precision squares

Anybody out there had good luck w/ the sets of so-called 'engineers' or 'machinists' or 'precision' squares? Particularly the ones that come in the boxed sets of 3 or 4? Any supplier specifically recommended? FWIW, I'm more interested in something like what I see in Grizzly or Woodcraft than say, a set of Starretts (my bank account aches just looking at the prices on some of those).
Thanks,
nuk
--
I know more than enough *nix to do some very destructive things,
and not nearly enough to do very many useful things.
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How about buying just one Starrett or Browne & Sharpe and then a set of the less precise ones? Use the good one to tweak and check the less expensive ones. I have a Starrett in my box at work and I never use it for anything but as a reference to check my other squares. Mark
nuk wrote:

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For metal working I would agree with you. Wood is much less critical unless you are a real perfectionist of a cabinet maker. You can check a square by marking a line at right angles to the straight edge of a board. Then turn the square around and check the line. It should be the same. If not, the error is half the difference between the lines. If you want to check an edge against the light. Take a straight edged piece of paper and fold it in half. The corner is exactly 90 deg.
John
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I have a set from Enco (cheap import) and a few good starret ones that I got at a garage sale. I can't tell a difference between them, other than the finish on the starretts are a little nicer. They are all "square." As square as you need for woodworking anyway.
I use these things ALOT. They are so useful. I don't know what I would do without them. I also use all of the sizes, so I would recommend getting a set. Sometimes the bg ones are too big, and teh small ones are too small, it just depend on what you are doing.
Joe in Denver My woodworking website: www.the-wildings.com/shop/

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got
square
it
<snip>
I go along with Joe, regretably for the type of work I do I couldn't justify the small difference in quality for the huge price differential between the imports and home products. I use Enco (www.use.enco.com) quite extensively and it is worth checking out their monthly and close out offers. Majority of the time they give the specification of each of their products so you can see exactly what you are sacrificing, if anything.
Bernard R
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Bernard Randall wrote...

oops, typo: it's www.use-enco.com
Jim
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I use the cheapies all the time. Probably the most used squares in my shop... -JD

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I got mine off of ebay about 2 yrs ago for $5.00. They work fine. I have 1 starrett that use to check them occassionaly - espically when they fall off the bench. (Its a lot easier on the stomach to drop a $5.00 knock off than a Starrett!!)

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Try Brown and Sharpe, http://www.brownandsharpe.com/ Their boxed set of 4 workshop squares goes for under $50. I'm very happy with mine, Zeke
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I noticed that it says "Squareness of the blade edge to the working face of stock is .0006"." But what about the other edge? For that matter, which is the working edge? I'd much rather have a square with all edges in good alignment.
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I purchased 2 sets of 3 from Harbor Freight that were made in India. I checked them against a Starret and of the 6 one was slightly off, the rest were as close the Starrett as I could see with by eye. I called HF about the defective set (actually only one of the 3 in the set) and they said just keep that set and we will ship you another. When that set arrived all 3 were OK as checked against my Starrett square. I was able to "tweak" the one that was slightly off and have it match the Starrett also. So I got 3 of each, 2, 3 and 4 inch engineers squares, for the price of 2 sets. Each set was only a few dollars as I recall.
If you have a known-good square to check them against, and the seller has a good return policy, you have little to lose by trying some of imports
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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I have a set of 3 from Woodcraft that I am well pleased with. I don't know about the Starretts or Grizzlys, but if you are big on "Buy American", my Woodcraft set is prominently marks as "Made in India".
I don't know if they would be acceptable for extremely tight tolerance machining work, but for the accuracy required in most woodworking applications they more than fit my needs.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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My favorite is an early 4" Stanley #1 with a patent date of 1874. There's a picture of one like it at:
http://users.ev1.net/~gmuster/TypeStudy/stanno2pitstypestudy.htm
and yes, it's still square.
PS The heading on the web page says type 2, but the picture is titled a type 1.
I think I paid a quarter for it :-).
So look around, especially at estate sales. There's some good squares out there.
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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DAGS on "Harbor Freight Squares". Other's have had great luck - I didn't. All of mine were way off when compared to the Starrett. Took a chance on a boxed set from Garrett Wade - they're fine.
The cheapest, precise squares I have -- are several inexpensive plastic drafting squares. I think I paid $8 for the 14" monster and the 90 and 45's are dead-on against the Starrett.
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hear:

The "Master Square" in my shop is a flourescent acrylic Allen 24" (yes, 24") 45-45-90 drafting square. I also got a 16" and a 12". I find these types of squares to be very useful for setting up fixtures, jigs, etc., because they can be lain flat, and the two edges used to align whatever's ailing you.
I also have a few of the "engineer" squares and they seem to be good enough. I've never had a corner or whatever judged square by them mess up some piece of construction, so for me, they're square enough.
But for setting up machines, etc., where a long, straight, square reference edge is essential, I'll keep my drafting squares!
Joe
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I have a 7" Incra Square and I think it would fall into the 'precision' category. I really like it. It is square and the fact that it is nice and wide it will stand up on its own without me holding it. Plus it didn't cost an arm and a leg.
http://www.incra.biz/Products/GuaranteedSquare.html -- Jim
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I want one of those Starretts combination squares and I'm saving up to eventually get one. Then I'll make a special custom wooden case to store and to protect it.
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I bought a set made in India from Woodcraft. Not too bad.

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You can occassionally get lucky on Ebay for a starrett. Sometime right after christmas, read broke as everyone else, I won a 6" Starrett for $23.00 with the shipping. Love that square, love it. They were, and still mostly do, go for around $50 each on Ebay.
Alan
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