LumberJocks

Squaring your Carpenters Square

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by GaryK posted 07-28-2008 10:16 PM 3275 views 8 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2640 days


07-28-2008 10:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: squaring square carpenters square

When you first buy a carpenter’s square, chances are the it’s not really square. Well, maybe square enough for rough carpentry but not for wood working.

Squaring them takes only a hammer, center punch, pencil and a piece of plywood (or any piece of wood with a straight edge).

First use your square along the straight edge and draw a line along the full lenght of the square.
.

.
Then flip the square over and draw another one. Make sure that leave enough space that can see your first your first line.

If your lines are perfectly parallel then your square is square.
.

.
If not then you have a little work to do. As you can see from my sample below the lines are closer at the top compared to the bottom.
.

.
Here is where you use the centerpunch. When you punch a dimple in the square it causes the metal to expand slightly.

So for the example above you punch near the outside of the corner (as shown below), it would cause the square to close up the angel a little bit.

Draw your lines again and if still not square, keep doing it until it is square. Make the new dimples next to, but not in the same dimple.

Punching dimples as shown below would cause the part of the square at the top of the picture to move to the right.
.

.
If you lines were farther apart at the top then you need to open up the angle a little bit. Use your punch close to the inner corner instead as shown below.
.

.
.
Before I forget, there is a little book written in 1883 all about the steel square. Copyright has long ago expired.

I would do a right click and “save targes as”, since it’s about 18megs

Steel Square book

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX


17 replies so far

View sIKE's profile

sIKE

1271 posts in 2405 days


#1 posted 07-28-2008 10:23 PM

Thanks for the how to! Read the process before but the demonstration really helps!

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Karson's profile

Karson

34874 posts in 3052 days


#2 posted 07-28-2008 10:27 PM

Thanks gary. Great tip. Instead of living with an out-of-square – square.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View TedM's profile

TedM

2002 posts in 2384 days


#3 posted 07-28-2008 10:32 PM

Thanks, Gary! Appreciate the tip!

-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit http://www.woodworkersguide.com and sign up for my project updates!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2473 days


#4 posted 07-28-2008 11:05 PM

Thanks for the tip, Gary. I really appreciate the info. Including the pictures demoing the process helps to clarify the procedure.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

19445 posts in 2502 days


#5 posted 07-28-2008 11:29 PM

Great tip Gary. just one thing though, you would need to be sure your straight edge was perfectly straight because you are using opposite ends to align.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2640 days


#6 posted 07-28-2008 11:57 PM

Grumpy – That why I suggested a piece of plywood. You can’t beat a factory edge for straight.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

19445 posts in 2502 days


#7 posted 07-29-2008 12:11 AM

Very true Gary.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6648 posts in 2631 days


#8 posted 07-29-2008 12:30 AM

Hi Gary;

I had that back asswards huh?

No Wonder nothin’ around here is square!

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2673 days


#9 posted 07-29-2008 12:42 AM

Good demo Gary.
A little TLC at this stage with a square can reap years of satisfaction.
I am shifting over to digital measures right now and have little to offer for the older style devices.
They are still the mainstay in many shops.

I use one for all my rough carpentry.

Cheers
Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2951 days


#10 posted 07-29-2008 12:55 AM

Thanks for posting this Gary.

I’ve done this to all of my squares, but I haven’t checked them out lately.

This is a great post for all of the youngsters out there. <;O)

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2640 days


#11 posted 07-29-2008 01:37 AM

Bob – I have that one and a Wixey. They do come in handy for anything other 90 or 45 Degrees.

Actually a square carpenters square is more accurate for extending lines over a long distance. For example holding a straightedge against the leg of a square to continue a line.

With a digital square (actually not a square) the farther you get away from the end of the tool the more you are off.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Slacker's profile

Slacker

178 posts in 2352 days


#12 posted 07-29-2008 04:34 AM

who would have thunk… very cool

-- Adapt, improvise, overcome

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2673 days


#13 posted 07-29-2008 04:42 AM

I can’t disagree with you there Gary.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2951 days


#14 posted 07-29-2008 07:26 PM

That’s one reason when surveying, we used a 300’ tape,

& would try to use every inch of it, for greater angle accuracy.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View relic's profile

relic

343 posts in 2588 days


#15 posted 07-30-2008 01:08 AM

I can remember watching my dad doing that when I was a kid. Thanks Gary

-- Andy Stark

showing 1 through 15 of 17 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase