V Blocks

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Douglas1968
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V Blocks

Post by Douglas1968 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:38 am

Im considering buying a V Block set on EBAY.my question is how easy is it to damage a V block? I’m looking at a Starret set for $40. And what about these brand new sets for $25? I just got off the phone with a retired tool and die maker selling his set for $400. I don’t know how to think.

Russ Hanscom
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Re: V Blocks

Post by Russ Hanscom » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:36 pm

Used the way vee blocks are supposed to be used, you should never damage or wear out a set. I have some nice ones made by my grandfather in his apprenticeship in 1888.

However, it is also a necessity to have several different sizes, depending on what sizes of stock you intend to work on.

As to your question - what level of precision do you intend to aim for? The cheapies are probably fine, no question about the Starretts, and the very expensive ones only if you are aspiring to extreme tolerances. Then, there are ones with clamps, and ones in matched sets; lots of options.

spro
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Re: V Blocks

Post by spro » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:34 pm

So true. Perfect stuff can get rusty. One vee block is not the same as two matching vee blocks. Not even close to X2 price considering the heritage of the set Russ H described. You need to look at the more common sets and $25 isn't much at all. In fact, it is an insult to call them "common" because they are affordable. Lots of work to make those.

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Richard_W
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Re: V Blocks

Post by Richard_W » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:51 pm

I have a matched ground steel set of Enco with the clamps. Had it for about 35 years. Use it a lot and they only show a little wear for the most used diameter shafts. Also have a pair of matched cast iron v blocks about twice the size of the steel ones. They still look good and get used more than the smaller steel set.
I also have a pair that I wade back in the 1980's about a 4 inch cube. I made them with a 5/8" key way in the bottom. With 2 short 5/8" keys they go right on a Bridgeport style mill table. I made them so if one was turned 180 degrees the shaft would still be center to the table slot. I drilled and counter bored for a 1/2" Allen bolt that you could bolt them to the table. Which means I could mill a key way in about any length of a shaft in line with the table slots. Makes for a quick setup since the v blocks don't need to be dialed in, just keyed to the slots in the table and you are only limited by the length of the mill table. I have them at work and use them quite a bit. The shop manager wants to buy them, but I don't want to sell them.
I think a set of cast iron would do most of what you want to do.

Richard W.

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tornitore45
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Re: V Blocks

Post by tornitore45 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:10 pm

I made them so if one was turned 180 degrees the shaft would still be center to the table slot.
Would not that be an automatic result from a symmetric object, keyed in the center? Is there something I am missing?
Mauro Gaetano
in Austin TX

John Hasler
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Re: V Blocks

Post by John Hasler » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:42 pm

If you concentrate on parallelism while treating symmetry as a matter of aesthetics you could easily end up a few thousandths off center.

whateg0
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Re: V Blocks

Post by whateg0 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:52 am

John Hasler wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:42 pm
If you concentrate on parallelism while treating symmetry as a matter of aesthetics you could easily end up a few thousandths off center.
Nothing wrong with making them that way. But, I don't really understand why it is so important. Unless you never move the Y axis, you still need to dial in the center of the block, right? That's no different than dialing in the work in the vise, unless I'm missing something.

Conrad_R_Hoffman
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Re: V Blocks

Post by Conrad_R_Hoffman » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:17 pm

I bought some v-blocks for the company QC department and found it was difficult to find what I'd call metrology grade v-blocks. Even spending a lot of money only bought a couple tenths guarantee. Our cheap imports weren't bad, but errors could be measured on any of them. I picked up some shop-made blocks at a garage sale. They were nice and were hardened, but had never been ground. I set them up on the surface grinder and ground them as a matched pair. Turned out really well, good as the commercial ones, but you have to follow the right order of operations. IMO, you can stone out damage and not affect the accuracy to any degree. Even mild corrosion can be cleaned up with little effect. Ugly can still be accurate!
Conrad

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John Hasler
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Re: V Blocks

Post by John Hasler » Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:05 pm

whateg0 wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:52 am
John Hasler wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:42 pm
If you concentrate on parallelism while treating symmetry as a matter of aesthetics you could easily end up a few thousandths off center.
Nothing wrong with making them that way. But, I don't really understand why it is so important. Unless you never move the Y axis, you still need to dial in the center of the block, right? That's no different than dialing in the work in the vise, unless I'm missing something.
If they are accurately made and precisely keyed to the slots (and the slots are precise) you should be able to touch off on either side of either block of a pair. If they aren't symmetrical you'll have to always be careful to get them right way around and the offset will be different for each side of each block.

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Richard_W
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Re: V Blocks

Post by Richard_W » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:16 pm

tornitore45 wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:10 pm
I made them so if one was turned 180 degrees the shaft would still be center to the table slot.
Would not that be an automatic result from a symmetric object, keyed in the center? Is there something I am missing?
I have used V blocks in the past that if you turned one 180 degree the shaft wouldn't sit properly in the V of both blocks. So you always had to check to see if the V's were lined up properly. They way I did it it didn't matter because the V was centered properly to the key in the bottom. Just one less thing to check making things a little faster.

Richard W.

spro
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Re: V Blocks

Post by spro » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:08 am

It seems a very good set.

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SteveM
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Re: V Blocks

Post by SteveM » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:04 am

whateg0 wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:52 am
Nothing wrong with making them that way. But, I don't really understand why it is so important. Unless you never move the Y axis, you still need to dial in the center of the block, right? That's no different than dialing in the work in the vise, unless I'm missing something.
Having them symmetrical means you can put them up against something, like the fence on the side of a mag chuck, and know that both are on the same centerline.

If you used them in a vise with the v-blocks held by the vise jaws and the work clamped to the v-blocks, the two V's would not be in the same line.

Otherwise, you would have to mark them and always make sure that you had them in the same orientation.

You could use them that way, but it opens you up to making an error.

Steve

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