Do I want a new square ?

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I've been debating purchasing a 12" Machinist's Square. Would be awfully nice to be able to quickly verify some of my tool setups by checking, let's say for example, a 12" plus crosscut off my sled or sliding miter. Or verifying, with some exactness (is that a word ?) that a cabinet side is really square with the bottom. I'm trying to really focus on accuracy these days in my woodworking. I'm finding that it sure pays off in the long run over the course of a project, to spend the extra time making sure your setups are right on, and taking the extra time to verify at each operation.
Problem is, can I justify $60-100 for a precision square. Not a rich man here - that's not exactly rounding error money for me.
What do you guys do ? Should I just grab my framing square and forget spending the bucks ?
Jim In FL
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I don't know where you've been shopping, but a machinist/engineer square can be had for under $20. Besides, you're paying for a level of accuracy far outside what you'll ever be able to attain in wood. You'd be better off with a good machinist combination square, which is still more accurate than you need. More useful, too.
Check this out:
http://tinyurl.com/p8cc7w
nb
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Agreed. I use the 10" stainless steel square from Lee Valley and it fills most of my needs. http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p2599&cat=1,42936,42941
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stores. I bought mine at Enco. The small ones are perfect for checking the accuracy of saw setups.
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It's a trifle pricy, but I was thinking of buying one of the digital "tilt boxes" for measuring my blade angle. It would be convenient on those angle cuts. Of course, if all I was cutting was 90 and 45 cuts then it would be cheaper and easier to pick up a 45 square. http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&pW056&cat=1,240,41064
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This part in the description of that tilt box is a bit odd. "It has a range of 90 left or right and a resolution of 0.05 (accurate to 0.2)."
I guess that's like having a car with a speedometer that goes to 120 and the car tops out at 85. Or a woman saying she feels 25 and she's talking about the age of her breast implants. R
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This part in the description of that tilt box is a bit odd. "It has a range of 90 left or right and a resolution of 0.05 (accurate to 0.2)."
It is kind of confusing. I took the resolution of 0.05 to refer to the sharpness of the LCD and left it at that. If that's what it's meant to refer to it might be useful in outside sunny conditions. I've seen LCD readouts that you have to shadow and almost cup with your hand before you can make them out.
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They're talking about the readout - it reads to two decimal points, but the accuracy is only good to one. That gives a false sense of accuracy. No way in hell am I paying $39.95 for that. If it was $39.9 - maybe. ;)
R
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wrote in message

The tilt box measures to one digit right of decimal point and the display is digital, not analog. There fore it displays accuracy to within .05 degrees.
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Upscale wrote:

they were seeing differences of 0.1 pH units in there ocean samples and said it was caused by global warming. They forgot to mention that the best pH standards are only good to +/- 0.05 pH Units. In other words what they were attributing to global warming was the variance in the standards they used to standardize the pH meter.
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wrote in message

I have a tilt box, I use it more and more each day. I was adding an outer side platform to a steel tool stand/table. Because the legs on the stand were angled out 5 degrees I had to cut the bracing at a 5 degree angle so that the surface would be parallel to the table top plane. I put the tilt box on the table top, zeroed it, and then stuck it to the leg and got an 85 degree reading. The nice thing is that if firs into tight spots.
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Tight spots and many angles all in one. All that's left to make them solar powered like many calculators.
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What's left is to make 'em cheaper. Looks like a neat tool, but $40 is way outta line. As is the case with digital watches, calculators, etc, the case probably costs more than the electronics. I wonder if Casio has a watch that will do angles. ;)
nb
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My iPhone does. http://www.ihandysoft.com/carpenter /
R
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wrote:

Wixey makes their version of the TiltBox and they often have their goods on sale. IIRC they were even giving their tilt box away with the purchase of another of one of their measuring devises.
A year and a half ago my son gave me the Wixey brand and got it for $29.99. Or you can get one of the Rockler 20% off coupons that come out periodically and get one there.
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It doesn't need to be digital. Regular old gravity tilt gizmos are available, inexpensive, and don't need batteries.
<http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=32584&cat=1,43513>
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wrote:

It doesn't need to be digital. Regular old gravity tilt gizmos are available, inexpensive, and don't need batteries.
<http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p2584&cat=1,43513>
True but a digital one is only $11 more at regular price and they can easily measure tenths of a degree.
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Lee Michaels wrote:

Grizzly has a set for 16 bucks with 2, 3, 4, and 6". The little ones are more useful than I would have expected.
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Jim In FL wrote:

I have both, and a couple of (square) corner cut-offs from Baltic birch projects. Most frequently I use one of the plywood corners. Next most frequently I use the framing square. The machinist's square usually comes out when I need the centering head or the protractor.
I also have a set of those aluminum angle square corner brackets that I like to use to clamp things square during glue-ups.
If budget is a major factor, and if your framing square really is square, then I'd suggest saving your money for something you find you can't do without.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
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"Jim In FL" wrote:

<snip>
For me that would be over kill when working with wood.
A couple of drafting triangles (8"-45 & 10"-30/60), along with a couple of plywood factory corners can do wonders.
Don't forget the 3-4-5 triangle method of doing layouts requiring 90 degree right angles.
Before you spend any money, go to the library and get Fred Bingham's book, "Practical Yacht Joinery" and read the section about measuring tools.
Very enlightening.
Have fun.
Lew
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