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Starrett/Woodpecker square issue

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Forum topic by Ben posted 07-07-2017 02:36 PM 492 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ben

356 posts in 2694 days


07-07-2017 02:36 PM

I purchased a used 12” Starrett 4R grad combination square on eBay and just got it today. Seller said he had checked it for square against another square. It appears to be relatively new, not vintage, with a forged steel head.

Well, checking it against my brand new Woodpeckers 12” square, the Starrett is off about a 1/32” over its length.

It reads the same whether I hold it inside or outside the Woodpeckers square.

The funny thing is both square seem to pass the square test on a scrap piece of wood, scoring a knife line and flipping it over. Both are extremely close to the point of barely being able to distinguish any discrepancy. If anything the Starrett might be a whisker off.

So what gives? Is there a more definitive test I can do to determine which one, if either, is out of square? Or is it worth trying to adjust the starrett somehow by filing something? The Starrett appears wildly out of square (by engineering standards, at least) in the photo.

Thanks!


12 replies so far

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

747 posts in 332 days


#1 posted 07-07-2017 03:05 PM

first you need to establish for sure which one is out of square, but I’d bet on the combination square being the culprit as they can be temperamental and are pretty easy to knock out of square. It could have happened when it was shipped to you.

luckily they are easy to adjust. FWW just did a video a few months ago on how to true up a combo square, you should find it easily on YouTube. Just takes a little filing on the ‘bumps’ inside the head and you will be back in business.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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GR8HUNTER

2963 posts in 550 days


#2 posted 07-07-2017 03:08 PM

DITTO ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ :<))

-- Tony Reinholds,Pa. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4513 posts in 976 days


#3 posted 07-07-2017 03:13 PM

Hard to say. If either one is off 1/32”, it should be obvious though. Only thing you can really do is find another square and check them both against it. Have you taken the combination square apart and cleaned it? Could just be something down in the seating area that’s throwing it off. The good news is that if it is the combination square, you can tune it with a small file.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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pintodeluxe

5466 posts in 2650 days


#4 posted 07-07-2017 03:16 PM

Get a board with a perfectly straight edge and strike a line with a sharp pencil. Flip the square around and strike another line. Do this with both squares individually.

If the second line is superimposed over the first, it’s square. If the line is thicker at one end, it’s not square.

I have actually heard complaints about Woodpecker squares having issues. My Starrett is the one I trust, but I have a reliable 6” square from iGaging as well.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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jimintx

512 posts in 1422 days


#5 posted 07-07-2017 03:17 PM

Interesting stuff. Some day wood shop work may be at a level that requires this type of implied accuracy, so I want to find that you tube video of how to adjust it.

In general, though, i agree that the combo sq can be tuned up and cleaned up for overall, directional, improvement.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

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HokieKen

4513 posts in 976 days


#6 posted 07-07-2017 03:26 PM



Interesting stuff. Some day wood shop work may be at a level that requires this type of implied accuracy, so I want to find that you tube video of how to adjust it…

- jimintx

It’s pretty easy. Down inside the slot, there are 2 small machined pads that the locking screw pulls the blade down against. You can use a really fine needle file to remove small amounts off of one or the other pad until the blade locks down square. Go slow though, just a little metal removed can make a big shift in the blade angle.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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Rick_M

10630 posts in 2217 days


#7 posted 07-07-2017 03:53 PM

Use a marking knife instead of a pencil.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1176 posts in 1635 days


#8 posted 07-07-2017 04:31 PM

I have a few that I’ve dropped I file the lands down and work just fine.
I also have a # 61 starrett that I use for a master square.Thats my reference square.It come out only to set up or check my other squares.Then it’s put away never left out in the bench to get knock on the floor.

-- Aj

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Rich

1981 posts in 427 days


#9 posted 07-07-2017 04:49 PM



Use a marking knife instead of a pencil.

- Rick M

+1 on that.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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mitch_56

18 posts in 310 days


#10 posted 07-07-2017 05:10 PM

If both those pass the square test, you’re doing it wrong

View Ben's profile

Ben

356 posts in 2694 days


#11 posted 07-07-2017 06:50 PM

Thanks everyone.

Between flipping the blade around in the Starrett, and finding a tiny burr on the outside corner of the Woodpeckers, the issue appears to have resolved itself. The Starrett now sits perfectly flush against the Woodpeckers.

Thanks!

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4513 posts in 976 days


#12 posted 07-07-2017 06:52 PM

If the blade on the Starrett isn’t square on BOTH sides, make sure you mark the side that IS square. DAMHIKT :-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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