Stabbing Guides

Many of my solid models have holes for alignment pins made from filament snippets that let me glue the pieces together with near-perfect registration:

Alignment Hole and Pin

Alignment Hole and Pin

A reader who designs oil-field equipment for a living pointed out that, in his world, they’re called “stabbing guides”:



He specifies steel plate and welding instructions:



Stabbing guides for large modules may rise 25 feet above the deck plates…

After they install all the little bits on a “part” like this:

Generator Module - during assembly

Generator Module – during assembly

It fits neatly atop the stabbing guides and gets welded to a somewhat larger structure:

Generator Module - installed

Generator Module – installed

No sissy plastic for him!

My puny pins don’t qualify as stabbing guides, but forgive me if I sneak the term in every now and then…

Thanks, Tom!


  1. #1 by Tom on 2015-10-28 - 08:08


    The “stabbing guide” alignment feature described above is also commonly used in the mold-making industry for aligning (and laterally-locking) “A” and “B” sides of a mold or component group . . . they are commonly called “round, tapered interlocks.”

    You can see some typical examples at: Having worked in the tooling industry for a period of time, I also heard them described as “strawberry pins,” but I am unable to find any information about why this description was used.

    Keep up the great, folksy, blog.

    I enjoy your objectiveness, and curiousness, about the important as well as the mundane parts of daily life. I frequently check in and read your daily musings, and I learn a lot from the many tidbits of knowledge that are presented in each blog entry.

    A great deal of the blog content is beyond my capabilities (electronics, programming, etc.); however, I always find it amusing. (I first stumbled upon your blog when searching for information about the Leadshine 5042 digital stepper drives for use with CNC machines.)

    I am also a hard-core recreational cyclist in Minnesota, so I find your bike travels, and challenges, very entertaining.

    Thank you!


    • #2 by Ed on 2015-10-28 - 11:13

      … blushes …

      Thanks for the links!

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