1. Visiting from the US? Why not try DIYnot.US instead? Click here to continue to DIYnot.US.
    Dismiss Notice

Adjustable square that's actually square?

Discussion in 'Tools and Materials' started by ^woody^, 11 Dec 2018.

  1. ^woody^

    ^woody^

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2006
    Messages:
    25,565
    Thanks Received:
    3,128
    Location:
    West Mids
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Can anyone recommend one?
     
  2. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2011
    Messages:
    3,173
    Thanks Received:
    607
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    If you need absolute accuracy then the only solution is to buy an engineer's combination square from a reliable makes such as Moore & Wright, Starrett, Mitutoyo, etc. Problem is that you are well north of £100 on a new one and TBH I think it's way too risky taking something like that on site, although you could always source a secondhand one from fleabay. One nice thing about the good ones (even 60 year old ones) is that you can generally get replacement rules for them up to 24in/600mm long and in metric, too

    For general use I carry a couple of Bahco orange combi squares (300 and 400mm) which are checked periodically for squareness, especially if you drop them (also worth checking for damage to the stock as alloy stocks can dent or bend when roughly handled). They were good as purchased, but if you drop them they will go out. The stocks are reasonably heavy and mine are well machined. Most of the cheaper squares on the market aren't even remotely square when new, so I won't touch them.

    For anyone reading this who doesn't know how to check for squareness, read this:

    How to Check a Square 001_02.jpg

    From a carpentry and joinery text first published in 1939. Note that you need to check using the same edge of the ruler because rulers don't always have truly parallel edges (especially on cheap stuff)
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  3. ^woody^

    ^woody^

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2006
    Messages:
    25,565
    Thanks Received:
    3,128
    Location:
    West Mids
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I noticed the Bahco square was relatively cheap, so I thought it would not be much good, but that's nice to hear so I may give that one a go.

    I recall Rabone ones used to be highly rated, but no longer available.

    I got a blue OX square last year to replace an old stanley, but it is crap and I've had enough of it.
     
  4. I have a Moore and wright that stays boxed for the exact reason J&K suggested. Expensive but a nice bit of kit if you're into the novel idea of collecting such things.
     
  5. Notch7

    Notch7

    Joined:
    15 Sep 2017
    Messages:
    9,261
    Thanks Received:
    805
    Location:
    Sussex
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Accurate, adjustable square oxymoron. :ROFLMAO:

    On a serious note, the bahco and even stanley ones are ok.

    I seem to recall somebody tested some cheap silverlibe engineers squares and found them pretty spot on.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. ^woody^

    ^woody^

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2006
    Messages:
    25,565
    Thanks Received:
    3,128
    Location:
    West Mids
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    There is no way I'd be paying over £200 or even £100 for a combi square. Thats just mad. There can not be that much money's worth of engineering in their manufacture. Just a rip off.

    I'll stick with my Jack saw and will stretch to a £9.99 Bahco from amazon!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. catlad

    catlad

    Joined:
    29 Jul 2011
    Messages:
    3,383
    Thanks Received:
    448
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Your just slap dash you Woody! :D
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. ^woody^

    ^woody^

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2006
    Messages:
    25,565
    Thanks Received:
    3,128
    Location:
    West Mids
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    "Pragmatic" is the word you were looking for.:rolleyes:
     
  9. ^woody^

    ^woody^

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2006
    Messages:
    25,565
    Thanks Received:
    3,128
    Location:
    West Mids
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Contrary to certain people's opinions on my slap dashery, I ordered a set a Bahco's - 400, 300 and 150mm.

    They are all dead square, the rules are clear and well engraved, the levels are level (first I have ever known), the scriber screws in so won't get lost after 5 minutes, the knurled adjuster is a joy to grip and use, and they are just quality.

    In fact I love the little one so much, we are planning to elope in the new year, and I'm leaving the jack saw behind.
     
  10. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2011
    Messages:
    3,173
    Thanks Received:
    607
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    That 400mm is a very handy length to have.
     
  11. JBR

    JBR

    Joined:
    9 Jan 2007
    Messages:
    8,665
    Thanks Received:
    374
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    If a try square proves to be inaccurate, then I should have thought that the above method - the first section, using the 'flipping over' method - would suffice. Just bisect the angle and use that as the true square!
    Yes, a little additional work, but better than shelling out £200!
     
  12. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2011
    Messages:
    3,173
    Thanks Received:
    607
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    So how exactly will that help me when I'm planing the edge of an 8ft door and want to check that the planed edge is at exactly right angles to the face from end to end (a real world problem, BTW)?
     
  13. JBR

    JBR

    Joined:
    9 Jan 2007
    Messages:
    8,665
    Thanks Received:
    374
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Easy! Take the door off!

    Sorry, joking.
     
  14. ^woody^

    ^woody^

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2006
    Messages:
    25,565
    Thanks Received:
    3,128
    Location:
    West Mids
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    LOL. Square edges. :rolleyes:

    A square square is no good for the closing edge then;) or is that too old skool?
     
  15. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

    Joined:
    30 Sep 2011
    Messages:
    3,173
    Thanks Received:
    607
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Two issues there, woody: First off if I'm re-using old doors (listed buildings, etc) it is sometimes necessary to plane in both edges of a panelled door to get it to fit in an existing opening and I do, unfortunately, need at least the hinge side to be square; secondly if you put a leading edge on a door with a mortise lock in it it makes life difficult in terms of getting the lock face to sit right in the door edge, not to mention potentially contravening the latest fire regs which now require the gapping to be no smaller than 2mm and no greater than 4mm. Hence on commercial work we are tending to go back to square edged doors (with the arrisses knocked off) which can be a royal PIA. So having a square that's off by a few degrees really doesn't help the situation IMHO
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...

Share This Page