I've always set my tools up using whatever rulers and squares I have lying
around the shop. Well, I caught one of my squares lying to me, so it's time
to consider buying some new reference edges.
Well the prices of the Starrett and Pinske edges and squares was kind of
shocking to me.
So where can I get the best bang for the buck for these things? For
instance, I see Grizzly carries some at a more reasonable price
are they worthless, or what? Just what kind of precision should I shoot for
in setting up, say, ts or jointer? How long an edge, large a square should I
look for? Is my best bet to use a specialty setup tool?
In accuracy, you mostly get what you pay for ... but how much accuracy do
you need? There are some reasonably priced engineer squares available at
places like WoodCraft that are more than accurate enough for woodworking
tasks and for setting up woodworking blades, bits, etc.
I requested and got a Starrett 12" combination square for Christmas in 2002.
It's worth every penny of the cost. Everything about it is superior to
anything I had before. The peace of mind in knowing that it is square and I
don't have to be concerned about it is great. I've made my mind up to get
the 4" double square and be done with it. :-)
Let me make a suggestion to you. As a diemaker I own a lot of squares.
They are all decent quality (Starrett, B&S, etc) but I have one that
is dead nuts square (within .0001" over 6") and I don't use it for
anything except as a reference to check my other squares. It stays in
my toolbox, when I need to check another one I bring it to my bench and
check it there. In other words, get one square of the best quality you
can afford and use it ONLY to maintain the other ones. If you take care
of it, it will never lie to you. Mark
I have an Incra square and am quite pleased with it. You can get them
at woodcraft and other places. Also check out the Precision Indicating
Squares at: http://www.ts-aligner.com/accessories.htm They seem
-Peter De Smidt
On 07 Feb 2004 00:02:28 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (David Hall) wrote:
I'm sure they are. And as rigid squares, they certainly ought to be,
for they're a lot easier to manufacture with good accuracy.
But try a "low end" combination square and you might as well use a
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
Set of 3 engineer squares from HF were about $10 and like I say as square as
the starret combo could measure. The Starret was my dad's and handed down (has
all three heads). I also have a Disston wood handled square handed down, a $5
carpenter's square, a $5.99 speed square (I think that is the right term for a
fairly rough cast aluminum dohicky from HD) and a plastic drafting triangle.
Thus I have far more squares than I need and I have about $25 in them (I don't
know what dad spent on the starrets and Disston, but I would bet they were
bought used and cheap knowing him).
A draftsman's triangle is more than adequate. Also, a T-square 36"long
in nowhere near $100. Also, a parallel bar for a drafting table is
around $100. Why don't more people use them? maybe because they don't
cost enough. I set my drill press with a 30-60 triangle, my bandsaw
with it also. I use a parallel bar for my jointer and my planer, and a
45 degree triangle for setting my table saw and es[pecially the miter
guage. By the way, a UniFence fence is wonderful for setting up the
planer; it is long, very stable and very straight.
On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 13:59:43 +0000, Andy Dingley
On Sat, 07 Feb 2004 16:17:34 -0600, Lawrence A. Ramsey
Or maybe they're a bit unwieldy in the apron? <G>
Drafting triangles do make excellent setup squares, but why go looking
for it when a perfectly adequate tool is already in your pocket?
Any good combination square measures 90 and 45 degrees accurately, is
square to the handle on both sides and ends of the ruler, is very easy
on the eyes with clear markings, measures depth, thickness, and
distance to about 1/128" accuracy, quickly finds centers of boards,
acts as a great marking gauge, and fits in your pocket. All of this
can be done with no extra parts or add-ons, just the blade and handle.
A 6", my favorite size, is about $40 or so, brand new on eBay.
It's the Swiss Army layout tool! <G>
OK, not having much difficulty finding reasonably squares. Thanks everyone
for the pointers! Lee Valley has a good collection of them for good prices.
Straight edges aren't leaping out of google the way I was hoping, though.
Any help to offer there?
I've got a 6" jointer coming (maybe tomorrow...) so I'd like to get a hold
of a good straight edge for setting it up, but don't want to drop another
$100. I'm thinking 36" would be adequate, ya?
About the only place I know you can get a decent straight edge on a saturday
morning is Grainger. (I think their open saturdays, I tried checking but the
web sites down).
I was looking to replace the square head or buy a new combinati0on square
setup. IIRC Woodworker had the Starrett combination with cast square head
for ~ $70, Grainger had the combination set with a forged head for around
the same price, or less.
You won't get a relyable 36" long straight edge for $100.
A 24" Starrett is in the neighborhood of $80. The price of a good steel rule
is not lineal.
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