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Axminster 4” double, or Miniature Sliding Square

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Alf

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I have a bit of a thing for measuring and marking tools, especially small ones, and ever since I noticed small double squares popping up more and more frequently in US magazine articles and woodworkers’ “must haves” I’ve hankered after one myself. Late last year Axminster introduced one into their range, and inevitably I succumbed and ordered one. :oops:


Er, it's a square...

It arrived in a very small cardboard box (prompting me to wonder what I’d paid all that money for exactly :? :lol: ) wrapped in anti-rust paper inside a plastic bag and smothered in grease. There were no instructions or any indication of where in the world it’s made, although there was a brand name of “S-something” on the box. Mea culpa - the box got thrown away before I made a note of it, or thought about doing a review. :oops:

It’s obviously designed principally for inches, so while the imperial scale on the rule is a full 4”, it stops at the 100mm point on the metric scale. There’s an imperial and metric scale on both sides; 32nds and mms on one side, 64ths and 0.5mm on the other. The rule itself is ¾” (19mm) wide and a beefy 3/32” (2mm) thick. Easy to read and with a satin, anti-glare finish. The stock is 2 ½” (60mm) long, 1” (25mm) wide and 7/16” (11mm) thick, the open casting making it a little lighter and more balanced than the equivalent-sized engineer’s square. Both rule and stock are well finished on all the registering faces, although the grey-painted open casting area in the centre of the stock is a bit rough in places.


You can see a bit of flashing left on the casting just under the locking knob. Typical of similar areas on the stock

The locking knob is the only bit that really lets the rest down. It’s pretty poorly finished, there’s not positive feeling at all when you tighten it up and all in all I immediately saw it was going to cause trouble if anything was. :roll: In use I found it’s all too easy to feel like you’ve tightened it up securely and then watch the rule slide gradually through the stock as the spring gives way just a little bit more. I was going to see if it was, as I suspected, because the spring wasn’t the right diameter for the recess in the head of the locking knob, but in trying to improve matters the knob went for a trip to the floor, and the spring is now hopelessly lost somewhere in the workshop. :evil: I fashioned a replacement which is an improvement but it’s still rather unsatisfactory for a precision tool.


Doing what a square does best - checking for square! I took this picture before I re-read the blurb on Axminster's site, believe it or not.

Having used it pretty extensively I can say that this style of square is very, very handy. How often have you wanted to check for square but the blade of the square was too long and fouled on something? Happens to me all the time, so this is a godsend. Also makes a handy little depth gauge, pencil gauge etc etc. All the things they tell you a 12” combination square is useful for, but in a handy size that’s actually makes it practical.


Checking the depth of a recess

Definitely one for the apron pocket, if you can put up with the locking knob’s little quirks. I’d have preferred to get the L-V version, which appears to be a little better finished, but it has no metric scale. :( Value for money? In terms of the usefulness, absolutely. As far as the quality of the product is concerned, a little over-priced in my opinion.

There you are, over 600 words on 4 inches of steel. Reckon you get away lightly on the plane reviews in comparison. :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 

Midnight

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Handy, overpriced, needs some rework and maybe a new knob.... got it...

I think :wink:

been thinking about one of these myself since I first saw them...
 
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Alf":2ta35frn said:
I have a bit of a thing for measuring and marking tools,
Cheers, Alf
Me too. Far too many in various drawers :oops: :oops:

But then my area of experise is instrumenation and measurement :? (no NOT jig making before anyone mentions it!! :lol: )
 

Noel

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Alf, nice review. Does it hold 90 well? Imagine the lock mech is the usual brass treaded device? Like on the combi squares?

Noel
 

Aragorn

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Thanks for the review Alf.
Wondering if it locks to 90º at all? I've used so many combination squares that aren't accurate for square.
 

Ian Dalziel

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good review Alf,

word of warning, dont overtighten the locking screw. This seems to be its weakpoint or i just got a bad one. Mine failed at that point but it wasnt the axminster one i had but looks identical. I also did the same with a mititoya adjustable square, that nearly ruined £120 worth of kit but i replaced it with a cheap adj square knob and i now am very cautious when tightening.
I just wish incra would bring out a version with the pencil holes in it but the thickness of the blade would hamper design i suspect.

well worth the money and a good fit for the pocket

Ian
 

Alf

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Noely":2k4dfxao said:
Does it hold 90 well?
Absolutely, just in a sliding along kinda way sometimes. :roll: That's what's so frustrating; the fit of the rule into the stock and so forth is excellent, it's just holding it still that they've cocked up.

Noely":2k4dfxao said:
Imagine the lock mech is the usual brass treaded device? Like on the combi squares?
Brass? Gosh no, nothing so posh. I've literally just nipped out (in the pouring rain) to take a (blast, out of focus) shot of it (should have done that in the first place, but it was a bit of an impromptu review really).



Cheers, Alf
 

Noel

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Looks like there is very little purchase area on the end of the thing?

Noel
 

Bean

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But they are designed to hold the blade back to the stock not clamp it heavily. Thats why they appear to be flimsy.
With my engineers head on I have to wonder how accurate the square is, they may have improved in the years since I last looked at one.


Bean
 

Alf

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Ian Dalziel":1psb3f0e said:
i replaced it with a cheap adj square knob
Ian, this stuck in my mind so when I stumbled across a cheap 6" combination square I snapped it up. The knob from it works much better, so thanks for the tip. Curiously though, the knob from this square works better with the 6" one as well, so they're both improved... :? :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 
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