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Bench blocks

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  • Bench blocks

    I have been getting by with a rectangular block for years now and I happened to seen a post of a member making a round bench block , good post and all but I was curious as to why round is prefered to any other shape?

  • #2
    Some of the ones I have seen for gunsmithing are firearm specific. 45 auto, some revolvers just to name a few. Frank


    • #3
      As always, its best if a pic or two were to be posted as illustrations for those who mght not know what a "bench block" is and so keep them "in the loop".


      • #4
        Originally posted by mike4 View Post
        ....<snip>... I was curious as to why round is prefered to any other shape?
        I am not so sure that round is preferred to other shapes. I have several tapping guides that are much like bench blocks but they don't have any Vee grooves. I like the round shape for them because the holes are all equally close to the outside edge and all of them can be used in tight quarters equally well. With a square or rectangular block some holes would be at the corners and others would be in the middle of a side. The corner holes may be more versatile while the middle holes would be less.
        Paul A.

        Make it fit.
        You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!


        • #5
          A "bench block" seems to have no specific shape size or use - just make them up as you need them for an intended purpose.


          • #6
            Just responded to another thread (probably the one you are talking about) on this subject. Totally agree with you. I made mine long ago and made it round because that's just the way they were always made but I wish I had made it square or rectangular now so I could put it in a vise to hold it securely. I also wish I had put in some tapped holes and had a slotted clamp for it because every time I need to drive in a pin I have to hold the rod so it doesn't turn (1 hand), hold the hammer (second hand) and hold the pin I am trying to drive in (with my toes).


            • #7
              Why didn't I think of that?!

              Square block, crossed grooves with center hole, tap guide holes at each corner, tapped holes for clamps... I could actually use one of those right now.


              • #8

                Just tossing this out, I got no proof. But I suspect machinist's tend to make round bench blocks because they almost always have access to round stock and a lathe. And round costs less than square. My round bench block, (made as a student machinist many, many years ago), is 1 1/2" high and 3" in diameter. 3" square bar costs more than 3" round.

                TRX, you're thinking about a finger plate. [URL=""] A very simple and basic example.

                If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.


                • #9
                  I made my bench block round because that was the material I had. I like DATo's suggestions of making the bottom so it could be clamped into a vice and the tapped holes. Actually I started to tap two of the holes in the top of mine and found my tap was too far gone to do it. I will get some tapped holes later. I guess as soon as it is completed I will need to heat treat it to make it hard.

                  I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.


                  • #10
                    made the Lautard finger plate.....have the Starrett bench block.....would have to rummage around to find either.