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$2.50 Shop Made Spring-Loaded Straddle Square

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Project by DeLayne Peck posted 05-03-2015 02:00 AM 4625 views 56 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Marking 3 sides of a piece of stock is a error ridden, clumsy, tedious task. Especially if you have a large number of lines to lay out. Commercial straddle squares capable of marking 3 faces without moving the square are expensive. So, I made one at $77.49 off retail.

Materials: One 2 1/2”, 1/4 20 TPI, hex head bolt. One #57 spring. Cost $2.50 Scrap 3/4” stock.

Construction:
1. Make two identical 3”W x 2”H blocks. My stock happened to be .60” thick Honduran Mahogany.
2. Cut out 1” x your stock thickness slots on each side.
3. Center mark the resulting guide tabs. (See photo 4) It’s important that bolt passes above the guide blocks.
4. Drill through Guide Tab A with a 1/4 bit.
5. Slowly drill tap Guide Tab B, 1/4” 20 TPI. B block is the traveler. I used a Greenlee Combination Drill Tap.
6. Cut two identical guide blocks, 1” x 2 1/2”. Glue in place into place on the A block, spring side.
7. Assemble, use a block to hold the straddle square fully open, carefully trim both ends square with a table saw.

Notes: Accommodates stock 1/8” to 1 1/4”. Works very smoothly and accurately. Sand to suit. A brass insert could be used instead of taping. Finished with Watco Oil. This project begs to have some sharp edges relieved with sanding or a 1/8” round over bit. Adding brass strips to inner faces was suggested in the comments!

Question, how I did cut out the tabs: I used a band saw and touched the cuts up by hand sanding. I checked frequently for square in every direction. Every dimension must be square and parallel to ensure the traveler tab does not bind, and runs smooth and straight.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.





20 comments so far

View cutmantom's profile

cutmantom

389 posts in 2498 days


#1 posted 05-03-2015 02:24 AM

Cool idea

View Johnny Boy's profile

Johnny Boy

76 posts in 2682 days


#2 posted 05-03-2015 02:35 AM

I love it

-- Johnny Boy

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7172 posts in 2040 days


#3 posted 05-03-2015 03:52 AM

Fine ingenuity there DJPeck, good job!

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

3392 posts in 1667 days


#4 posted 05-03-2015 08:54 AM

A meticlous make and well detailed useful project

-- Regards Robert

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

922 posts in 1776 days


#5 posted 05-03-2015 09:18 AM

Neat and saves money!
Jim

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View MarkTheFiddler's profile

MarkTheFiddler

2053 posts in 1652 days


#6 posted 05-03-2015 02:59 PM

Thank you. You just made my life easier.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

2427 posts in 1872 days


#7 posted 05-03-2015 04:20 PM

Great idea, yet another project to add to the list. (laughing)

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

842 posts in 2439 days


#8 posted 05-03-2015 04:30 PM

Nice idea! Love the spring part.

View gbear's profile

gbear

492 posts in 3562 days


#9 posted 05-03-2015 05:15 PM

Sweet!!

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

4881 posts in 2130 days


#10 posted 05-03-2015 06:19 PM

Nice tool !
This should be a useful tool for many and looks like a straight forward build .

Klaus

-- Kiefer https://www.youtube.com/user/woodkiefer1/videos

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3963 posts in 2628 days


#11 posted 05-03-2015 10:31 PM

I saw the ad for the Woodpecker straddle square, and said to myself…..... that is one overpriced item, but a useful item. Thanks for the home built engineering, I shall build one for each of my shops!!

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

5729 posts in 2831 days


#12 posted 05-04-2015 05:33 AM

Nice stuff DeLayne!
Better a shop made tool than an expensive purchased one!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View drbyte's profile

drbyte

727 posts in 3525 days


#13 posted 05-04-2015 01:09 PM

Nice! It may be begging for some edge softening but it’s screaming out for some brass strips on the faces!!

-- Dennis, WV

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

426 posts in 1665 days


#14 posted 05-04-2015 01:15 PM

Thank you Brethren. I hope this simple tool is valuable in a lot of shops! It would interesting to see a dovetail variation of this marking tool.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23164 posts in 2330 days


#15 posted 05-04-2015 01:20 PM

Nice work. It will be very useful in your shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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