MANUFACTURING: George Webber's Secret

Father of all precision tools is the Johansson gauge block, invention of a Swedish genius, now made in the U.S. exclusively by Ford. With surfaces finished to an accuracy (at a constant temperature of 68° F.) within two-millionths of an inch, these blocks maintain the accuracy of micrometers and other gauges down to a ten-thousandth of an inch, thus make possible the interchangeability of parts, essence of mass production. Today, with production booming, the "Jo" blocks, always scarce, are spread as thin as management itself. Last week a lone machinist in a privy-sized Cleveland shop was easing the scarcity...