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British squares (possibly odd question)

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craigs

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Morning folks,

I have done a fair bit of searching but am yet to find anything useful. I am looking for some squares with a fairly thick blade (like the iphone of marking tools "Woodpeckers") but all i can find are Joseph Marples which have very thin blades.

Do we make anything anymore? seems everything of decent quality either comes out the US or is made by zee Germans. or am I resigned to buying overpriced anodized aloominum US squares?

Just to head off an obvious question, I use to use thin blades before i run a stanley knife next to a thin bladed square up my finger a loong time ago, not something i wish to achieve again.
 

AES

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+1 here. By engineering square, I think we're both talking about a device with a 12 inch (30 cm) "ruler" (usually, 6 & 18 inch are available too) with a separate a "head casting" that can be locked into any position along the length. The casting provides both 90 and 45 degree positions, so it can be a mitre square too.

As to whether or not you will find a new one actually made in UK is another question - unless you're prepared to pay "several tens" of quids - I'm not up to date on UK prices. Makes to look for are Eclipse, Moore & Wright, & Starrett.

But SH (especially the above makes) would be a good buy if you can find one. AND the advantage of this type is that with a bit of fettling with a needle/Swiss file on the head "locking bolt" (usually brass), you can easily bring an out of wack square back to 90 degrees (unless it's been really butchered).

But I have such a square made by Draper. It's pretty old now. I know Draper generally has a pretty iffy name but my tool is pretty good. No doubt Draper is "made in China" these days, but mine, being old, is I think UK made.

These days, unless you go for the big names I THINK just about all of them are likely to have been made in China, but that shouldn't necessarily put you off - as above, they're pretty easy to fettle if they are a bit out of square.

I bought a 2nd one quite recently in my local DIY place and it was made in China (no "named" manufacturer) but it does the job on a day to day basis quite acceptably (but I do also have a Starrett Combi set for "special jobs").

HTH
 

Doug71

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I got fed up of all the woodworking squares like Marples etc being rubbish/not square and was going to buy an overpriced Woodpecker as that's what you see people using on Youtube all the time so must be good :roll: . I discovered engineering squares just in time, saved me a fortune, I don't know why woodworking squares are even made.
 

craigs

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To be honest, most of the American youtubers that use them didnt pay for them....so there's that.

I am thinking engineers squares are the way forward, I do like the idea of no-maintenance anodized though. I dont fancy oily or rusty squares
 

AES

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I keep my (steel rule/die cast head) engineering squares VERY LIGHTLY oiled (if not being used for a time) and find it no problem to give a quick wipe off with a clean rag or kitchen roll before use.

But if no maintenance appeals, the good names (such as my Starrett Combi) are available in satin chrome finish. Lovely, but do expect to pay a premium for that - not sure if M&W also offer such finish though. But either way, if you only need a 6 inch-er, that will keep the price down a bit - but "slightly oily" isn't a problem (not for me anyway).
 

craigs

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Thanks guys, I think ill just pick up a 6, 9 and 12 moore and wright and see how i get on, it seems the 9 and 12 have 3mm blades also.
 

SamTheJarvis

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I can recommend keeping an eye out for used, good quality combi squares on ebay, cheap combination squares are hit or miss but you can't go wrong with a good brand like Mitutoyo. I got a Mitutoyo combi set not that long ago for a silly price on ebay so I can recommend that avenue.

I've had a try-square from probably every British make and they've always been out. Important to note that british standards don't specify the outer edge of a try-square needs to be square to the blade, so they never are. I've checked a pal's Axminster's try-square that specifies it IS square on the outer edge and well, it wasn't. Not at all sure why the squares we have here are garbage.

Engineers squares are also a good option. You get large engineers squares too, though they're typically expensive (if buying new).
 

Trevanion

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SamTheJarvis":2b29w5fu said:
Not at all sure why the squares we have here are garbage.
They get jostled around too much on the boat from China and they end up out of square. It's like a pint of Guinness, tastes much better in Ireland before it's shipped across the sea.
 

Ttrees

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I've recently bought a 150mm/6" Aximinster workshop square that was less than a tenner.
It is made by Soba and I am stumped as to how you can buy a tool of such quality for the cost.
I left a review
Tom
 

craigs

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Bm101":2lhqsz56 said:
Craig check out the kinex gear on workshop heaven.
https://www.workshopheaven.com/shop-by- ... m_type=454
Don't discount the little 3 inch odd square. Its unbelievably handy at least to my mind. Bandsaw blade to plane irons or internal corners in tight spaces.
Never gave Kinex a thought, although they state they are more accurate than grade B...so that's interesting...seems they are better the Wright and Moore in that sense.

