Engineer's square

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On Sat, 05 Dec 2009 22:35:11 -0800, Larry Jaques

Ah... Naturally I shall, in future, cite you in all matters grammatical rather than those hosers at the sister publication to the OED.
Regards,
Tom Watson http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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Oh, you mean the 'English' dictionary....not the American dictionary" :)
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On Sun, 06 Dec 2009 06:40:14 -0500, the infamous Tom Watson

Damned straight! ;)
-- Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost. -- Thomas J. Watson
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You asked, I answered. As I said, there are ways to mitigate the effects of these problems. If you are aware of them, and you know that they adversely affect the accuracy of the results, then isn't it somewhat disingenuous not to mention them when you advocate this technique? Of course, asking the question itself ("why is it goofy?") would seem to indicate that you didn't know the answer (i.e. weren't aware of the shortcomings).

And, like I said, I'm sure that it's "not necessary" for the sort of work that you do. But don't presume to speak for others and the work that they do. Maybe someone needs the added accuracy - or maybe they just don't have a lot of time to waste goofing around with trial and error methods of woodworking. They would prefer to know that their drill press spindle is squared up to the table without having to worry about all the possible sources of error that might exist.

Geez, not the "NASA" argument! Just about every time this topic comes up someone has to make a citation to NASA. If you can't draw on logic and reason, then try a bit of hyperbole, right? So, are you saying that only a "NASA machinists' group" can specify the use of dial indicators to align a drill press? I hate to disappoint you but millions of people use dial indicators every day and they don't all work at NASA. Dial indicators are not specialty tools intended only for the elite few who work on the cutting edge of technology. They are as common as dirt in almost every industry (including many woodworking shops).

This is actually a very good argument for the use of a dial indicator. How else are you going to make fine adjustments and precise alignments? Trial and error? Talk about goofy!
(RE: drilling a hole from opposite sides)

Hmmm... you go from "I don't know of any situation..." to "I do all that...". Seems like a rather large leap to me.
We're not talking about the accuracy of your machinist's square. We're talking about a goofy method for drill press alignment. In case you didn't notice, the shortcomings that I pointed out have nothing to do with the accuracy of the square.
I realize that the "square" method for drill press alignment can be found in countless books, magazines, and TV shows. It's quite popular. And, in all those references there's not a single mention of its shortcomings (which you acknowledge). This should tell you something about the expertise of the popular media.
(RE: cost of a TS-Aligner)

Ya, right. Sure you are. Just like you knew all about the shortcomings of using a square to align a drill press (but couldn't figure out why it was goofy). Just like you drill holes from opposite sides and they easily meet in the middle. It's funny, but you only seem to know these things *AFTER* they are pointed out to you. The time to demonstrate some expertise is before you criticize things that you clearly don't understand. If you really understood what goes into the cost of a TS-Aligner, and the functions that it provides, then you would have had nothing critical to say about my pricing.

Is that why you have been so critical? Talk about being disingenuous. Why did you pay money for your "engineer's square"? Assuming you actually have a drill press, why did you pay money for it? Can't you manage to do high quality woodworking without these "shiny tools"? Or, maybe you are unwilling or unable to make your own versions of these tools. Why pay so much for a square? It seems like such a simple tool that anybody could make one - right? What a ripoff - all these square makers charge way more than it's worth. Or, maybe you would be willing to entertain the idea that there's more to a square than you can get by looking at a photo.

I'm thinking that this statement reveals more than you wanted it to. Nobody's trying to make you feel inferior. Nobody's saying that you can't do your best without a particular dial indicator jig. There is no "club" here that needs to be joined. You will have to look to yourself about any feelings of insecurity you have on this topic. Remember, you brought up the issues with commercially made dial indicator jigs - not me.
We're talking about why the use of a square to align a drill press is goofy. I'm pointing out the problems with this technique and you are supposedly defending it. Apparently there isn't much for you to say because your defense has migrated to criticism of commercially made dial indicator jigs - mine in particular. I didn't tell anybody that they had to have one of my jigs, I just said that they should go out and get a dial indicator.
Be careful that you don't try to make others feel inferior because they choose to buy a dial indicator jig and don't join your "I made it myself" club. You're always going to meet people who would rather buy than make their own. And, you'll always know people who are capable of making a lot more in their shop than you ever could. Everyone has a reason to be looking down their noses at someone else.

Hype? Hmmm....that's somewhat of a wild generalization. So, let's see your dial indicator jig. I assume that you put yourself into this category of "guys who make their own jigs and fixtures" and are proud of your accomplishment. I invited you to submit your jig as a good example of what someone can do in their own shop. Where's the beef? Let's compare jigs so that everyone can see where the hype really is. Or, maybe you would be more inclined to admit that it's nice to be able to buy some things that are just impossible or impractical for you to make on your own. Maybe you would like to stop looking down your nose at people who value their time more than the cost of a commercially made dial indicator jig.

I hate to disappoint you, but dial indicators have been around since "before electricity". James Watt (inventor of the modern steam engine) is often credited with the invention of the dial indicator in 1772. But, your point is well made. Examples of fine woodworking date back to the Egyptian empire. It may not have occurred to you, but the argument applies equally to the drill press and that "engineer's square" of yours. If you are so inclined, you can try your hand at shaving wood with rocks and copper edged tools. How on Earth did they ever drill holes without drill bits? All of the modern tools and machinery don't enable high quality craftsmanship; they just make it easier and faster.
The problem with being a Luddite is its inherent hypocrisy. You come up with an imaginary period that you think is some sort of idealistic utopia and decide that every advancement after that is an evil corruption of the art. But the line you draw is completely arbitrary. Some other Luddite has a different idealistic utopia in mind and thinks your ideas are a corruption of the art. Ultimately both deny progress. In case you didn't notice, the Luddites didn't win the industrial revolution.
Ed Bennett
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Well, Ed, I bet you won't remember, but Don Peterson and I both tested and commented on the TS-Aligner when you first introduced it. Back then, I had my shop and a fairly new PM-66 TS. I'd spent quite some time aligning the fence and table using the old method of a square, reversing cuts etc. Don had used the aligner first, then shipped it to me. I spent a couple hours with it and only had praise for it. In that couple hours, I made those "nano" adjustments that resulted in some of the most pleasing output I'd ever done. It was a great thing then, and I'm sure that with the refinements you've made over the years, it's a better thing now.
--
Nonny

What does it mean when drool runs
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Ed Bennett wrote:

Ed, I didn't even read past your first paragraph. You sell a widget and will take your arguments to defend it to grave, so there is no use debating it.
I wish you good luck and success in you endeavors. Sincerely.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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-MIKE- wrote:

What'd I say ... :)
--
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Swingman wrote:

I know, I know. :-)
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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message writes:

Thank you for the links. -Bill
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As well-regarded (and relatively fragile) as the Starrett combination squares are, how come they don't sell them in a decent case (or do they?)? Was looking at C33H-12-4R, and dreweling over C434-12-4R...circle-divider be darned, there's something about that protractor!! ; ) Maybe I need a konk in the head with a square! Maybe I'd see Starretts??? ::cough cough::
Bill
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wrote:

If it were stored in a box/case all the time, it would not get used. I use my Starrett combo more frequently than I though I would, making it an even better buy.
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Phisherman wrote:

I know what you mean. I think if you were talking about the 434, then you might like a nice place to keep the protractor.
Bill

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