Got any recommendations for squares?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
22,466
Reaction score
2,510
Location
Derbyshire
No excuse for putting in new stud walls at oddbal angles, though!
Used to use a long plumb rule but never got around to a plumb square, though I did have an old nicely made hardwood example kicking around in the shed. plumb rule or a plumb square
The string is vertical however misshapen the bob but it needs room to move. If desperate you could knock one up from a few bits and bobs. Spot the coincidence? :LOL:
They used plumb lines for sky scrapers apparently. Just needed a long enough piece of string in the lift shaft with something, anything, tied on the end.
 
Last edited:

pidgeonpost

Established Member
Joined
16 Feb 2006
Messages
173
Reaction score
62
Location
Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
well, I couldn't get a picture of the alvin, as it's see through and you can't tell that it's against the square of how large the gap.

The two aforementioned lufkin squares - I think in each case, it took me about a week in the US to wait for an auction to close at a reasonable price.
Important thing if you follow this advice is to find a relatively rust free square that shows no evidence of the rule being switched out.
View attachment 124246

View attachment 124247

The giant starrett square is a luxury to find at $25, and not something I'd buy if it were expensive (people can be pretty proud of them selling used). The blade of the square is relatively high hardness so it doesn't distort or ding easily. I think starrett would reset a square for you if you had one that needed it, but it wouldn't be $25.

When looking for combination squares, it's not necessary to find a listing that says the head is hardened, just find one with a picture of the head itself with "hardened" written on it. The listings are unreliable, anyway, as all or nearly all of the rules are hardened and sellers will type anything they can find in the heading. Lots of listings that say "hardened" with beat up unhardened heads. The corners of the hardened heads generally look nice and crisp like this one.

Having a good hardened accurate combination square for $35 isn't exactly a waste of money. If you strike a line with one of these squares and then cut to it (or set up a machine fence, etc), no part of the work you do will be wrong at the fault of the mark or setup. It was given to me by an elderly neighbour who worked on Typhoon fighters in WW2. The fact that the interchangeable heads still have 99% of their original paint suggests that maybe he didn't use it much either.


I think I spent about $6000 on steel and wood in the last year, so this kind of purchase here or there seems pretty trivial.
I had to do a double-take when I saw your photo as I thought 'That's the same as mine', which it isn't, quite. Mine has no maker's name, just says 'Made in England'.
IMG_20211216_155541.jpg
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
9,519
Reaction score
1,914
Location
PA, US
Many, many years ago, I did the same. I was an apprentice and was taught “make it pleasing to the eye”.

My closest foray into that (because I was never a site guy) was that I built my kitchen cabinets without ever checking square in the kitchen (house from the 1950s). I had my dad (who was about 70 at the time) come out as a pair of hands (he's able bodied, though, and was raised on a farm and still fit - he'd outwork a lot of people in their 30s now).

Dad has a friend who was a physics teacher but refers to physics PH.D's as his "colleagues" and then I have to be careful to not laugh out loud .. "well, you'll have a problem when you go out to Pittsburgh to put a kitchen in because what your son doesn't know is that old houses aren't square".

I doubt this guy ever lifted a hammer in his life.

I said "tell ___ I said up yours, it'll never be a problem because none of the cabinets are square in the first place - I made some of them entirely by hand, the rest at least partially".

All of the face frames and solid bits are plane to fit each other as they're being hung (they each had a quarter extra on the sides, way more than they'd need). We fit everything together and I planed cross supports for the countertops instead of shims (just mark each and if one is 3/8" thinner at the back than front then so be it, and my dad said "the fitters spent 10 times as long as that trying to shim the countertops on when we had them installed".

I said "maybe they should be educators about cabinet installation instead of installers like ___ is a high school physics teacher because being a physicist is out of reach".
 
Last edited:

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
22,466
Reaction score
2,510
Location
Derbyshire
Make your own set square.
Just spotted this on Ebay. About 12 x 7"
Nice piece of hardwood with a spline across the grain to keep it straight.
Decorative curly bits probably make it handy for holding, as well as identifying it as a thing not to be thrown away, or it could look like a random off-cut.
Hole in the end for hanging it on the wall.
I might make one for my planer fence and it'd look cool hanging on the wall!

Screenshot 2021-12-16 at 20.42.37.png
 

JobandKnock

Amateur curmudgeon
Joined
14 Apr 2021
Messages
801
Reaction score
459
Location
Lancashire
Many, many years ago, I did the same. I was an apprentice and was taught “make it pleasing to the eye”.
Doesn't work that well when you are forming new bathrooms which have to accommodate pre-cast shower trays, though! Different jobs require different standards
 

NewbieRaf

Established Member
Joined
4 Jun 2019
Messages
200
Reaction score
44
I’ll blog about it soon because it’s an important subject but just do not do what I did when I was first starting out. I went to Lidl and got a set of squares.

long story short, I was making shaker style kitchen cabinet doors, took me ages to figure out why things didn’t fit perfectly. I was so fusterated I went straight to @Peter Sefton shop and got myself a woodpeckers square which I trust.

there are much cheaper options out there I just couldn’t be bothered looking around.

lesson very well learned
 

Peter Sefton

Wood Workers Workshop
Joined
6 Jun 2011
Messages
2,632
Reaction score
510
Location
Threshing Barn, Upton-upon-Severn, Worcs WR8 0SN
Thanks @NewbieRaf the Woodpeckers are our best selling squares, I think it's fair to say wether you choose a top of the line Woodpecker or one of our £20 Fisher squares you can be guaranteed accuracy and in the unlikely event you have any issue we will replace it without question.



Thanks for supporting our shop!

Cheers

Peter
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
22,466
Reaction score
2,510
Location
Derbyshire
Thanks @NewbieRaf the Woodpeckers are our best selling squares, I think it's fair to say wether you choose a top of the line Woodpecker or one of our £20 Fisher squares you can be guaranteed accuracy and in the unlikely event you have any issue we will replace it without question.

Astronomically expensive! I thought it said £9.95 which looks reasonable but it's actually £99.95! :unsure:
Better price but it's an engineers square, good for setting up your fences etc. Woodworkers also need woodworkers' squares. The Woodpecker triangular shape, often called a "roofing" or "rafter" square is better for marking up but there are many more cheaper brands. I doubt there'd be many more expensive brands!
 
Last edited:

Distinterior

Established Member
Joined
8 Mar 2014
Messages
1,130
Reaction score
372
Location
Colchester, Essex.
I have a few Woodpeckers tools....all are top quality, reliable and although not cheap imports from the Far East, worth the money.

Personally, I dont see the point of cutting up sections of wood and relying on them to stay "Square" when you can buy a square that's guaranteed to stay square.
I've said it before,.....this is 2021, not 1921!!
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
22,466
Reaction score
2,510
Location
Derbyshire
I have a few Woodpeckers tools....all are top quality, reliable and although not cheap imports from the Far East, worth the money.

Personally, I dont see the point of cutting up sections of wood and relying on them to stay "Square" when you can buy a square that's guaranteed to stay square.
I've said it before,.....this is 2021, not 1921!!
Woodpecker squares:
"The handles are milled from solid bar stock and fastened to the body with high strength socket screws. Separating the handles from the blade ensures they can be recalibrated to the blade if knocked out of position."
They obviously don't expect them to stay square. You don't get much for your £100!
 

Adam W.

Established Member
Joined
18 Apr 2021
Messages
2,393
Reaction score
2,521
Location
London, Jutland.
Make your own set square.
Just spotted this on Ebay. About 12 x 7"
Nice piece of hardwood with a spline across the grain to keep it straight.
Decorative curly bits probably make it handy for holding, as well as identifying it as a thing not to be thrown away, or it could look like a random off-cut.
Hole in the end for hanging it on the wall.
I might make one for my planer fence and it'd look cool hanging on the wall!

View attachment 124374

Lovely!

I'm just wondering of the decorative curly bits are actualy a curve templet.
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
22,466
Reaction score
2,510
Location
Derbyshire
A template for the decorative bits under the treads of a cut string staircase was the first thing I thought of.
Maybe it is just a template and not intended as a square.
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
22,466
Reaction score
2,510
Location
Derbyshire
Perhaps it's just a bit of open tread staircase decoration which dropped off?
I think I'll make one anyway, just in case.
 
Top