Good combination square

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I've read past discussions in this group, but the threads seemed to boil down to the Starrett or you're making parallelograms.
I'm hoping for an alternative that's priced in the same universe as reality. Not sure exactly what price that is...
But for example the Woodcraft-branded combo square with 3 heads (square, center-finder, protractor) is about $70 (http://tinyurl.com/32rk8 ). That seems almost reasonable if it's good'n square, easy to read and use. They've got a much less substantial-looking no-name one for $25 with all three heads (http://tinyurl.com/3yxea )
Comments on the Woodcraft or suggestions for another brand?
Thanks, Michael
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Michael Press wrote:

With Starrett, you know it is accurate. With other brands you have to ask. Go to the store and ask the salesman if you can check the accuracy of their square against the Starrett.
You also have to consider the use. Machine setup or a machinist needs very high accuracy. Building a shed or picnic table need much less. Most woodwork falls between the two.
--
Ed
snipped-for-privacy@snet.net
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Unless it is a Mititoyo, Brown and Sharp, Moore and Wright, ect. If you look outside Home Depot, there are a number of good ones available.

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wrote:

I sometimes wonder if you are posting in anagrams.
cf "Mitutoyo", "Browne", "etc.".
Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker (ret) Real Email is: tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet Website: http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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He's precise - just not accurate.
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On Tue, 24 Feb 2004 18:11:58 -0500, Michael Press

Forget the 3 heads. I can count on one hand the number of times I've used the protractor or center finding head in woodworking If you have a lathe, you can use a plastic center finder that'll be plenty accurate.
Get a 12" Starrett, Mitutoyo, or Brown & Sharpe combination square. You can get the Starrett or Mitutoyo for about $65, the B&S will cost more. For angles other than 90 and 45, use architect's drawing tools, which are surprisingly accurate for the price. A 30/60 triangle and a decent protractor can be had for about $15, total, at any office superstore.
I find a 6" Starrett to be the best day to day, but when you need the 12", you'll need it. If I could only have one it would be a 12". 6 and 4 inch squares make great marking gauges as well!
Barry
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Funny, swmbo said the same thing once.
Seriously, these Starrett posts always give me a sick feeling in my stomach. My FIL's neighbor (whom we hang with quite often) retired from toolmaking (the now defunct Zeulske for you Milw boys), and sold his Starret for five bucks. "What, you were interested in that old thing?"
Joe
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Most of my FIL's good tools were stolen by an evil in-law (outlaw?) but I did get his 24" Starrett. Nice, very nice. Ed
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Michael Press

I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to buy the Woodcraft square "if" it's square because a square square is square no matter who made it.
As for others, look for anything with a heavy head and an engraved blade. Again, a square square is square no matter who made it.
For additional alternatives search site like MSC (industrial supplies and tools).
www.mscdirect.com
Or, get up early for the next eleventy billion Saturdays and hit the garage/rummage sales.
UA100
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There are other caveats to the Starrett besides accuracy. It works smooth in the handle. It never binds. The graduations on the blade are distinct and very easy to read. SWMBO gave me mine for Christmas. This year, she gave me the Veritas shoulder plane. :-)

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wrote:

I don't think "caveats" was the word you wanted; probably more like "advantages." But I was thinking along the same line as you. Another advantage: the nut that you tighten to lock the blade is captive so it doesn't fall out.
And the blade...omigod, what a pleasure just to look at that thing and be able to read all the markings. That's a huge feature for these old eyes.
It definitely has a good feel to it. Sometimes I like to pick it up and just slide the blade back and forth because it feels so nice.
Oh, and it's square.
The Starrett website http://www.starrett.com/ (click on "Precision Tools and Gauges", then "Squares", then "Combination Squares with square head - Series Nos. 11H, 33H") has all of the possible permutations of their squares listed. It takes a little while to figure out, but you can get the head in either forged hardened steel or cast iron. You can get blades either chromed (satin) or not. You can get 4", 6", 12", 18", or 24" blades (the 4 and 6" are not interchangable with the others as the head is smaller). You can get the markings in fractions or decimal or metric. There're probably one or two I missed.
The most common seems to be a 12" cast head, satin chrome blade, graduated in fractions. It's designator is C11H-12-4R.
Another good site to look at them is the Museum of Woodworking:
http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Category_Code=TMT&Screen=CTGY
Worth a visit; the square is definitely worth buying. Don't bother with the extra heads.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
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I have an old Stanley that is square.
--

http://users.adelphia.net/~kyhighland


"Michael Press" < snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
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FWW published a review of combination squares within the last year or so, I think.
I just bought myself the Starrett 6" combination for Christmas and I highly recommend it. The difference compared to a cheap square is considerable. And there's something about the basic quality of the tool; you can "feel" it in the heft in hand and the way it feels in use.
Check out prices at The Japan Woodworker (www.japanwoodworker.com); they're the best I've seen.
Disclaimer: Not affiliated. Claimer: Satisfied repeat customer.
-JBB

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Yep, that's a good price all right. Someone had a sale on them for $61 recently, down from $72 or whatever, but this at $59 and change is nice. I agree that I'd rather spend the $$ on a nice tool that I can take pride in and will trust. One question though - can you use this 12" rule as a 12" straightedge?
JP

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wrote:

McFeely's had a sale on them for a couple of months about a year ago. I got mine there for $49. As I recall, in a fit of buyer's remorse just after I hit the "Buy" button, I looked around the internet and found that that price wasn't all that unusual. That was a year ago, mind you...

Yep. Why not?
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
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wrote:

Just did an internet search on "C11H-12-4R" which is the version I got from McFeely's last year. If you can't find one for under $55, you aren't even trying.
http://www.mytoolstore.com/starrett/combin02.html $52.75
http://store.yahoo.com/squaredrive/ms-2784.html $54.95 (McFeeley's)
Have a ball. You'll love this square.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
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<< I'm hoping for an alternative that's priced in the same universe as reality. >><BR><BR>
The reality is that the Starrett is a square that stays square, and will be so 30 years from now. Plus the ruler is accurate.
You can get a cheaper one, but don't blame anyone but yourself when the project you make out of the expensive wood becomes tgrach because you saved a few bucks.
Look, save some dough, get a Record plane and tune it up instead of a Lie Nielsen; it will be 80-90 per cent of what you want. Get a contractor's saw, and go slowly, instead of zipping through 8/4 maple; learn how to sharpen a hand saw and get a century old Disston. But there are some things you don't compromise with. Honest, this is a high ticket item you wlll never regret.
BTW, just to let you know, Starrett trues up theri equipment with lasers, strobes, ultra everything. Everyone else trues up their equipment by holdiing it next to a Starrett.
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Nope.

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DarylRos wrote:

I hold mine up against the box that my AutoCAD 2000 came in.
UA100
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I hold my HF squares up to the corner of the wooden box I made using them. Perfect match - every time!
OP: Buy the Starrett and move on with your life.
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