# The Steel Square

• posted on September 27, 2003, 11:43 pm
My wife found a little book in her uncles old stuff recently - titled - The Steel Square. i'm not all that experienced a woodworker but this was completely new to me.
Found it an absolutely facinating read about how to use this thing to cut rafters and all manner of other difficult angles. is there anything you cant do with it?
would be interested to learn from the ng of your experiences with this marvellous tool.
rgds Ramon
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• posted on September 28, 2003, 12:08 am

Sorry to disappoint, but as a carpenter I can tell you that a \$10 calculator makes all of the tables on a framing square useless. Problems that would use the brace table, the rafter tables, the hundredths scale, the essex table(!), are all much faster and more accurate with a calculator.
I do, however, still occasionally use the twelfths scale.
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• posted on September 28, 2003, 2:05 am
Finnaly and explanation about new construction,the \$10 calculator is not SQUARE.
-- Knowledge speaks, wisdom listen..... Jimi Hendrix

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• posted on September 28, 2003, 5:18 am
Manny Davis wrote:

Here I was starting to lay out the birds mouth on the first of many rafters and I placed my \$10 calculator on the 2X8 and ...
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• posted on September 28, 2003, 3:50 pm
The biggest trick is finding carpenters bright enough to use one.

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• posted on September 28, 2003, 10:18 am
Ramon A wrote:

A buddy is a carpenter, specializing in stairs though he can build you a nice house, starting from bare dirt. He swears he can't do math - algebra or trig is "too hard". But give him a roof rafter rise, run, horizontal distance from ridge board to top of the wall plate and how much eave overhand you want and he'll have the first one done and be marking out the rest from the first before you can shapen your pencil or clear your calculator. Give him the distance from the top of the subfloor on the ground floor to the subfloor on the second floor, along with the horizontal distance he has to play in or how much space he has on the first floor if a landing or two are required and he'll have stairs of uniform rise and run - for the finished floor height - in no time at all. He "can't do math" but he sure knows how to use his square.
charlie b
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• posted on September 28, 2003, 10:31 am
Thanks Charlie, thats the sort of anecdote i'd like to read - theres an essay in here somewhere waiting to be penned.
rgds ramon. ">

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• posted on September 28, 2003, 3:58 pm
says...

Is the book's author Siegle? Excellent work. The language is slightly archaic sounding to our untrained ears, but definitely worth the effort. The amount of geometry that is compressed into the square is phenomenal.
Kim
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• posted on September 28, 2003, 10:45 pm

Meaning he steps off rafters and probably the stairs he builds. It's sloppy and inaccurate and if you and I were together I would show you both methods and you would understand both methods and discard the rafter tables and the square altogether.
But the square is romantic and traditional.

"No time at all" is still slower, much slower if landings are involved. The concepts don't change. What you are trying to do doesn't change. It's only the tool you are using.

The math isn't that hard. Virtually anyone can do it.
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• posted on September 28, 2003, 11:33 pm
Manny Davis wrote:

Bet I couldn't. 2+3=4
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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• posted on September 29, 2003, 6:35 pm

Come on, you should know that 10+111, not 100.
scott
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• posted on September 29, 2003, 10:17 pm
Scott Lurndal wrote:

No, 10+11 is 1011. Even I know that!
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621