Reply by Loren

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Posted on Do I really need to spend $50 to get a square square????

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10476 posts in 3675 days

#1 posted 10-06-2012 01:17 AM

For woodoworking and joinery, an inexpensive adjustable
square works just fine. You can file the nibs inside
the thing to make it square enough for joinery. I did
it years ago with an $8 square I got at Harbor Freight.
The 12” ruler is a bit awkward but it will serve for
laying out joints and setting up machinery.

I’ve accumulated several squares since then, mostly got
at yard sales. Some Starretts and other good ones. I
like the little 4” double squares a lot.

I’ve been doing woodworking for a long time and I doubt
any of my squares are “perfect” and I don’t worry about
it. Square to within 1/64th over 12” is square enough in
general for wood. Blade flutter, operator error, warped
boards and other factors combine to make chasing
perfect machine setups a fun activity, but no panacea
for flawless joinery nor perfect boxes.

When I say 1/64th” over 12” is square enough, I am not
saying that is the tolerance I work to. I am shooting for
closer 1/128” over that, or 1/32” over 48”, but I am set
up with considerable investment in machinery.

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