Simple Walnut and Maple Try Square

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Project by tr33surg3on posted 10-13-2011 07:11 PM 2333 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a simplified version of the try square project in Jim Tolpin’s The New Traditional Woodworker: From Skill Set to Mind Set . The handle is soft maple (I think), the rest is thin stock walnut. The finish is six layers of Zissner Bullseye Sealcoat brushed on which I understand is essentially a 2# cut of dewaxed shellac.

I left out some of the embellishments such as curves on the non-measuring surfaces and the pins at the joint.
It’s my first real woodworking project and I learned a lot about squaring the stock and measuring, sawing and planing (somewhat) accurately with hand tools. You can see I cut the slot just a little too deep in the second picture.

It’s lighter and easier to manage than my combination square so I actually put it to use. I liked it well enough that in the future I’d make one or two larger ones if I need a small project.

-- Tim -- Tools to make tools to's tools all the way down.

5 comments so far

View woodzy's profile


418 posts in 2703 days

#1 posted 10-13-2011 07:43 PM

Using those woods was a nice touch.
I like the clean lines and look of the square withthout the pins.
Nice tool!!

-- Anthony

View KnotCurser's profile


2025 posts in 3093 days

#2 posted 10-13-2011 08:06 PM

I agree w/ Anthony – good choice of woods and nice, plain lines.

This will be used a LOT I am guessing. I have to make one myself.


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View WilcoFlier's profile


58 posts in 3038 days

#3 posted 10-14-2011 07:37 PM

I like it, I want to make a few to. Is is dificult to make him square?

-- Wilco Flier

View tr33surg3on's profile


21 posts in 2449 days

#4 posted 10-14-2011 10:52 PM

WilcoFlier – The technique from the book is to set it up against a known square board (as the book says, yes you need a square to make a square) and mark a line, then you flip it around and mark another line. The midpoint of the narrow resulting V is where you need to adjust to to get it square. You also use a similar technique with a marking gauge to find the center line. It’s one of the points of the “skill set/mind set” approach of the book that it gets you away from absolute measurements (i.e. 90 degrees on a protractor) in favor of relative geometric measurements.

-- Tim -- Tools to make tools to's tools all the way down.

View scueplain's profile


42 posts in 2466 days

#5 posted 10-15-2011 03:22 AM

nice job, you’ll have fun using it .

-- Dave,Portland OR

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