How can I square my square?

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Blog entry by nobuckle posted 03-25-2011 01:03 AM 1739 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a steel framing square that I am trying to square (it’s out of square about 1/16”). I know that if I use a center punch I can open or close the legs of the square. The steps I followed can be found here;

In the pictures it appears as though an aluminum square is being used. This method does not seem to be working for my steel square. Has anyone else experienced such an issue? Given the low cost of carpenter’s squares I’m tempted to buy a new one. The question is, should I go with aluminum or steel? Any thoughts?

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

8 comments so far

View ksSlim's profile (online now)


1275 posts in 2883 days

#1 posted 03-25-2011 02:17 AM

More force required for steel. Al squares actually move more with temperature. Layed in the sun on site, its anyone’s guess.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View cabs4less's profile


235 posts in 2756 days

#2 posted 03-25-2011 02:44 AM

yeah i had to hit mine several times to square it and check for hair line crack at the corner

-- As Best I Can

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2669 days

#3 posted 03-25-2011 02:45 AM

I have a steel square that was “squared” before I got it. I really didn’t know what those dimples were for years then I learned about squaring a square. Made perfect sense when I read the method used. It will work. Mine is dead on according to my eye.

View a1Jim's profile


117085 posts in 3570 days

#4 posted 03-25-2011 04:34 AM

Hi Doug
It does work on steel squares but you may have to put more than one dimple in it to get it square. I’ve squared many steel squares this way. I like aluminum because it does not rust.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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3259 posts in 2669 days

#5 posted 03-25-2011 06:14 PM

My steel square has about 7 dimples in it. Some are in a 2 row pattern. Might have been a mile out when it was new. It is probably older than my 60 something age. Another comment I would like to make about squares. Everyone says to get a board and make a line then flip the square and see if the line matches the blade on the square. This only works if the board is perfectly straight. If the board has a concave hump that is only a couple of thousands out then the line will not match. Hard to get a straight board.

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 2754 days

#6 posted 03-26-2011 03:38 AM

Grandpa is right, the slightest concave or convex surface can give you fits. I used a piece of furniture grade particle board that has a very true edge. After several attempts I was able to bring the square within an acceptable limit of about 1/64”. Thanks, to all of you, for all the great advice and helpful tips.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3334 days

#7 posted 03-26-2011 03:44 AM

dimple both sides if needed
(flip it over)

like jim
i like aluminum too
and its lighter

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View ElmoSr's profile


241 posts in 3020 days

#8 posted 04-14-2011 01:53 PM

WOW thanks for this info—-i am very old and had never heard this,


-- ElmoSr,Ga. Life is Hard by the Yard,,,But a Cinch by the Inch

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