More and more these days I use take fewer measurements with the tape measure
and or rule and or a square. The square that I trust are the relatively
cheap aluminum "Speed Squares". They are heavy duty and are not likely to
ever be knocked out or whack. I find that setting up my equipment correctly
and accurately results in pieces going together such that rechecking square
is non necessary. If you make a square cut, pieces are going to fit
Now, this looks really handy:
I had to find an inside angle and ended up using both my T-bevel and
protractor head on my combo square. This would do it, easily.
I think everyone should have a decent combination square set. The center
finder is reason enough.
Personally, I bought a 12" Starrett combination square when I was
starting out and haven't regretted it a bit. You can trust it to be
accurate, can take pride in a nice tool, and can be sure you'll use it
almost every time you're in the shop. IMO a good combo square is a
must have in a woodshop.
Yup, a 16" combo, a vernier caliper and my trusty Bosch digital
protractor. Oh, I also have a few Swanson Speed Squares lying about
I find final assembly much easier when all the pieces fit :-)
As stated else where spend the money for a speed square that will have
the same accuracy and not break the first time you drop it on the floor,
set something on it, or a hundred other things that are not suppose to
happen to good tools.
I picked mine up at K Mart to exhaust a gift certificate for Christmas.
It has become my most use shop tool. Marking wood, setting up the
table saw, etc.
Nothing wrong with a good speed square, but I hope by responding to the
post about the plastic drafting triangle that you're not suggesting a
person should *not* have such a thing... I have several, and while not
a replacement for a speed square (or a good precision try square or
machinist's square) they are a *very* useful item to have around the
shop. That and a good dial caliper. <highjack> And for gawd's sake,
if any of you don't have a good dial caliper, GET ONE. This one is a
See Nad. See Nad go. Go Nad!
To reply, eat the taco.
I wind up spending several minutes admiring the calipers when at the
local industrial supply place. I've got a good venier caliper, but not a
really nice dial caliper. It's on my birthday present list, though.
Back to squares, my combination square gets a lot of use. The speed
square seems a little rougher and doesn't get as much use.
"The potential difference between the top and bottom of a tree is the
reason why all trees have to be grounded..." -- Bored Borg on
Really... I guess I found other ways to measure things before I got
one, but I don't know how; I'm *constantly* reaching for that thing (or
trying to find it, which reminds me of the "Pencil Principle" - buy
multiples and leave them everywhere). My next door neighbor even went
out and bought one after he spent an afternoon helping me (on one of his
projects) and he saw all the different ways I was using it, and he's not
even a woodworker!
Free bad advice available here.
To reply, eat the taco.
I have a machinists 8" square and rely on it for all my tool setup.
I trust this more then the other squares I have. Got burned once
using a speed square that was off a bit (it went into the trash).
Its construction is robust and will not go out of square. Some
have suggested using a framing square but they can go out of
alignment and besides they are rather large and harder to use on a table
saw, jointer etc whereas the smaller machinists square does the job
very well. I have had mine for 10 years and use it all of the
Jim In FL wrote:
A good 6" machinist combi square is my fave tool. Extremely accurate and
A good place to look for machinist tools is ebay. Companies in the business
of selling these tools are hanging on at inflated prices or have already
gone under. Amazing deals can be found on ebay. I tried to sell one of my
extra micrometers (brand new) on ebay at 60% off. Didn't even get a nibble.
Since USA no longer makes anything, anymore, machinist tools are just rust
collectors. Can't give 'em away. So sad.
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