Try Square of brass and wood

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Project by PDF posted 02-18-2012 06:02 AM 5370 views 30 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I saw this project in a recent Popular Woodworking and was inspired, plus I had some cocobolo and brass left from my last project. It took longer that I thought it would to get these done. There are two more still in the works, one of ebony and another of ziricote. Since I had to buy the brass for the blade in a large quantity, I decided to make a bunch, pick my favorite, and give the rest away. I plan to keep the ebony one, but it is a fighter and it is not going as smoothly as these three. Satisfying project with a good weight in the hand.

23 comments so far

View Vince's profile


1062 posts in 2592 days

#1 posted 02-18-2012 06:33 AM

Those are very nice squares, how thick are the brass straight edge pieces?
Nice project I’ll have to check out that issue of popular woodworking.

-- Vince

View JohnMeeley's profile


254 posts in 1496 days

#2 posted 02-18-2012 09:16 AM

They are quite beautiful. Your fit and finish is spot on.

-- "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what others say you cannot do."-Walter Bagehot

View helluvawreck's profile


20311 posts in 2030 days

#3 posted 02-18-2012 12:46 PM

These are very nice and they will certainly enhance your shop. Well done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- 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

View waho6o9's profile


6531 posts in 1740 days

#4 posted 02-18-2012 12:46 PM

Well done PDF! What type of adhesive did you use? Thanks for posting.

View DIYaholic's profile


18382 posts in 1838 days

#5 posted 02-18-2012 12:48 PM

Those sure are PURDY! Purdy Damn Fine!

Nicely done. Someone (people) is/are going to be extremely lucky & excited to recieve one!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View ed220's profile


624 posts in 2556 days

#6 posted 02-18-2012 01:50 PM

Very nice. Great construction.

View Terry's profile


189 posts in 2797 days

#7 posted 02-18-2012 02:15 PM

These are very nice. Would you share your source for the brass?

View Bsmith's profile


330 posts in 1834 days

#8 posted 02-18-2012 02:36 PM

Those are very nice. I would like to read about the process to make them. Oh, and by the way. You said, “Give the others away….” great job!

-- Bryan

View PDF's profile


8 posts in 1854 days

#9 posted 02-18-2012 03:02 PM

Thanks for the kind words.

Vince – the straight edge legs are 1/8 by 1 1/2 bar stock. It really does give it a hefty feel that is nice at the bench.

Waho6o9 – I used Gorilla Glue’s epoxy syringe to initially attach the brass and then drilled, countersunk, and tapped in flathead brass 4-40 machine thread fasteners. Once tight, I machined off the heads so that when all worked well, you can’t see the pins that remain at all (if it didn’t, as happened a few times, you see a small ring). The epoxy worked well as long as I didn’t heat up the brass with the sander when trying to get them flat before I got the fasteners in.

Terry – My best local source for local brass is a place in Redwood City, Ca called Allen Steel. He has most everything in a funky, industrial location and sells the brass by weight. The Popular Woodworking article suggested McMaster-Carr for an online option. I bought some from them when I didn’t have time to make it to Allen Steel.

Bsmith – The article in Popular Woodworking is in the October 2011 issue. As always, it didn’t quite work out as easily as it was written in there, but it sure was helpful.

View toconnel50's profile


14 posts in 1501 days

#10 posted 02-18-2012 03:24 PM

Very Challenging project… It’s not anything I would attempt… I admire your woodworking and metal skills… How do I get on the Free list???? Great job…. Tommy

View Routerisstillmyname's profile


727 posts in 2672 days

#11 posted 02-18-2012 04:22 PM

Well since i am addicted to squares and collect them all i can say is DROOL

-- Router รจ ancora il mio nome.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2279 days

#12 posted 02-18-2012 05:26 PM

great work …..looking realy good :-)

thanks for sharing


View bigpops0259's profile


300 posts in 3313 days

#13 posted 02-18-2012 05:30 PM

Pretty Darn nice. look just like my set of Bridge City Squares. And I paid a lot more for them. Now, how do you etch in the inch marks in? Great project!!!

-- Marty Ohio

View tnwood's profile


236 posts in 2250 days

#14 posted 02-18-2012 09:15 PM

Beautiful! Please post the pics of the ebony when it is finished. That should be spectacular.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1510 posts in 2728 days

#15 posted 02-18-2012 09:43 PM

Excellent looking shop made tools.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

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