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Forum topic by metafor posted 10-14-2008 05:49 AM 1048 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 4025 days

10-14-2008 05:49 AM

I noticed a comment somewhere that concerned someone realizing his square was not true….got me to thinking about how you actually check that? I mean everything I use might also be “unsquare” does anyone have one of those straight-forward “duh, why didn’t I think of that” methods for checking whether or not their square is true? (We can’t all afford Starretts).

-- Greg, Missouri

4 replies so far

View cmaeda's profile


205 posts in 3788 days

#1 posted 10-14-2008 08:29 AM

Take a freshly jointed piece of lumber, put your square on it and use the square to draw a line perpendicular to the jointed edge. Now flip the square to the other side and put it against the jointed edge. If the square lines up with the perpendicular line you drew, your square is perfectly square.
Not scientific and not 100% accurate but it works.

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1591 posts in 3995 days

#2 posted 10-14-2008 04:20 PM


While a try or combination square that is “pretty close” is probably OK for marking your saw cuts on wood, you need something much more accurate for your machine set-ups and alignment. I purchased a set of engineer’s squares, guaranteed accurate to within a few 10/1000’s, for around $35, and a Wixey digital angle gauge that measures within 1/10 degree for $39. This is not a terribly great expense. With either of these tools you can set your blade and jointer fence right on 90 degrees relative to the table, and the engineer’s square can set your miter gauge at 90 degrees to the blade. The Wixey of course, expands your capability to set the blade at precisely the correct angle for your bevel cuts. An alternative to the Wixey would be one of the engineer’s type protractors that cost a little more ($50-60), but can be set to just a few minutes of angle. The protractor offers the aditional feature of setting your miter gauge to a precise angle for a particular cut.

Also very important is a dial indicator gauge. They are not expensive and you can make a fixture that allows it to slide in your miter slot. This is a great way to accurately align your saw table parallel to the blade. Anything around .005 inches is very good. You can also use it to align your fence. With this proceedure behind you, you will have a set-up better than over 90% of the saws now in use.

Without spending a great deal of money you can take full advantage of the accuracy that your tools are capable of, and you will be impressed with the results. For those of us who move our tools around the shop on castors, it is a good idea to frequently re-check your alignments. You will find yourself reaching for these tools on a regular basis.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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6 posts in 4025 days

#3 posted 10-14-2008 04:22 PM

Thanks…very helpful responses.

-- Greg, Missouri

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4540 days

#4 posted 10-14-2008 06:42 PM

Hi Greg, Gary K posted this a while ago, still a good check…

Good Luck.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

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