Got any recommendations for squares?

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Tony Zaffuto

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If I'm roofing, I use a framing square and the Carpenters Roofing Ready Reckoner just like most carpenters before me.

Or you could have a Sargent framing square (US brand, years ago), that had rafter length (common or hip) imprinted on the square, per pitch.
 

johnnyb

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can I just say this is actually a good thread. It nearly went pear shaped at one point but tempers were tempered! I've learnt some interesting stuff. my main trusted square is a Moore and Wright beautifully made in a box from the sixties. it was gifted from the family( who came over from australia) of a Mr obrien of Swadlincote. he was the last owner of the Fobco drill press company.
it's pretty accurate and slides really well. I sometimes use the centre finder as a saddle square(to hop over corner mouldings)
I do have a few other squares a windsor and Newton mahogany t square with ebony inlay and its amazingly square and beautifully light.
 

the great waldo

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Have you got a photo of the windsor and Newton mahogany t square with ebony inlay . I'm just curious to see what it looks like.
Cheers
Andrew
 

workshopted

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Lovely!

I'm just wondering of the decorative curly bits are actualy a curve templet.
These came from the tool chest of a gentleman by the name of G. Hallam (Nottingham England 1901. Sadly his tool chest, which was full of tools, was bought by someone who possibly not knowing of its historical interest sold it all off in different lots.
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Jacob

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Have you got a photo of the windsor and Newton mahogany t square with ebony inlay . I'm just curious to see what it looks like.
Cheers
Andrew
Fairly common as far as I know.
Ebony edge to the board too. Across the grain but divided into sections in order to allow for movement

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the great waldo

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Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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I'm about to do a wardrobe build and am thinking some reliable squares will help. Up to now I've had to get by with a cheapo screwfix combination square (though found a video on this forum today that will help me get it square - yay!), and a set of lidl squares which aren't really square.

Seems like you can fork out a lot in the pursuit of perfection, but I want to strike the right balance between price and squareness.

Anyone got any good experiences?

As a starter for 10, I've seen these on Amazon: Faithfull FAIESSET4 4 Piece Engineers Square Set 50,75,100,150 mm (2 Inch, 3 Inch, 4 Inch, 6 Inch) in Wooden Presentation Case : Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools. Some mixed reviews in there.

There have been an awful lot of posts here, but something is missing in the offering of advice.

I think Peter mentioned the importance of a square being square. Absolutely so. If you are purchasing a square in person, check it before paying your money. In general, the more you pay, the better the materials and more strict the quality control. David mentioned Starrett and Moore and Wright. It really pays in the longterm to buy the best you can afford.

Blades need to be steel and not brass.

The most accurate square are the “machinist” type, but check carefully if purchasing a cheaper make, especially those made in India - the market was flooded with mass produced versions which were hit-and-miss in accuracy.

Machinist style squares with wooden sides (not sure what the name is) will inevitably lose accuracy as the rivets move. Only one maker does this properly, and you pay for them - Chris Vesper (best toolmaker in the world). His are really solid steel machinist squares with wood infill.

Now the issue that has not been mentioned is that one needs more than a single square. I would say that a 12”/300mm Starrett Combination square is the foundation square. One could add a larger layout square, which you can (as I did) make yourself …

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For smaller work, such as laying out joinery, you will find these too large, and need something sized more suitable. These generally will run between 4” - 6”.

A 4” machinist square and a 6” Starrett double square will serve very well. These can be picked up fairly reasonably on eBay.

Two starretts …

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My favourite small joinery squares are these 3” double squares from Chris Vesper and Starrett (and now Lee Valley make one as well), along with this 4” Moore and Wright ($45 at a swap meet) …

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All of these are affordable. I have been building furniture for over 30 years and did not start out with high quality tools. Most have been replaced as I could afford to do so. The highest quality are not necessary, just pleasurable. These are squares by Chris Vester and Mitre Square by Colen Clenton, two Aussies at the top of their game …

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Regards from Perth

Derek
 
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