combination square preferences

Hello all;
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 square.
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 serious question.)
Thanks a heap, -JBB
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On Sun, 26 Oct 2003 16:43:22 GMT, "J.B. Bobbitt"

My squares that get the most use are my 6" Starrett and Veritas Saddle Square.
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 session.
Here's a saddle square: <http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?pageD836&category=1,42936&ccurrency=2&SID=>
Barry
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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.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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On Sun, 26 Oct 2003 16:43:22 GMT, "J.B. Bobbitt"
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
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Any brand recommendations for a a quality 10" square or a 2' framer's square? I've got one of each of off-the-shelf (Borg) quality.
-JBB
wrote:

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On Sun, 26 Oct 2003 23:13:01 GMT, "J.B. Bobbitt"

If I need a 2' square, I measure diagonals instead.
Barry
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http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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wrote:

Man, are those things GREAT!. Mine never leaves my apron.
Barry
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On Sun 26 Oct 2003 05:41:57p, B a r r y B u r k e J r .

I almost bought one at the woodshow. Now I wish I had. What do you use it for that a small try square wouldn't do? Or does it take the place of a try square?
Dan
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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 while woodworking.
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 long enough.
Barry
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One thing I looked at with interest at Lee Valley is the following:
<http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?pageG857&category=1,42936,42940&ccurrency=2&SID=>
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 bought one.
Mike
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On Mon, 27 Oct 2003 17:15:14 GMT, "Michael Daly"

Seems very nice, and since it's a LV product, I'm sure it is, but it's BIG. <G>
A saddle square and 6" combo fit nicely in apron pockets. It all depends on personal work methods.
Barry
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I've got a primo saddle square, and agree it's one of the most used tools I own.
-JBB
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J.B. Bobbitt wrote:

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 < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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For the money, the most accurate square you can purchase is a draftsmans square PLUS they come in colors! You would not believe HOW accurate they are.
On Sun, 26 Oct 2003 23:59:50 -0500, Silvan

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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 http://www.patwarner.com/setup_square.html link. *************************************************************************

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