I will certainly pick up a 3" but I want a 6" 8" and 12" and it seems Workshop heaven dont sell above 6", so i might just go direct and order the whole lot from their website unless any other suggestions sway me. Im not into combination squares although the starret double T straight slidy thing looks interesting.
 

bourbon

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you need a Rabone Chesterman engineers square, Nice thick blade lovely to use. I have an 8'' one and a 3'' one. My Mom got them for my dad when she worked there!
 

Jacob

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craigsalisbury":196y073w said:
Morning folks,

I have done a fair bit of searching but am yet to find anything useful. I am looking for some squares with a fairly thick blade (like the iphone of marking tools "Woodpeckers") but all i can find are Joseph Marples which have very thin blades.

Do we make anything anymore? seems everything of decent quality either comes out the US or is made by zee Germans. or am I resigned to buying overpriced anodized aloominum US squares?

Just to head off an obvious question, I use to use thin blades before i run a stanley knife next to a thin bladed square up my finger a loong time ago, not something i wish to achieve again.
Just have a bit more practice with a knife? Millions of people use trad squares without a problem.
Come to think - a lot of people over use marking knives - they aren't necessary at all except for those few saw cuts which need a nice sharp edge to start with, the most common of these being DT shoulder lines for which you'd use a cutting gauge anyway. Or those marks which the setter out would want to be indelible.
Pencil rules!
PS useful hint - depends on what you are making of course but most marking up is on small stuff less than 4". This means you mostly want a 4" square - but with a wide ish blade and a wooden handle. Reason being - it'll stay sat on the workpiece when you let go.
A narrow blade tends to fall off, more so if all metal. It's about centre of gravity and if you are at it for a whole day it becomes important
 

craigs

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Jacob":2plzroh2 said:
craigsalisbury":2plzroh2 said:
Morning folks,

I have done a fair bit of searching but am yet to find anything useful. I am looking for some squares with a fairly thick blade (like the iphone of marking tools "Woodpeckers") but all i can find are Joseph Marples which have very thin blades.

Do we make anything anymore? seems everything of decent quality either comes out the US or is made by zee Germans. or am I resigned to buying overpriced anodized aloominum US squares?

Just to head off an obvious question, I use to use thin blades before i run a stanley knife next to a thin bladed square up my finger a loong time ago, not something i wish to achieve again.
Just have a bit more practice with a knife? Millions of people use trad squares without a problem.
Come to think - a lot of people over use marking knives - they aren't necessary at all except for those few saw cuts which need a nice sharp edge to start with, the most common of these being DT shoulder lines for which you'd use a cutting gauge anyway. Or those marks which the setter out would want to be indelible.
Pencil rules!
PS useful hint - depends on what you are making of course but most marking up is on small stuff less than 4". This means you mostly want a 4" square - but with a wide ish blade and a wooden handle. Reason being - it'll stay sat on the workpiece when you let go.
A narrow blade tends to fall off, more so if all metal. It's about centre of gravity and if you are at it for a whole day it becomes important
I should probably explain my reason for a thick blade, nothing to do with woodworking, when i was younger i was cutting a lino-esque type floor tile with a stanly knife and a steel rule (obviously not the right tools for the job) under a lot of pressure the knife came off course went over the ruler and sliced all the way through halfway down my finger......its just a haunting of an experience of stupidity.

the whole wooden thing seems to bring us back to marples with a very thin blade, the engineers squares seem to be 3mm which seems ok, i wont be using them all day.
 

craigs

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bourbon":2b8oyjj8 said:
you need a Rabone Chesterman engineers square, Nice thick blade lovely to use. I have an 8'' one and a 3'' one. My Mom got them for my dad when she worked there!
dont seem to be able to find these, and i refuse to look for old tools for the sake of saving a few sheckles lol
 

Jacob

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craigsalisbury":1pp34y1v said:
.... i refuse to look for old tools for the sake of saving a few sheckles lol
Really? I insist on looking for look for old tools for the sake of saving a few sheckles! :lol:
Bahco are good https://www.toolstation.com/bahco-combi ... are/p36432 seem just as good as the Rabone Chesterman, I've got both.
Combi very different from the classic Marples as mentioned above, which is perfect for extended marking up sessions.
I did similar with Stanley knife when I was a kid but got it into my wrist just missing the artery. Doctor thought it was a suicide attempt and was very worried! Still got the scar.
PS just had a look at Woodpeckers squares - pages of gadgets absolutely puffin ludicrous prices and not necessarily any good either :roll:
 
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