What's the optimum blade length for the average fine-woodworker (or
wannabe)? 12"? 18"?
At present I have a small, overcrowded shop without a lot of layout room so
I've been building small things (jewelry and keepsake boxes, tea safes,
etc.). I plan to start building bigger things (Krenov-style cabinets,
blanket chests, etc.) soon, and I'll shell out the dough for a high-quality
Anybody out there have an 18" blade? Like it, hate it? Anybody out there
have a 12" blade and wish it was 18"?
(I can see the joke follow-up posts on this question already.... but its a
Thanks a heap,
My squares that get the most use are my 6" Starrett and Veritas Saddle
I also have Starrett 12" and 18" blades, a protractor head, and a
center finder. The 12 and 18" blades get about equal time, the
center finder and protractor get very occasional use.
The 6" is great for checking 90 & 45 degree setups, depth settings,
and about 90% of the stuff I use a combo square for in a typical shop
Here's a saddle square:
I make mostly larger things. I have a 12" Starrett. Mostly, I use it for
checking alignment of tools (e.g. TS, jointer, various miter gauges). So far,
I haven't seen much need for an 18" blade. IMO 12" is sufficient.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
No, I use a 10" square for most benchwork, a 12" combination for any
funny angles, and a 2' framer's square for casework. Never felt the
need for anything over 12" in the high-accuracy league.
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
The most common use for me is marking the face, the edge, or both on a
board at exactly the same point, with the lines 90 degrees from the
reference edge. In other words, 90% of the marks I make on wood
My saddle square touches more wood than my combos. The combinations
are used for machine setups, 45's, and anything where the saddle isn't
One thing I looked at with interest at Lee Valley is the following:
It seems that it would replace several tools. I played with it a bit
- seems well made. The bevel guage blade locks with the black lever
and is extended with the little black thumbwheel that is at the end.
This allows the blade to completely disappear into the body. The wheel
was a little tight, but not bad. If I had spare cash, I'd have probably
I have a six inch blade, and it works well enough for what I use it for,
though I guess it would be cool if it were bigger.
For combination squares, I'm not using one of the officially sanctioned high
quality $70 super froofy accurate to 50 billionths of a nanometer deals,
but I like my 15" square a lot. I found 12" was sometimes a tad too short.
Of course I'm not a "fine" woodworker either. I'm more of a "make something
and pray that you can hide enough of the problems that the thing will pass
quick scrutiny without too many people laughing at it" woodworker.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
Length of blade is confounding. Decided to make a dual ended square,
one blade 4-5/8", the other ~9". Covers a lot of ground. More on the
nature of this square, blade length, utility etc. at the
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