Engineer's square

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How do the Groz engineer's squares measure up for setting up a TS, BS, etc? Rockler has them (set of 3) on sale for $29.99 instead of $39.99. I think the squares may also come in handy when installing a vise on my workbench to be (so I need a larget one for that?).
A good graduated combination square would be useful too, no? If the engineers squares above were graduated I'd probably use them so much for general tasks that I'd end up messing them up/dropping them...
At this point, I don't even have a good steel rule. Some of you have seen me around here long enough to know I am a beginner. What should I be collecting along these lines?
Thanks, Bill
P.S. Cleaned the (8') gutters today with a Sear ShopVac accessory ($19.99). Definitely a great tool for that chore! Since I recently had new roof installed, besides leaves they were full of grit and nails, etc. It blows leaves, cleans gutters, vacuums the car well. I never before got such satisfaction from a "vacuum cleaner"! : )
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Bill,
While the engineers squares at this price point are somewhat accurate, save your money and get a Starrett Try Square (~$75) and build a nice box for it. It is accurate enough (2 thou / 12") for anything you'll align in your shop or want to measure. It will also last you a lifetime and be a great tool to give to your grandson/daughter one of these days. (that's when the wheels on the walker are worn flat...;-)
Bob S.
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Thank you, Bob S. I assume you mean "Reliable Try-Square, No. 61" (which is 6" in length). Getting-by with one would be just getting by, no?
Starrett sure has a dizzying arrays of fine products (starret.com), and I thank you for introducing me to them. However, in view of the "big picture" I think I may be wise to buy the Groz squares (or similar) and put the leftover $ towards one of many other tools that I need. Well, who knows, maybe I'll find one on sale! : )
Bill
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Buy the best you can afford *now*, this is the one tool that will make or break your every project. One good Starrett is worth 20 cheap Swansons.
Bought one cheap Swanson 6" square for jobsite work, $5.00. Actually dead-on accurate out of the package, but the aluminum parts wore out within 6 months. Tossed the stock, saved the blade and scriber. Shiny blade was made much more readable by lightly sanding it with 320 and a shot of oil.
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Buy the best you can afford *now*, this is the one tool that will make or break your every project. One good Starrett is worth 20 cheap Swansons.
Bought one cheap Swanson 6" square for jobsite work, $5.00. Actually dead-on accurate out of the package, but the aluminum parts wore out within 6 months. Tossed the stock, saved the blade and scriber. Shiny blade was made much more readable by lightly sanding it with 320 and a shot of oil. -----------------------------
You folks have me thinking more and more about these combination squares.
Question 1: Does one alway mark along the steel rule (rather than its head)?
Question 2: Is hardened steel head to be preferred to cast iron?
Question 3: Is the 6" version useful for helping to set up a band saw (not for resawing), or is it too big? Or is it a mute point with such a "slack" blade?
Sorry for such basic questions. With the Thanksgiving 25%-off Rochler coupon, the Starrettt 6" combination square can be had for about $60...
A week ago, the name Starrett was completely unfamiliar to me (though I had seen their products behind locked glass doors).. What looks really impressive is the 12" rule with the protractor, but I can wait for the project that justifies that... ; ) It's not hard to be attracted to fine tools...
Thanks, Bill
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I finally decided to "take the plunge". Seems like it will be helpful in installing a woodworkers vise on the benchtop I want to build (right?). Now I find out neither Rockler nor Woodcraft carry the 12" hardened-steel version (C33H-12-4R). Would have liked to have found it locally, but I can't seem to find a good source near Indianapolis. I contacted Starrett who gave me "two numbers to start with". The first one had been disconnected. Evidently there is more money to be made selling the 9.99 versions.
Bill
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Bill wrote:

FWIW, Amazon has that model for 85 bucks and shipping.
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Yep, $85 including shipping. My wife mentioned she would like to give me a woodworking item for xmas...haven't mentioned anything yet. Did you see that Larry the Cable Guy skit, where he explains that the waitress rubbed his neck, and then he thought "Gosh, I should've asked for....!" ; ) Of course, the truth is that we try to lead a thrifty life style--at least I do. : )
Bill
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Bill wrote:

I'd sure like to have a Lee Valley Imperial Micro-Adjust Marking Gauge for Christmas, if anybody wants to get one for me:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&pY455&cat=1,42936
I think your wife wants to get you one too Bill. :-)
--
"Even if your wife is happy but you're unhappy, you're still happier
than you'd be if you were happy and your wife was unhappy." - Red Green
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Tempting...but I asked for the square. And two books by James Krenov (Cabinet Makers Notebook and . The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking). That's all I asked for from "santa" this year. : )

