A square that is actually square!!!! - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 10-24-2013, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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A square that is actually square!!!!

I need a dead on square.... I like the versatility of a combo square.... I have looked at Starrett combo square and have never heard a bad review.... They are pricey but u get what u pay for.... Are there any others out there with the same reputation? What do u use?
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post #2 of 26 Old 10-24-2013, 09:23 PM
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Ok....so here's where you need to make a decision.....there is NO dead on square.......a starret may be accurate to .0001 degrees square......but its still technically not square....

If your using it for woodworking......you likely don't need anything more accurate than that. I have found that the empire true blue squares are extremely accurate for their price.....This is the one I use.

http://www.amazon.com/Empire-Level-E250-Professional-Combination/dp/B000ETUNEU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1382664019&sr=8-3&keywords=empire+square

They're available at Sears and Menards.....and can be had for under 15 bucks. Before spending more....i'd look at one and see if it meets your needs....
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post #3 of 26 Old 10-24-2013, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Ok I guess I misuse the phrase dead on lol.... But yes you are correct and I would like to get as close as I can.... I mainly want it to set my tools up as accurately as possible... Thanks for the suggestion.... The price of the starrett is why I don't own one
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post #4 of 26 Old 10-25-2013, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmac08 View Post
I need a dead on square.... I like the versatility of a combo square.... I have looked at Starrett combo square and have never heard a bad review.... They are pricey but u get what u pay for.... Are there any others out there with the same reputation? What do u use?
I use Stanley's, in both 12" and 16". metal body. I check them first.





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post #5 of 26 Old 10-25-2013, 10:26 AM
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You can get inexpensive engineer's squares, Rockler carries some. These are perfect for machine set ups. Save the combo squares for other work that they are more suited for.
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post #6 of 26 Old 10-25-2013, 11:21 AM
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It took me 3 purchases before I got a square which was square.

The one which is accurate I purchased from Grizzly, no longer sold. It was their "DIN" reference square. I got a 90 deg and 45 deg at the time.

This is what they now offer. Likely to also be square.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/90-W...e-5-x-8-/G9642

If anyone wants a nice looking rosewood handled square with brass rivets and edge, which is guaranteed to not be square, let me know. Looks pretty. Great for gathering dust.
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post #7 of 26 Old 10-25-2013, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan50hrl View Post
Ok....so here's where you need to make a decision.....there is NO dead on square.......a starret may be accurate to .0001 degrees square......but its still technically not square....

If your using it for woodworking......you likely don't need anything more accurate than that. I have found that the empire true blue squares are extremely accurate for their price.....This is the one I use.

Empire Level E250 12-Inch Heavy Duty Professional Combination Square w/Etched Stainless Steel Blade and True BlueR Vial - Amazon.com


They're available at Sears and Menards.....and can be had for under 15 bucks. Before spending more....i'd look at one and see if it meets your needs....
I *think* they sell these as Home Depot as well.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Empire-12...9#.Umq1qfnryqA

Last edited by Chris Curl; 10-25-2013 at 02:18 PM.
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post #8 of 26 Old 10-25-2013, 02:10 PM
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But I have gravitated more towards the speed square type of things ... it's kinda hard for those to get out of square ... :shrug:


Last edited by Chris Curl; 11-01-2013 at 12:56 AM.
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post #9 of 26 Old 10-25-2013, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmac08 View Post
I need a dead on square.... I like the versatility of a combo square.... I have looked at Starrett combo square and have never heard a bad review.... They are pricey but u get what u pay for.... Are there any others out there with the same reputation? What do u use?
There are many others out there that have the capability to be perfectly square. I have a very old, cheap and not even sure of the brand that will be on 90 degrees every time.

Take a sheet of cardboard with you to the store. Be sure there is one good, solid straight edge. Also have a sharp pencil. If you see a combo square that looks likely give it a "test." The test will not hurt the tool and will tell you if you want to buy that specific item.

Loosen the set screw and reset it a few times just to be sure of repeatability.

George

PS Also take an engineer drawing/architects 45degree triangle with you to check the angle measurement. They are cheap.
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post #10 of 26 Old 10-28-2013, 11:36 AM
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we keep a starret in the drawer for reference. it is dead on enough for woodworking. then we buy cheaper ones and tune them to the starret, and use them everyday. so if we drop one it doesn't hurt as much.
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post #11 of 26 Old 10-30-2013, 08:46 AM
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I ordered both the empire 12" square and 12" combo square from amazon for $17 and $10 respectively. I will comment on them in a few days but they look like crazy good value for the money.
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post #12 of 26 Old 10-30-2013, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Yes plz let us know bob.... I like Tims idea of using the starrett to check the others.... Plus it will be nice if I drop a square it don't make me cry lol
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post #13 of 26 Old 10-31-2013, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Cmac08 View Post
I need a dead on square.... I like the versatility of a combo square.... I have looked at Starrett combo square and have never heard a bad review.... They are pricey but u get what u pay for.... Are there any others out there with the same reputation? What do u use?
I just bought a Craftsman combo yesterday. When I got home and made a check it was as close as I could read. One line was right on top of the other.


