No announcement yet.

New Parralels????

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • New Parralels????

    I need your collective opinions regarding a new set of paralels. I am looking at a set of 1/8 Brown & Sharpe paralels that are on sale in one Encos flyers.I know the name B&S but have never used any of their products(newbie here).Any comments on my selection and manufacturer would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    B&S used to make quality stuff, but now their 1-2-3 blocks and probably their parallels are made in China. The quality is the same as most any other Chinese source. So, I wouldn't pay extra for the B&S name compared to house brands, Enco, Grizzly, etc. But on sale, they might be a good deal and come in a nicer case?

    Assuming you're using these to elevate work in a vise for home shop projects, even the Indian-made parallels work OK. Parallels are pretty simple to make. The point is, unless you're using these for precision layout, inspection, or machining I wouldn't worry too much about a brand for a first set of shop parallels. Just my opinion.


    • #3
      Waiting for Thrud to go ballistic about B&S "high precision" here....

      I've got a set of ten pair of 1/8" parellels I got from Travers a few months ago. They were on sale for $27.95 or something, complete with molded case, and they're good. At least, I can't find anything wrong with them. They're parallel, and the pairs are matched in height to a couple tenths, and they're hardened. There are a few surface blemishes, but nothing that causes a problem.
      The Travers number is 57-101-400.
      Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
      Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
      Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
      There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
      Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
      Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


      • #4
        I have an Enco 6 pair set, 1/8" thick X 1/2" thru 1-5/8". They were individually wrapped in pairs, surfaces "flawless", decent molded case and are within a few tenths in height and thickness over length. I think they were $29 and I'm sorry but Enco won't give search results for the part # at the moment.


        • #5
          I don't like the off the shelf precision parallels.
          Stuff the big name brands, I use the very exclusive "El Stevo" brand.
          Lets examine what parallels are used for:-
          95% of their time you are supporting something on them for clearance usually whilst milling or grinding.
          They come in set incremental sizes like 1/8", 3/16", 1/4" etc. So say you want to hold a 1/4" piece for milling, you can't use the 1/4" parallel as the parallel nips at exactly 1/4" wheras your stock 1/4" bar is probably -0.001" undersize.
          This means you have to drop down a size and suffer the chances of it tipping and affecting the hight.

          You also often have to use a parallel as a side packing piece to support the side of the work that stood above the vise jaws.
          Milling down to a given depth can often bring the cutter close to the parallel.
          After seeing loads of these at sales with dings in them it's obvious that each ding has cost a cutter on the hardened parallel.

          I just use standard off the shelf ground flat stock. This comes in standard sizes, is accurate to about 1/2 a thou possible better on short pieces and an 18" length will make 3 pairs of 3" long parallels or 1 pairs of one long and 1 pair of one short.

          Leaving this like this you will have what the big name makers sell for mega$$ but not hardened. Upside of this is if you do ding it you leave a mark in the parallel that doesn't matter and most importantly it hasn't cost you a cutter. I'm fortunate in having a surface grinder and normally lick about 5 to 10 thou off the side so you never get the parallel nipping before the part.

          If you do have a surface grinder you can even use colled rolled flat stock and make the whole set for pence.

          No doubt the purests here will take exception to this but I've been doing this for years. When I do a set I sometimes do 4 or 6 all at the same setting and stamp the same number on all of these so a quick check thru the box can find me a number of parallels that will always match.

          If you do have a serious accident either throw it or machine to the next size down.
          For a lot of home shop use provided you know the base of your mill vise is level, milling a set will be accurate to a thou.
          It's also nice to have a set with steps in close to the top of the vise for very shallow work.

          I also have higher vise jaws also made from strips of ground flat stock, again the accident factor comes into this.

          John S, pulling nomex underwear on

          [This message has been edited by John Stevenson (edited 02-29-2004).]

          Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


          • #6
            John. thats how I made mine.Usually 1/16th over. but in some cases 1/32. These were for the mill, untill they somehow 'disappeared'Same thing with vice jaws for the mill cut back 7/32 and down 7/32 to 1/4 square stock, also with 1/4 dowel pin holes at 30* 45* and 60*


            • #7
              John , you forgot one thing for the new guys here. I am sure you do this without even thinking about it.
              I also use Starett stock and have a collection of Parallels with some " soft" ones.
              Always keep a hard stone handy, and each time you use soft parallels, run the stone lightly down the edge face to ensure no dings will cock the parallel.
              It will not wear out your tooling and will keep up the level of accuracy you want.
              If you "snag' a ding, then use a softer stone and bench dress the face.
              For Aluminum parallels, I sub a smooth file for the stone.


              • #8
                I like to make my own parallels just as the others have said. I also buy them when I find a great deal.
                At one parking lot sale, I bought a 9 pair set that was missing one pair and the box was damaged for $7. I also recently bought a set that Rutland Tool had on "Overstock Blowout". It was a 4 pair set of 1/4" parallels weighing nearly 10 pounds for $15.

                I also ground a pair today on my newly acquired Blanchard grinder. The 2"X4"X18" parallels came out pretty good for my first attempt.



                • #9

                  You can get some great slab milling parallels from the scrap bin of your local broach making shop. The flat broaches, including keyway broaches can only be sharpened so much until they are tossed in the scrap bin. The broach bodies are ground to close size and geometric tolerances. I did alot of Mattison grinding of broaches over the years, and one particular shop had a simple proceedure for meeting their straightness requirements: the broach had to be able to "rotate" over a .001" shim laying on the surface plate, even if the broach was 48" long! The point is that they are straight- flat and parallel. You can usually pick through the scrap bins of broach shops for free for a fistfull of parallels. If you pay them the scrap price for the contents of the barrels, you'll have more parallels or parallel stock than you'll ever use! Just grind the tops of the teeth parallel to the bottom. Or just use the sides.



                  • #10
                    I think you are spoilt
                    Most of the guys on this list haven't seen a broach let alone a shop that grinds them.

                    Given the size of the US and the fact that the members of this board are well spread out a lot of them will have to do about 3,000 miles just on the off chance they can get a parallel out the scrap.

                    I'm fortunate in that the UK is very small and there is a grinding shop literally at the end of the road but I know for a fact that they won't let me have any big broaches due to the fact that large lumps of HSS have a high scrap price and also the wire erosion guys will kill for big scrap HSS.
                    I have just had to pay the wire guys some serious coin for some 1.5" x 1.5" HSS stock to have some special tools wired out of.

                    John S.

                    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


                    • #11
                      HSS brings up a good point too,don't ever think that two toolbits are the same size,hieght whatever because the're not.Even from the same outfit and the same box no two are alike.Government purchasing agent learned this the hard way,he had me order up $1500.00 of 1x 3/4 x6"hss toolbits to use for parallels,I told him it wouldn't work ,but he insisted,we got paid and I still have all those toolbits I dug out of the dumpster
                      I just need one more tool,just one!


                      • #12

                        Sorry, I had no idea of the geographic diversity represented in this forum. I know not what is and is not available in your respective areas.

                        Even though I live in a pretty remote area, in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan, we have 3 broach manufacturers in a town nearby. I was employed at one of them as a broachmaker until I started my own shop. Downstate Michigan has dozens of broach shops.

                        If you guys are having to pay an arm and a leg for scrap HSS from which to make tools, you may want to get ahold of some of the following broach shops and see what they would charge for the scrap, shipping and handling of particular pieces you would like to get. It may be worth your while, and the broach companies too:

                        Kingsford Broach and Tool
                        850 East Blvd.
                        Kingsford, MI 49802

                        Eagle Tool
                        601 Industrial Park Dr.
                        Iron Mountain, MI 49801

                        Admiral Broach and Machine
                        21391 Carlo
                        Clinton Twp, MI 48038

                        Pioneer Broach Midwest
                        13957 Pioneer Ave.
                        Leroy, MI 49655



                        • #13
                          Amazing where these threads go. I ask for opinions on parallels and you guys go off on geographic divirsity. I've got a headache now!