|Project by dsb1829||posted 08-01-2008 11:08 PM||2280 views||4 times favorited||7 comments|
Evening project in the shop. I have been a bit bothered recently with some of my tool setup. Not entirely surprising was the fact that several of my squares were actually not square. Not a big deal to fix, I just hadn’t done it.
I used the draw a line and flip method to get a baseline for each of my commonly used squares. I used mag glasses and a .05mm mechanical pencil to aid in accuracy. My son can be seen modeling the mag glasses above. As I had noted several weeks ago my wood squares are right on in their respective brass reference side. So I have been favoring them for any work I have been doing. I was kind of amazed that the 6in one that I got from Harbor Freight was dead on using either the brass or wood surfaces. I had to file and sand the smaller Crown brand on the outer wooden surface. Some will argue that I probably shouldn’t be using that face, but I find it handy from time to time.
For the combination squares it is simply a matter of sneaking up on the correct adjustment by filing the bed of the holder. Here is a quick blurb about it with a picture?: After about 5-10 minutes on each combination square they are now, well, square. I am not sure how they got unsquare. I am thinking it is a combination of use, inserting different rulers than the original (I have about 5 combos), and possibly by switching the ruler orientation (stamped rulers are a bit different side to side).
Picture is worth a thousand words, camera does pick up some distortion from the angle but trust me they all are lined up. Now I have a drawer full of squares that I can pick up and use without fear of using the one that isn’t quite right. If you have some spare time this is a good evening project. Now I need to tackle my 24in carpenters steel square, I know that one is out ;-)
I have really been wanting a precision square. Something that I know is dead-on no question about it. I was cruising around the other day and noticed someone had a kit that coupled the brass gauge bars with a 1-2-3 block. Brilliant. I can’t believe that it eluded me for so long. A 1-2-3 block is a perfect square to help set up tools. With accuracy under .0005” over the entire length they are far superior to the pencil line aligned squares in my kit. So I got on e-bay and found a nice seller who hooked me up with 4 of them for under 25 shipped to my door. That is about half the cost of most of the woodworking specific “precision” squares and they are usually only guaranteed to about .001”.
The only bad part is that they show that my squares aren’t as perfect as I thought. Oh well, guess the pencil test can only get you so close. I was even using mag glasses and a fine pencil. Bottom line, even cheap machinist setup squares are as precise as expensive wood squares. Also, not too worried about dropping them on the floor. Heck they are likely to dent the floor.
Using the blocks to set my jointer last night was a breeze. They engage solid on the fence and the bed. There is no question that they are sitting flat. I think they will also be handy for tablesaw setup. Who knows what else, but with a few of these around the shop I am feeling very confident they will come in handy.
-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama