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#### Steve62

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Hi everybody. Newly registered I have a simple question. Even on expensive squares the numbers for inches or centimeters on the blade sometimes are in reverse order. Starting with 0 at the end of the blade and ending at the stock. This does not make any sense to me, or does this serve any special purpose?

#### DaveTTC

· Turning Wood Into Art
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4,043 Posts
Hi everybody. Newly registered I have a simple question. Even on expensive squares the numbers for inches or centimeters on the blade sometimes are in reverse order. Starting with 0 at the end of the blade and ending at the stock. This does not make any sense to me, or does this serve any special purpose?
I assume you are talking about a square with a sliding blade. if so then you can set your blade to a required measurement and then mark a line on a piece of timber, works like a gauge, put your pencil on the end of the blade

#### DaveTTC

· Turning Wood Into Art
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4,043 Posts

#### railaw

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That's an interesting question. I always figured that it was just so that you could easily measure from either side of the square, but now that I think about it, I wonder when one would measure from the Farside of the square.

#### Steve62

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Discussion Starter · ·
I was thinking it could be a tricky thing, like for finding the middle or something. But it's just nonsensical, I guess.

#### Gene Howe

· SS user
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2,686 Posts
Hmmmm. None of my fixed squares even have numbers. The sliding ones have numbers on both edges and both sides. One edge is numbered from the end, the other from the "stock".
The fixed squares are only used to confirm square. For me, the incremental lines on the sliding ones are used as reference only, as in determining distances from an edge or to transfer distance from work to machine, as in router bit height. The numbers are inconsequential.

#### woodnthings

· where's my table saw?
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32,680 Posts
easy of measuring

That's an interesting question. I always figured that it was just so that you could easily measure from either side of the square, but now that I think about it, I wonder when one would measure from the Farside of the square.

You can not easily measure from the inside of the square unless you can hook it over the end. You can more easily measure from the end towards the inside.
Personally won't use a square to measure at all.
I use a flat steel scale. I also set my tri-square to the dimension and scribe or make multiple repetitive measurements easily. Some blades have a small nick in the end to accept the point of your scribe or pencil so the scribed line is more accurate.

#### BZawat

· Registered
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It's to more easily calculate pitch, plumb, and level cuts on rafters/hips/valleys etc. when using as a framing square.

#### woodnthings

· where's my table saw?
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did you look at the images?

No, I mean squares with a fixed blade. Like these:
http://goo.gl/SvaGM
http://goo.gl/4NF4r
http://goo.gl/RPTwm
It's to more easily calculate pitch, plumb, and level cuts on rafters/hips/valleys etc. when using as a framing square.
Those are NOT rafter squares with the roof pitch tables printed on. :no: They are called carpenter's squares or tri squares:
Carpenter's Square - Try Square - Tri Square

Photo Courtesy Price Grabber Copyright 2010 Used With Permission
The carpenter's try square is similar to a machinist's square although the stock is generally made from rosewood with a brass facing on the inside edge for accuracy and the blade usually has marked measurement guides useful for measuring miters and lines for joins. Carpenter's squares are usually larger than machinist's squares and so are less useful for miniaturists working with smaller models. The carpenter's square is not considered to be as accurate as a machinist's square, as the materials it is made from are more susceptible to bending and wear. It is useful for marking, but not for setting a true square on saws and other tools. Try squares are available with blades from 3 – 15 inches long.

#### railaw

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406 Posts
woodnthings said:
Those are NOT rafter squares with the roof pitch tables printed on. :no: They are called carpenter's squares or tri squares:
Carpenter's Square - Try Square - Tri Square

The carpenter's try square is similar to a machinist's square although the stock is generally made from rosewood with a brass facing on the inside edge for accuracy and the blade usually has marked measurement guides useful for measuring miters and lines for joins. Carpenter's squares are usually larger than machinist's squares and so are less useful for miniaturists working with smaller models. The carpenter's square is not considered to be as accurate as a machinist's square, as the materials it is made from are more susceptible to bending and wear. It is useful for marking, but not for setting a true square on saws and other tools. Try squares are available with blades from 3 &#150; 15 inches long.
Agree with all that. So why don't the numbers go in the same direction on each face?

#### BZawat

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Oops my bad. Link wouldn't open and I just assumed, never seen numbers stamped on a try square.

I guess that's what happens when you assume lol

#### Dominick

· Log dog
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Oh!!!!theres numbers on them?
Laughing!!!!

BZawat

#### Dustincoc

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20 Posts
Depth measurements

#### fire65

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242 Posts
No idea, but while you are at it, tell me why tape measures are made for left handed people. I know you can order a right handed but why are standard tapes for leftys
If you do not know what I mean, get your tape. If you hold it with your left hand and pull it out you can measure which is fine, but the tape is upside down.

#### Wema826

· master sawdust maker
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No idea, but while you are at it, tell me why tape measures are made for left handed people. I know you can order a right handed but why are standard tapes for leftys
If you do not know what I mean, get your tape. If you hold it with your left hand and pull it out you can measure which is fine, but the tape is upside down.
this is a simple solution. the tape measure was designed and built by a person who obviously uses the right side of his brain! in other words, I am a lefty and that is the best I can come up with.... lol

#### Billy De

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Just a wag but it could be as simple as when we write letters and numbers, we do it from left to right,not right to left.set a machine up to print numbers left to right and that's just what its going to do,left to right.

#### BWSmith

· Really underground garage
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2,550 Posts
Tripping on back in time..........tri(or try) square in pocket,rabbit plane in hand,they were used for depth measure.....along with keeping tabs on squareness when planing.As mentioned above.

Also as mentioned above it works better for a lot of "flat" measures.

Tools were expensive,way back when....the ability for them to serve in as many forms as possible was seen as a plus.

woodnthings

#### Longknife

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Had to look at my square and it's numbered like this

With the lower scale you can measure from an edge and with the upper inside a box or cabinet. Have to say though I rarely use the square for measuring.

BW, nice to hear from you. Where have you been, on a walkabout again?

#### cabinetman

· Old School
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24,011 Posts
No idea, but while you are at it, tell me why tape measures are made for left handed people. I know you can order a right handed but why are standard tapes for leftys
If you do not know what I mean, get your tape. If you hold it with your left hand and pull it out you can measure which is fine, but the tape is upside down.
They aren't that hard to read upside down. The same problem exists for all those right handed people that have a situation that has to be measured from right to left.

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