Actually, longer blades are available but what you typically
see with a double square are 4" and 6" blades.
For me combination square hands down but probably for a
different reason than most. I usually use several squares
when marking a job out. On more than one occasion I've had
a double square set with the head midish on the blade and
had to fumble around with it to determine which end of the
blade was set up.
Also keep in mind that 45's are a whole bunch easier on a
The first thing I get out at the beginning of a project is a
combination square. It's also the last thing I put away.
young, it will cost you less than 1 buck per year to own it. I would bet
you would wear out at least 3 or more cheapies in the same time. If you
ever get tired of WW, you could resell the Starrett for almost what you paid
My Starrett 4" double-square is the first tool on my bench and the
last off it. Heck, I'm not sure it's ever been off of the bench. Its
small size and the ability to use it one-handed make it handy for all
sorts of things, from serving as a depth gage for mortises, to marking
dovetails, checking for square when edge-jointing, etc.
Having said that, it's not much help for marking wide boards.
My advice is to get both a double-square and a 12" combination
square. If you feel like you can't afford Starrett, you should probably
get another hobby.
Just kidding. There are other alternatives out there, like Brown &
Sharpe and Mitituyo (sp?).
But I wouldn't skimp on a tool like this.
True. You can skimp in allot of areas, layout and setup tools aren't one of
them. And there are plenty of suitable substitutes for Starrett.
I would start with the combo, the 12" with forged square head. Or you may choose
to spring for the full boat, the square head, centering tool and protractor. You
can get all 4 pieces cheaper as a set than if you were to buy them separately.
I have a double square, I think I've had the drill sharpening gauge out of it 4
or 5 times in ten years, it wouldn't be my first choice.
What's the big whoop about the forged head? Mine is the cast iron, and
I can't imagine I'd need to spend more money (like 25% more) on
something that already seems like the best there is.
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
Just sliding the rule through the head wears the head. The rule feels smooth to
your touch, it's not smooth to the head. The steel head will take allot longer
to wear out.
: After loosening the lock press out on the nut to keep the rule from being
pulled into the head by the lock spring till you get the rule close to the
For you people who's tools are used only for woodwork the cast head is probably
all you need. Sawdust isn't all that abrasive.
For those of us who use our tools in more hostile environments where tools are
exposed to abrasive contamination it could well be worth the extra money.
And if you want it tomorrow Grainger has the forged head with 12" rule for $74.
Starrett PN: C33H-12-4R
Grainger stock number: 4K478
McMaster has the same head with both hardened steel blades ($74) and plane steel
blades ($65). Page 2061. I wouldn't do the plane steel blade, couldn't get a
utility knife near it.
Or you could enter C33H-12-4R in Google.
And that just goes to show that we all work differently. My double
square is almost always on my bench. But the important point is the
same: If it's a tool that you use so much, it's worth it to spend the
money necessary to make sure it's good quality.
I think I paid ~$40 for my Starrett double-square, and I know I've
gotten more than my money's worth out of it.
it's really not an either/or thing.
you think that you can't ever have too many routers? try measuring and
layout tools. I have 2 drawers of a roll away tool box filled with
them, a canvas bag full for on site work and lots of singles/misc
about the shop.
Yep. That's why I suggested he start off with a combination and a
Not really. I have one and it sits mostly unused.
Now if you were to ask me about planes. :-}
With that many measuring tools, I would be concerned that they were
all exactly the same (or at least try very hard to make sure you stick
with one set for the duration of a project). I've heard too many
horror stories about mistakes creeping in when you switch from one
measuring tool to another in the middle of a project. (This applies
mostly to measuring tapes, but I can see other areas where it could
On 26 Feb 2004 04:55:22 -0800, email@example.com (Conan the Librarian)
hey Conan.... how many planes DO you have?
tell me about it. I really wish I had enough crowbar to get a really
good master square, for instance. I know that some of my squares are
out- I just try to remember which ones and only use them when the
tolerance is that much or more.
I went shopping for 4 foot straight edges a while back. ones
guaranteed accurate start at about $100. one of these days....
Er ... uh ... metal or wood? :-)
Let's start with smoothers ... last time I looked I had one
homemade wooden one, a C&W, a couple of Knight ones, a L-N #4-1/2, a
L-N #164, a Veritas #164 and an old Stanley #4. Then there's the old
Stanley #5, #6 and #7. A huge (24") old Ohio Tool wooden jointer. A
Sandusky jack/fore. A Veritas low-angle block, plus an old Stanley
#60-1/2 and #65. A L-N low-angle jack.
Then there's some specialty planes like the Stanley #40, #71, #78,
#79, #90, #92, #271. A Record #044. A L-N #140. And a few old
wooden dado planes (1/4", 3/8" and 1/2").
Oh, and a couple scraper planes, like the LN #112 and the Veritas
#112. And the Stanley #80 and Veritas #80 clone.
And then there are various old wooden molding planes that I've got
stuck away in a cabinet until I get around to tuning them.
And then there's my spokeshaves, but they don't really count as
As I wrote in another thread, I sure am glad I got into woodworking
so I could save money by making my own furniture.
Yikes, I think I'd mark them or something so I didn't have to
wonder. :-) But you said you take some to jobsites, so I guess the
ones that are "good enough" get used there.
Man, I'd have a hard time with the crowbar for that one. I'm also
guessing that a good straightedge starts to get a mite heavy by the
time it gets to 4' long. :-}
I dunno ... I got a couple of L-N planes and the Veritas low-angle
block with gift certificates and three other planes were free
(pre-production models given to me for testing). Otherwise, I just
budget some discretionary cash for important tool purchases.
Until recently, wooddorking was my only hobby that involved any
real outlay of cash. (Now that I'm back into flyfishing, that has
changed, but I haven't been buying nay new tools recently.) I've been
driving the same Chebby vang since 1996. My clothes "budget" goes for
shorts, jeans, t-shirts, flannels and Hawaiian shirts and I wear
sandals or tennis shoes. I hardly buy any CD's these days, as there
isn't that much new stuff that's any good anyway. I enjoy a beer and
a smoke, but keep those to a reasonable amount.
It's all about priorities. And as I tell SWMBO, she should be
thankful that I've got a hobby that is good for me and actually
produces something for around the house.
Hey, I could be spending my money on fast women and loose cars.
Setup square at the http://www.patwarner.com/setup_square.html link
has many uses. Can be referenced from either end of the stock, for
setting up templets, scribing, layout and so on.
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