Looking to tune up my equipment: jointer, TS, etc. I bought a square at HD;
the kind with one metal rule side and one (fiber? plastic?) base.
Well, the darned metal piece moves inside the base, so I have no idea what
is supposed to be "square"! What good is a square that moves inside the
base? And why do some of them actually have a screw to adjust it? (this one
does not) What would I use to square a square, anyway?
Do you all have any suggestions for a *definitive* "square"? Why are some
solid and others not? I've seen "precision" and "super precision"...
What's the difference?
'fess up. How much did you spend on this thing ?
Under $5 ?
Under $3 ?
What did you _expect_ !
My bench square is a cheap Sheffield made beechwood and steel strip
square, of about 10" arm length. Reasonably made (brass wear strip
and good riveting), but no fancy timber. Costs about $10-$12
I also use an all-steel machinist's square of about 4" length for
I'd regard both of the above as just about basic equipment for
benchwork and anyone with a machine tool to align.
For variable angles, I use a combination square. Get a Starrett if
you're in the USA, Mitutoyo elsewhere. Basic rule for combination
squares seems to be that a cast iron body (not mazak or zamac) and a
rule with etched grads (not stamped or printed) won't go far wrong.
The toolbag square is a folding Nobex - aluminium extrusion and a
stainless blade. Surprisingly accurate, and perfectly good for pencil
Don't leave your good "master" square lying on the bench, put it away
when not in use. Check your bench square from time to time (easy) and
replace it if inaccurate.
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
The guy that sells the TS-Aligner also sells several different sizes
of precision squares. Other places have similar items, but you get
what you pay for.
On Sun, 19 Oct 2003 16:26:18 +0100, Andy Dingley
Another option to consider is to buy something along the lines of Incra's
precision squares (both 90 and 45 degree). The blades are solid and can be
bought in both 5" and 7" varities.
Look at them here..
Adding to Andy's suggestions.
Your best bet is a machinists square and don't be afraid to spend a bit.
They a strong a solid. One part is thick so it naturally stands on a flat
surface without wobble. They come in various sizes. 4-6" is best.
As to where to find them, you can find good ones in the Lee Valley
Catalogue, and some in Rockler as well.
"Violin playing and Woodworking are similar, it takes plenty of money,
Handy, but not the same thing. A machinist's square has a solid base
that's heavy and wide enough you can stand it up without holding it.
And as it's steel, you can use a magnet to hold it too.
I wouldn't spend much on one. There are some very cheap ones aroudn
(try Clarke from Machine Mart if you're in the UK) and they're plenty
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
Application, utility, life and precision vary in squares. A
complicated subject about a relatively simple tool. Another example of
a utility square in http://www.patwarner.com/setup_square.html link.
An oblique read may lend some in sight into what a square can and
should do. Tho mine is precise enough for most close woodworking,
precision ground machinist's squares are required to set and calibrate
it and yours.
I have a Union combo square I use. I bought it out of high school when
I did a short stint in a machine shop.
BTW, the other night I decided to see if the company was still in
business and did a search on union, combination, square. I don't
remember how much I spent and have always figured it as a cheap one.
You know you're getting old when the tool you bought (not my dad or
grandad) shows up on the antique tool lists -- sigh....
The good news is they're asking $100 for it.
Slightly off topic but...
I was having trouble setting my miter saw to be 90 degrees. After
tweeking and test cutting a couple of times I checked my 12" carpenter's
square and found that it was off about 1/16" in 12"! I then went through
all the misc squares I had and wound up throwing out 2 others.
Strangely, only one of the "cheap" ones were bad, the other two were
Stanley which I thought should have been ok.
Nothing worse than a guage that is bad.
As for machinist squares, I've got a 4" one from Grizzly that seems to be
plenty accurate for woodworking machine set up. I think I paid <$10 for
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