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Check your Square for Square!

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Forum topic by Christopher posted 07-04-2009 08:27 PM 1921 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Christopher

573 posts in 2666 days


07-04-2009 08:27 PM

After about two hours of work last night I went into the shop to finish some stuff up and noticed that one of the pieces of stock I had cut last night wasn’t square with the fence when I had it against the miter guage. A few minutes later, and many expletives, I realized the square I was using to square my miter gauge wasn’t actually square. (Beat that many “squares” in one sentence!) Most of the work I had done last night will now have to be redone. At least four hours of work and a lot of lumber is now useless. Anyway, check your square for square against a square you know is square. (Thats kinda fun)


14 replies so far

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a1Jim

112858 posts in 2323 days


#1 posted 07-04-2009 08:35 PM

Hey Chris
the way to check a square for square is to hold it on a straight edge draw a line flip it over and see if it’s on the line. If not it’s not square. You can adjust a framing square by putting some small punches in ether the top or bottom of the corner of the square to bring it back in to square. Even new framing square are often out of squareso check them before using them.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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patron

13169 posts in 2087 days


#2 posted 07-04-2009 08:52 PM

ditto with jim ,
for my miter square in the table saw ,
i just flip it over in the slot and run it up against the rail for the fence and tightent it when i need 90’

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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tomakazi

650 posts in 2029 days


#3 posted 07-06-2009 06:35 AM

I’ve had problems squaring it up Davids way, you have to make sure the slots on your table top are absolutly parallel with the blade.

-- I didn't go to college, I was too busy learning stuff - Ted Nugent

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bayspt

292 posts in 2451 days


#4 posted 07-06-2009 07:35 AM

Tomakazi, It seems to me that since you are pushing through the blade in a straight line, then you would want you work piece (and miter gauge) to be a perfect 90* to the direction of travel. If your blade to slot is not parallel then the blade would just take a wider kerf, but still deliver a perfect 90. If you square to the blade, and the slot (direction of travel) is off from parallel, then the cut will be off that amount. I haven’t had any luck with David’s way either, but I think it is the accuracy of the method not the idea. Therefor, I got my slot and blade as close as possible and go off the blade like everyone else.

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

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tomakazi

650 posts in 2029 days


#5 posted 07-06-2009 07:48 AM

I see what you’re saying. This problem I had was a long time ago on tablesaws other than my own. I didn’t really think it through. I like to check my square for square and after everything is all squared up I do a test cut and check it with the square.

-- I didn't go to college, I was too busy learning stuff - Ted Nugent

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bayspt

292 posts in 2451 days


#6 posted 07-06-2009 07:54 AM

That is my normal procedure. I set it for square then go from there with test cuts on wide stock (easier to see the error). Still off sometimes, but I think it has to do with operator error lol.

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

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niki

426 posts in 2826 days


#7 posted 07-06-2009 11:46 AM

I think that the miter gauge fence should be set at 90° to the miter gauge bar (or the miter slot)...

I’m using the method like on the pics but, using the “Wixey Digital angle gauge” would make it very accurately…http://www.wixey.com/anglegauge/index.html

Regards
niki

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bayspt

292 posts in 2451 days


#8 posted 07-07-2009 05:22 AM

Brian, On a table saw, everything has to align to the miter slot. There is no dispute there, as it is the only thing that doesn’t move. Regardless of whose method, the original post still stands, because your method is botched without a square square. And so is everyone elses. So dont forget to check your squares everyone.

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

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a1Jim

112858 posts in 2323 days


#9 posted 07-07-2009 06:15 AM

Hey Guys
I’m sorry but this seems like and over kill. Cut a board with your miter square check it for square if it’s off adjust until square. a whole 30 seconds your done.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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bayspt

292 posts in 2451 days


#10 posted 07-07-2009 06:30 AM

I use a dial indictor for a lot of things as it is a very precise tool. I guess it really comes down to how square is square. A good quality machinest square only rates to .0005”. But wait, can’t wood move that much just breathing on it? For the price, I just don’t see the benifit out weighs it. I used a home made jig and dial indicator when I set up my saw. Checked blade to slot and fence to slot. Set to +/- .001 If you referance off the blade and make a couple of test cuts like Jim says then you are done. And a whole lot cheaper since you need the square anyway. It is something I had to get away from since I worked with metal for years before wood. Less measureing and more feeling. I also don’t look for light I feel for rock in the square. I find my fingers to be much more preceptive than my eyes.

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

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a1Jim

112858 posts in 2323 days


#11 posted 07-07-2009 06:43 AM

Hey Guys
We all do things are own way . I actually use a Osborne miter its very accurate. but before i own it i made a few hundred things with a standard machinest square to check my cut. Not matter what I make i like to check it for square so I don’t have problems that chris had.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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a1Jim

112858 posts in 2323 days


#12 posted 07-07-2009 07:24 AM

Hey group
we should all check square we like and there are many ways to do many things.
In teaching woodworking I tell my students the way I do a certain operation and encourage them to find what works for them. I never said anyone’s approach was wrong and I certainly don’t do a test cut every time I use my table saw that would be ridiculous. If I’m going to insist my way is best I would say everyone should spend the $100 plus for a Osborne miter gauge for there saw just because thats the way I do it.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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bayspt

292 posts in 2451 days


#13 posted 07-07-2009 07:27 AM

I also tend to like my expensive wood too much to go without the test cut. How do you check for square? Just trust it? I think your TS Jr is great, just can’t seem to justify the cost. I wasn’t saying we shouldn’t eliminate error where possible, but both ways eliminate the error and I would rather use up a little piece of scrap every now and then and have the money to spend on wood. Sorry for the thread stealing Christopher. I just feel your pain when one of my percision tools turns out not to be so precise. Guess we should always cut once and measure three times (once after the cut). Had the same thing happen to an old starret combo I have.

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

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Christopher

573 posts in 2666 days


#14 posted 07-07-2009 12:15 PM

I was considering making myself a dedicated 90 gauge by tack welding a miter gauge at exactly 90. Then I could have a gauge that is adjustible and a gauge that I know is at 90, or, I could build a miter sled, but I really don’t have much extra room in my shop for another frakkin jig.

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