Precision Woodworking Tool: Setup Blocks

I have come across more than one precision woodworking tool that have revolutionized my woodworking projects. Among these tools, setup blocks hold a special place in my workshop.

With setup blocks gone are the days of trying to measure the thickness of a board that I ran through my thickness planer using a retractable metal ruler. Awkward!

What I do now is lay the set-up block of my desired thickness next to my board to easily check.

So, in this article, I will dive in and explore the world of setup blocks to increase your precision and efficiency and their potential uses.

The Importance of a Precision Woodworking Tool

What Are Setup Blocks?

Setup blocks are precisely machined blocks of various heights and sizes that are used to establish accurate measurements and setups in woodworking. They are typically made from durable materials such as aluminum, brass, or steel. Setup blocks serve as reliable references for aligning tools, setting heights, calibrating angles, and establishing consistent setups in a woodworking project.

Setup Blocks for Alignment

Alignment is crucial in woodworking to ensure accurate and seamless joinery. Setup blocks play a vital role in aligning tools and workpieces. For example, when setting the fence on a table saw, you can use setup blocks to achieve precise and parallel positioning. Similarly, setup blocks help align jointer knives and planer blades, ensuring clean and uniform cuts. By utilizing setup blocks, you can eliminate guesswork and achieve consistent results every time.

Setup Blocks for Height Adjustment

Consistent height adjustments are essential for achieving accurate cuts and profiles in woodworking. Setup blocks provide a reliable means to set the height of router bits, saw blades, and other cutting tools. By using setup blocks, you can quickly and easily establish the desired height for your tools, resulting in precise and uniform cuts. Whether you’re working on intricate joinery or shaping moldings, setup blocks simplify the process and enhance your woodworking capabilities.

Precision Woodworking Tool for Angle Calibration

Calibrating angles is a critical aspect of woodworking, especially when working with miter saws, table saws, and other angled cuts. Setup blocks offer a convenient method to calibrate angles accurately. By using setup blocks, you can set bevel angles on compound miter saws or establish precise angles on table saw blades. This ensures that your angled cuts are precise, consistent, and fit perfectly in your woodworking projects. Setup blocks provide a level of confidence and accuracy that can elevate your craftsmanship.

Setup Blocks for Jig Setup

Jigs are invaluable tools in woodworking, providing repeatability and efficiency in various operations. Setup blocks simplify the process of setting up jigs and ensure consistent results. Whether you’re working with dovetail jigs, box joint jigs, or other woodworking jigs, setup blocks help establish the required measurements and alignments. By using setup blocks for jig setup, you can achieve consistent and accurate results, saving time and effort in your woodworking endeavors.


Setup blocks are an indispensable precision woodworking tool that enhance the efficiency and accuracy of your projects. From alignment and height adjustments to angle calibration and jig setup, setup blocks simplify complex woodworking tasks and deliver consistent results. By incorporating setup blocks into your woodworking practices, you can elevate your craftsmanship and achieve a new level of precision. Embrace the power of setup blocks and experience the joy of woodworking at its finest.

Precision Woodworking Tool FAQs

Can I make setup blocks at home?

Absolutely! While setup blocks are commonly available for purchase, you can also create your own setup blocks using materials like hardwood or acrylic. Ensure precise measurements and accurate machining to achieve reliable setup blocks for your woodworking projects. But, why bother making them when you can buy them and are relatively inexpensive? All the precision work is already done for you.

Are setup blocks useful for beginners?

Definitely! Setup blocks are beneficial for woodworkers of all skill levels, including beginners. They provide a simple and effective way to achieve precision and accuracy in woodworking. Incorporating setup blocks into your projects from the start will help you develop good habits and improve your woodworking skills.

How many setup blocks do I need in my workshop?

The number of setup blocks you need depends on the complexity and variety of your woodworking projects. Start with a few essential sizes and gradually expand your collection based on the types of cuts, setups, and angles you commonly work with. It’s helpful to have a range of heights and sizes to accommodate different applications.

What materials are commonly used for setup blocks?

Setup blocks are often made from durable materials such as aluminum, brass, or steel. These materials provide stability and precision, ensuring accurate measurements and long-lasting performance. Choose a material that suits your budget, preferences, and the level of precision you require.

Can setup blocks be used in other DIY projects?

Yes! While setup blocks are primarily associated with woodworking, this precision woodworking tools is versatile, make the blocks useful in various DIY projects. Whether you’re working on metalworking, home improvement, or other precision-oriented tasks, setup blocks can aid in achieving accurate measurements and setups. Their applications extend beyond woodworking and can enhance your precision in different endeavors.

Jim Graf

I started with ZERO tools a few years back. I've learned a lot and built skills and confidence to do most any project. With this site, I'd like to share and empower others to take up woodworking and build their skill level and confidence, too. Anyone can do this!

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