gage block re-con
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  1. #1
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    Default gage block re-con

    Picked up a set of Webber "Croblox" (36). Set is missing some blocks and some don't wring. So the idea was to send in for cert/replacement, however now I am getting cold feet because of cost concerns. I have a price list so I can figure the replacement cost, but I do not want to be in the position of finding that half (or more) of the blocks need replacing and I'll be out $1500. Has anyone done this and if so what do you think the likelyhood of lots of bad blocks is? I'm thinking of inspection grade.

  2. #2
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    Here's the scenario of sending the blocks in for calibration. The cost is $100 or $200 or whatever, I don't remember. They do a fair job of cleaning and conditioning the gage blocks so they can inspect them. If, after this cleaning, the gage block doesn't wring, they simply don't check it, or they'll measure the block and note that the gage block doesn't wring on the calibration report, therefore the measurement uncertainty and traceability to NIST is not valid. Then, you're going to ask them to provide you a quote for replacement or repair to complete the set. They'll probably provide you with a couple options, like replacing the missing blocks with import ones, etc.

    Calibration labs vary widely in the price and detail of their service. I'd try to find a friendly and helpful calibration lab nearby and they'll give you a taste of what the service is likely to cost, even over the phone. I got a feeling that a good cal lab would be willing to look your gage blocks over before doing any service, and give you some kind of estimate.

    Here's a link to a calibration lab in Wisconsin that explains their procedure for calibrating gage blocks. http://www.qualitycalibration.com/gageBlocks.asp

    If I remember, the bare calibration of an 81 pc set was about $180 for grade AS-1.

    You could also contact Starrett, which will probably charge an insane amount for their service.

    http://www.starrett.com/pages/442_ca...ion_repair.cfm

    Take a look at this, too. http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INLMKD?S...01=1&SICOUNT=1

    It might seem unsavory, but why not buy Chinese gage blocks? Quality Calibration in Wisconsin offers calibrated sets of import gage blocks that they have found to be of good quality. Their 81 pc set was like $400 for grade AS-1, complete with inspection report. Then you have new gage blocks that wring beautifully and aren't cratered or dented at the corners, complete with calibration certificate.

    In my hands, gage blocks age poorly. I'd rather have a new set every 5 or 10 years than a name brand set that costs $2000 and figure out how to keep them in pristine condition for 40 years.

  3. #3
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    I just bought one of the new Starrett Global Series import 81 piece gage block sets from enco on sale for $199. I was surprised to find that they included rather extensive documentation of the certification that was performed at their North Carolina facility, which is not common with Starrett tools. (Usually they just throw a little piece of paper in the box with the inspectors name).

    The blocks appear to be of good quality and they wring well. The only complaint I have is that the marking on the blocks is a little screwy and the font style doesn't match from block to block, but this doesn't affect the function.

    I was originally planning on finding a used Webber set, but I got tired of looking at sets that had hard use and or were missing blocks. Sets that were in good shape were usually priced so high I wouldn't want to use them in the shop so for me I think this was a good choice.


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