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Did you read the fine print: Due to the number of requests for a micro-adjust feature, we developed a second model with a slightly longer body fitted with a two-stage collet to allow fine adjustment of the cutting wheel. The collet has a fine-pitch thread; one revolution advances or retracts the wheel 1/32", a half turn 1/64", a quarter turn 1/128", etc. The knurled thumbscrew then locks the setting.
Just $39.50 for the "Imperial Graduated" one... Reminds me of the "Red-rider BB gun with the compass in the stock...". :)
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Bill wrote:

Oh yeah, I've read it. Many times. :-)

Just call me "Ralphie" :-)
--
"Even if your wife is happy but you're unhappy, you're still happier
than you'd be if you were happy and your wife was unhappy." - Red Green
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Perhaps we could use our collective minds to develop the design for one using a a threaded steel rod.
The threaded steel rod is my (first) suggestion. A closer inspection indicates that they have tapped the end to hold the cutter. Performing that may not be so easy for those of us not adequately equipped, but surely something could be screwed on the end instead. Take it away...
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4 nuts (may as well choose them chrome plated) , placed two on each side of a cutter which ensure that the cutter could be removed for quick replacement or sharpening. Alternately, the two further from the end could be replaced by one brazed in place. One side of one of the nuts can be marked as a reference for adjustment of the "fence".
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Steve Turner wrote:

She does. Take it from me.
I love that guage. I use it constantly. I rarely bitch about anything that LV sells, but I do have one minor complaint with the markings on this tool. I can't really read them and have to use either a micrometer or indirect measuring to set it up. Which is likely the best way anyway, but the markings could be a bit darker.
However, it's still a wonderful marking too.
Tanus
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Steve,
I picked up a guage on sale at Rockler this month for $9.99 ($5 off). Hopefully it will work well-enough for someone who has never used one before. You were right, my wife snatched it right out of my hand. :-) Please correct me if I am wrong: it can be used to mark mortises and tenons, right? So if I have two 3/4" boards that I mark 1/8" on each side, shaping a tenon out of one board and cutting a mortise in the other, I should get perfect fit, no? It'll never happen? Sand the tenon accordingly? Any tips?
I just read in Woodsmith about a simple jig (just a block) used to make sure the craftsperson cuts the bottom of the dovetail joint (perfectly) square by holding the smooth face of the chisel up against the block while cutting down. Seems like that idea may come in handy for trimming up mortises and tenons too.
I was thinking of making some endtables (as well as a workbench), but I think I should practice my joinery skills on smaller and less-expensive pieces first.
I was admiring their 9" Rockler woodworkers vise while I was there ($129.99). Might come in handy for my woodworking bench... :)
Happy holidays (to all), Bill
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A speed square. A Swanson Speed Square is a great way to get going. Not too expensive either. I'd start with one of those. It is the most used square in my shop.
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On Mon, 23 Nov 2009 20:02:48 -0800 (PST), the infamous Robatoy

That's my mainstay in the field. In the shop, the little pair of 4-inchers from LVT do it for me quite often (but I keep a SSS in the shop, too.)
-- It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. -- Seneca
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wrote:

Bill mentioned he was a relatively new at this, so my suggestion was based on cheap. not-too-bad accuracy, easy to handle. A standard combo square is not that much more accurate IMHO unless you drop some serious coin, but they make a fine depth gauge as well. For tablesaw set up etc, a 6" machinist square does it all for me. If more than a couple of thou mess you up, use thicker glue. <G>
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On 11/23/2009 08:18 PM, Bill wrote:

An engineers square is usually quite stock-heavy. They're mostly useful for machine setup. A try square is better for laying out joinery.
A good steel rule is accurate right out to each end, with easy to read markings. A 12" is nice, and a 6" comes in handy for smaller items. Some have markings on the end as well (useful for setting bit or blade height). The 6" Shinwa (at Lee Valley and other places) does a good job.
A good combination square is useful. The Starrett or equivalent is expensive but nice. Another option would be to take a 45/45/90 plastic drafting triangle (generally very accurate) down to the big box store and test all the cheaper squares until you find one that happens to be accurate. Also check that the blade is straight.
Chris
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