When you do diagonal measurements to determine if a project is 'square'
is there a science to deciding which way to 'whack' it or which clamp to
crank another turn based on which diagonal is longer or shorter? I must
have spent 10 minutes of glue drying time trying to figure out a way to
get my raised panel (on the table saw) doors squared and I was still off
more than I'd like to admit by the time I had to just let it be.
Do this Mike - it's easier than trying to explain. Knock together a simple
frame with overlap joints and one nail pinning each joint. Now you have a
frame that will easily rack. Take your measurements across the diagonals.
Experiment and rack the frame and them measure. You'll quickly see which
way to adjust when you're out of square.
As to when I take my measurements - I do it immediately after glue up. I
nail or screw a diagonal brace in place to hold it all square. You only
need one which runs diagonally between any two pieces. Once it's square
it's safe to tighten down the clamps if you're using them.
This is true, but I elected not to make this specific suggestion since it's
possible the OP does not have clamps long enough to do this. I took the
approach of seeing (understanding) what needs to be done and then leaving
the actual mechanics of accomplishing that to the imagination.
You want to make the longer diagonal measurement shorter.
If one diagonal measured 10" and the other measured 9-3/4" you would
make the 10" one shorter by 1/8" & they would then measure the same.
To be snide, it takes about 1 minute max to put a
clamp on and see what it does with a square. If
the frame goes more out of square, move the clamp
position. Clamping across corner to corner would
be ideal but I've never had a way to do that.
Yeah I know, make a quick easy jig, but that's a
little late when the glue is drying. The other
solution is to dry clamp and mark positions, but
that seems a little severe.
All one really to do is set clamp(s) at a slight
angle instead of 90 degrees. That will rack the
frame. I find that I usually can get away with
all clamps except one at 90 degrees, but I may
have to tighten the non-90 degree one a little
first. Gets a little hairy with a big bookcase,
but just use slower setting glue.
This is true - and not really snide. I couldn't understand why someone
would post such a question when a little trial and error with some scrap
would have answered his own question. That's why my original reply
suggested just such a thing.
Why read a book when you can figure out the universe on your own.
That's basically what you're saying.
Do a google search on squaring and tell me how much you find. I've done
many projects and not had such an issue as I had today... it just made
me think that there has to be some 'rule' about how to square up. The
post was made simply to leverage the knowledge of the people in the
group. If you think its a stupid question then move on to the next
post. If you have willingness, knowledge, and time to bring to the
table, then post it, otherwise why throw insults?
Mike Marlow wrote:
Well - there is something to be said for observing what you can see without
just asking about it.
I didn't "just throw insults" Mike. I posted a reply that suggested a
method that would reveal "the secret" to you in a way that you'd either
understand for life, or be able to go back to if you ever needed. I thought
is was a question that would have better been served by a little
experimenting in the shop, but I also understand that the world does not
always turn that way, so I answered the question. You have to expect that
if you ask a pretty fundamental question about something that you could
easily have demonstrated in five minutes in the shop that someone is going
to take note of that.
OK Mike, I think most of us assume that the answer
is obvious, but perhaps it isn't. I will answer
exactly what you asked.
Stick a square in a corner. If the wood doesn't
touch the square on both sides when the apex
touches the corner, put a clamp across the two
adjacent corners and pull those adjacent corners
together. If the wood touches the legs of the
square but the apex won't touch the corner, put a
clamp that goes from that corner to the opposite
corner and tighten. After you tighten the cross
corner clamp a little, keep testing the squareness
and tightening the clamp until the corner is
square, then test a corner adjacent to that
corner. If you get the first corner square but an
adjacent corner is not square, you are not pulling
the frame together insufficiently at the corners,
you are bending the wood, or the frame pieces are
not cut correctly to length to make a square.
That is why you fit it together dry before you
I would not expect to get a big case together by
myself and fully adjusted for square in 10
minutes; probably more like 15 minutes if anything
goes wrong-- like protective blocks fall out, I
need more blocks or different length, or the set
end of the clamp won't hold. So, I use carpenters
glue (the yellow stuff). It may tack (or
partially set) in 10 minutes but a little pressure
will break that tack and that is fine since the
tack and the hardness will rebuild.
Mike W. wrote:
OK, I apologize for taking it personally.
I know that squaring is a fundamental part of WWing. I've squared up
many things. Some perfectly and some not so perfectly (i.e. yesterday).
I just had an exceptionally difficult time getting it done on my first
raised panel doors yesterday, even after I _dry_ fit them together and
they were fine. It seemed that my _yellow_ glue had some turbo charger
in it to dry super fast. I do know how to check for square and 'loosen
this and tighten that' and check again then 'loosen this and tighten
that' but I thought that those in this group with more experience could
give some known (to everyone but me) rules to do it in an orderly
manner. Better yet, I was hoping someone would just drop some all
enlightening and elegant one-liner that would explain it in such a
compelling way that I would simply just get it and want to smack myself
in the forehead and say 'Sheeesh, that was obvious'.
As it stands, you, as well as others laid out the 'rules' I was looking
for, so thanks to everyone.
George E. Cawthon wrote:
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