We at LeBlond are trying to build up our social media profile, so we started tossing around the idea of someone bringing in the family cat, sticking it on a LeBlond lathe, taking a photo and asking our Facebook friends to caption the photo.

Thank goodness that gambit never made it to the “execute” stage … however, we do have a question to pose to our blog readers and Facebook friends and here it is:

What part of Cheech and Chong’s arsenal could you use on the shop floor?

Paper Paraphernalia

Ok, we know this has got you, shall we say, up in smoke, so we’ll throw you a hint – you could use this paraphernalia to bring a piece back into square on a K.O. Lee surface grinder.

Still stumped?

Let us discuss the dilemma before delving into our stupor of a solution.

You have a piece that is out of square. In other words, one side is higher than the other. You need to shim it on your K.O. Lee surface grinder to grind the higher plane on both sides until the piece is square.

How Do You Know Your Piece is Out of Square?

You could use a magnetic cylinder square to measure it. Or you could use an ordinary cylinder square. Line up the cylinder square snug against your piece. Make sure your eye is lined up exactly parallel to the surface you are checking and hold a piece of regular paper behind it. If you are square within a couple of tenths, the light coming from the paper will turn blue.

So now know the piece is out of square. You need to shim it up on the surface grinder to grind one side low.

Use Paper as a Shim

According to this excellent Suburban Tools video, regular printer paper is about three-thousandths to shim your piece up on your surface grinder. The legendary tool of someone’s misplaced youth – the Zig Zag rolling paper – is thinner at about one thousandth. Regular paper or a Zig Zag can serve as an effective shim on your K.O. Lee surface grinder if your piece is slightly out of square.

So there is a machining purpose for every hippie’s tool of trade – the Zig Zag. Use it as a shim.

Don’t miss LeBlond’s promotion until May 31st where you receive a free two-axis Newall DP700 digital readout with the purchase of a K.O. Lee Surface Grinder. Check out the offer here. If you’re interested in new LeBlond manual lathes, K.O. Lee grinders or need original OEM parts for LeBlond, K.O. Lee, Standard Modern, Johnson Press, Deka Drill and W.F. & John Barnes equipment, fill out a contact form here.