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Combination Square Advice Please

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GAJ52

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Hi

I've had a Stanley Combination Square for about 30 years, after reading an article on accuracy of squares I decided to check mine on a known straight edge and realised it was slightly out by about 2 - 3 mm (12 inch square) - I now use it just a depth gauge.

I'm now looking to purchase a (hopefully) accurate combination square, accuracy is more important than price - any recommendations please.

Thanks Glen
 

Trevanion

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Take a small square edged file to your combination square, they're designed to be adjustable by filing the tabs in the slot in the stock to bring it square if it ever goes out of square by years of use and sliding the rule back and forth.
 

That would work

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I've used rabone combination squares and the two that I have owned have been accurate. The one I use most which is slightly a unusual size of 9" is spot on (using a fine knife cut and reversing it on a straight edge to test) However its pretty old so I cannot speak for new ones. I guess if you want to go up a level then an old (or new :shock: ) Moore and Wright would be good. A normal square can be adjusted with careful filing but less so a combination.
 

Tom.D

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For filing the lands in the slot of the square stock I used some double sided sticky tape to adhere some coarse sandpaper to the edge of the blade of the square. This makes the perfect sized file for adjusting things.

Failing that, I've got a starret combination square, it's very very solid and perfectly true. Definatley feels like a marked step up in quality from anything you'll find in B&Q etc.
 

Blackswanwood

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My son recently bought one of the smaller Starrett ones (150mm). It is very well made. He’d seen it on Workshop Heaven but found it cheaper when he searched online at RSOnline.
 

Inspector

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I have the forged combination set (touch better than the cast iron ones) with 1' and 2' rules along with the equivalent metric ones too. So 4 blades. Mitutoyo also make decent combination squares that you can count on being accurately made.

Pete
 

GAJ52

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Once again many thanks for the helpful comments from the members of this fantastic forum.

I looked at the Starrett 300mm (I need a 12 inch minimum) but could not warrant the £98 price tag, I appreciate this a very high quality tool but that price is way above my comfort zone for a combination square for diy projects.

I have gone for the Stanley Rabone 1912 combination square which at one third of the price and offers Class 1 accuracy which will be sufficient for my needs.

BTW did Stanley buy out Rabone Chesterman

Glen
 

D_W

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buy any older combination square that's got a hardened head and hardened rule. It may take a couple of days to find one on ebay, etc, but they stay far more accurate and wear much slower. The hardness makes the metal sliding much better, too - assuming you're talking about a tool with a sliding head and not an engineer's square.
 

Pete Maddex

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I bought a bahco 400mm one from eBay it's spot on, the rules was a little sharp and the edges of the stock needed smoothing but for £13.75 it's outstanding value.

Pete
 

Distinterior

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I also purchased the Bahco 400mm a couple of months back......Been very happy with it but as Pete said, the edges all needed softening a little.
 

Pete Maddex

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They are outstanding value, is I was starting out I would buy all three sizes.

Pete
 

GAJ52

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Just received my new Stanley Rabone 1912 Combination Square, so first job was to test its accuracy with my known straight edge board. Very disappointed to find it is less accurate than my old 30 year old Stanley square made in England. Its supposed to comply with Class 1 accuracy standards - whatever that means, also I noticed its made in China.

I know I could possibly 'ease' the supporting surface but that's not the point a new square should be square especially when the sales pitch boasts certain accuracy standards. Its going back to the supplier on Monday, luckily I have a fairly large Engineers square that is dead accurate so I'll be using that for now.

Glen :cry:
 

thetyreman

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I've never had a problem with a vintage made in sheffield rabone/chesterman square, it's as accurate as my starrett.
 

Pete Maddex

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GAJ52":876q723b said:
Just received my new Stanley Rabone 1912 Combination Square, so first job was to test its accuracy with my known straight edge board. Very disappointed to find it is less accurate than my old 30 year old Stanley square made in England. Its supposed to comply with Class 1 accuracy standards - whatever that means, also I noticed its made in China.

I know I could possibly 'ease' the supporting surface but that's not the point a new square should be square especially when the sales pitch boasts certain accuracy standards. Its going back to the supplier on Monday, luckily I have a fairly large Engineers square that is dead accurate so I'll be using that for now.

Glen :cry:
It should be machined so it is hollow in the middle of the stock so a little filing of the ends of the slot should adjust it, go easy.

Pete
 

AJB Temple

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I have messed around with cheap squares over the years. In the end I bought various Starrett. They are on my bench constantly - I use a small one 6" and a larger one 12" every day. Dead on accurate. Easy to set and easy to read. Worth the money.
 

David Martin

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As some have already mentioned, combination squares can be adjusted with little more than a needle file and some patience. I've linked a video below from John Heisz which gives a method I like which avoids the need even for a file. one thing I do differently from his method is I don't use a pencil line to measure the accuracy. In stead I use a marking knife to place a small reference mark at the maximum extent of the ruler and check against that. I find this much more accurate.

https://youtu.be/cxrCZd7r6qE
 

Droogs

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you need to have a minimum number of posts before you can put up links
 

Doug B

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thanks to this thread I’ve finally fettled a truly awful Bacho combination square I was given & it was really straight forward to do, very happy with the results.

Rather than hijack this thread I’ve posted a few photos on my lockdown workshop thread l-d-workshop-bits-t122290-15.html & thanks again for the info.
 
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