How can I square my square?

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Blog entry by nobuckle posted 1222 days ago 1257 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


956 posts in 1492 days

#1 posted 1222 days ago

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 1365 days

#2 posted 1222 days ago

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


3048 posts in 1278 days

#3 posted 1222 days ago

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 (online now)


112000 posts in 2179 days

#4 posted 1222 days ago

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.

-- Custom furniture

View Grandpa's profile


3048 posts in 1278 days

#5 posted 1222 days ago

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 1363 days

#6 posted 1221 days ago

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 (online now)


12970 posts in 1943 days

#7 posted 1221 days ago

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


240 posts in 1629 days

#8 posted 1202 days ago

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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