of precision. It is a very good and informative read.

http://www.ultra-germany.com/fileadmin/images/Produkte/katalog/pdf_download/ULTRA_DE_GB__Kat01.pdf

All of the dimensions are metric. To convert to inch just divide by 25.4 or multiply by 0.03937

I have a "Vertex" 81-piece set (metric) to ISO 861 Grade 2.

PaulF
02-09-2008, 10:27 PM
"A difference in order to be a difference has to make a difference!''
Prof. R. Sylwester

This is my old professor, he pissed and moaned about unnecessary accuracy and precision.

The funny thing tho, If you give a peer reviewed talk or research paper, the first thing some bast@&d looking for your funding will do is ask what standards you measured against. This in fact may mean very little....but if you don't say "against NIST standards" they put there noses up and call you ham fisted.

In a prototype environment the truth is I can't hold tolerances to millionths (actually hundreds of millionths) even when lapping because I can't control the temperature and humidity in my shop that close (+- 5 deg C). But be sure, whether it meant anything or not, I measured the part in all it's different dimensions against the proper standard and logged the temp and humidity when I did it, and put it in my lab notes with a signature.

Another county herd from!
PaulF

macona
02-14-2008, 03:09 PM
Ordered a set monday and it showed up yesterday. Fast shipping and good price. Cant beat that.

The set is nice, sure beats the little round set of unknown origin I have.

Forrest Addy
02-14-2008, 04:42 PM
No-one I know has ever bought a set of gage blocks or a sine bar because he wants to work in millionths or seconds. He buys them to ensure accuracy to the degree he desires. It's not a matter of brag, arrogance or snobbishness. We who work in obdurate materials to tolerances necessessary to ensure proper fit and operation of precision equipment can not afford such conceits.

If you werre to peruse Slocum's "Precision Machine Design" you would find lengthy formulae for calculating the actual position of a point in a machine tool's working volume from the errors present in its construction, operation, inequalities of environment, etc. Thus every tolerance acheived carries with it an error budget consisting of a vestor sum from dozens of error components. We seldom think of these refinements as we go about our work. We make stuff to fit or to a specified tolerance and go on to the next step, piece or project.

Moving to my point: if you don't see a need for gage blocks in your shop then don't acquire them. Others keep them for technical reasons. Other still like to have such things on hand out of pride of posession or some other personal reason. Annual calibration is costly to obtain and the decision to do so depends on the need for a traceable standard in compliance with a documented calibration program.

Thus it's not very constructive to emotionally reject machine shop equipment others find needful, convenient, or merely interesting. Pursue what works for you but allow others the freedom of choice (this from me, a notorious curmudgeon) without abusing them for failing to comply with your notions.

I keep my gage blocks for calibrating my measurement tools once a year or as an assembled stack for reference when I work to close tolerances subject to third party verification. I haven't had them calibrated since I purchased them ten years ago nor do I expect to. They see very little use. If I ever make anything for an aerospace application where current NIST or ISO calibration is required for then I'd comply but you'd better bet that the cost and trouble of doing so was more than compensated by profit from the work.