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post #14 of 26 Old 10-31-2013, 09:13 PM
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So since I'm brand new to woodworking I can't really give it a 'check' for perfection as I wouldn't have the tools to give measurements within fractions of an inch, however these seem to be well built.
The combo square has a really nice bubble level and the ruler can also come completely out if you unscrew it far enough.
When the knob is at maximum tightness I pulled on the ruler edge and with about 25pds of force and it didn't move from it's place, very sturdy.
I particularly like the speed square and it's thick 3/16''s of solid aluminum. The finish was also a bit nicer and cleaner than the combo square which had a different color and tone to it, although i'm sure that means nothing.
It just has such a nice heavy solid feel to it. I think I will probably use that more often until I figure out better uses for the combo square.
for $27 shipped free for both (I have amzon prime), I'd have to recommend them to anyone. (make sure it says "ships from and sold by amazon.com" so you can avoid third party sellers).
Here's some pics to enjoy.



Last edited by BobLongwood; 10-31-2013 at 09:16 PM.
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post #15 of 26 Old 11-10-2013, 08:39 AM
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I have at least 8 squares I use in the shop. They are:
6" try square (old metal Stanley)
8" try square (old metal Stanley)
16" (est.) Craftsman Try square
3" machinist square (for machine setup)
6" combination square (Swanson Loews(?)
12" combination square (older Starrett)
Framing square
Drywall square
Drafting triangles

Of all the combination squares I have used, the Starrett, and a Union, one I had are by far a lot nicer than the others. Both have a hardened rule. They slide a lot smoother than the others.

The 6" combo. square is a handy size to measure set backs etc. 12" can do the same, but the smaller size is easier to handle for jobs it can do. I just found a smaller size one with a 8"(?) rule. It has the smaller head, and rule. Not sure if I will use it much.

I read, that something about the newer Starrett combo squares, being not as good as the older ones.

If I didn't buy tools at estate and yard sales, I wouldn't have the Starrett! Or most of the others!

As far as keeping the Starrett as a standard, and not using it, for actual work. Why have it? I never used a square to check another. Just use the flip it over, method.
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post #16 of 26 Old 11-10-2013, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Pirate.... Do u have any luck with your Swansen? I have bought 2 from lowes and checked them and the 12" was almost 1/8" off just doing the flip-over!!! The second was still pretty bad.... I only use them for a story stick.....

I have a grand Idea.... If I have a square that is way off but I use it for EVERYTHING from setting tools up to final assembly how would I ever know somthing was off?! Bahahaha
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post #17 of 26 Old 11-10-2013, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by TimPa View Post
we keep a starret in the drawer for reference. it is dead on enough for woodworking. then we buy cheaper ones and tune them to the starret, and use them everyday. so if we drop one it doesn't hurt as much.

Why do you need a reference square to check against? It is very easy to get an exact check using the subject square. The 45 degree point is mostly easily checked usinf an accurate triangle.

George
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post #18 of 26 Old 11-10-2013, 04:58 PM
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The Swanson combo square is accurate as tested with a flip test. I mainly use it for marking set backs.
My sizes were of a little off on my squares.
6" Swanson was 7"
2, metal try squares are 7" and 9"
small frame combo square is 9"
Machinist square is 4"
Wood/metal Craftsman try square is 18"

I just use them and don't measure them!

If I was just starting out on a budget, I would look for an accurate 12" combo square, first. Bring a 12" x 12" piece of wood with jointed edges, and check any square before buying.

Be sure you get a "square deal"
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post #19 of 26 Old 11-10-2013, 08:18 PM
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Why do you need a reference square to check against? It is very easy to get an exact check using the subject square. The 45 degree point is mostly easily checked usinf an accurate triangle.

George
I prefer not to trust a flip test as absolute, as it relies on a perfect straight edge to verify the square. what is your "exact check" method?
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post #20 of 26 Old 11-10-2013, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Cmac08
Ok I guess I misuse the phrase dead on lol.... But yes you are correct and I would like to get as close as I can.... I mainly want it to set my tools up as accurately as possible... Thanks for the suggestion.... The price of the starrett is why I don't own one
I've seen some older machinist tools on EBay for a fraction of their cost. Try that.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.


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