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Pete W

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What does everyone use for laying out work? I spent an age today laying out cutting lines across a sheet of ply and despite taking as much care as I'm able it still took three or four attempts per line to get it accurately measured and square :roll:.

Square seems to be the difficult bit, despite owning a variety of try squares and engineers combination squares. I'm thinking I might need to invest in a good four-foot t-square but £40 for the Trend one seems a bit steep. So what do you use?
 

Chris Knight

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Like Chiba says, I tend to use 345. It is pretty quick to make a large square as well - especially if you have a nail gun. Just layout your triangle on a sheet of ply then clamp your two pieces of planed, straight-grained wood to the sheet along the sides of the marked up triangle, with a bit of glue in the overlap of the two wooden laths and then shoot a few nails into the joint.

The reason I like a nail gun for this is that it does not disturb the positioning of the joint whereas screws tend to do so.

You need to be a bit inventive with the clamping arrangements to ensure the stock of the square is held firm to the edge of your sheet. The blade is easy enough. I use a couple of long lightweight sash type cramps across the full width of the sheet.


Wooden squares will warp after a time so just make a new one when they go out of whack.


In the same vein, I often make templates for various angles using a bit of trigonometry, it is much more accurate than using a protractor.
 

Pete W

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Ah, thanks! I did know about 345 but didn't think of it here.

The more I learn, the less I know :roll:!
 

Aragorn

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I use those Trend straight edge clamps and a good quality US style roofing square. The one I have (some american make, can't remember off hand) happens to be exactly square, so when I run this along the edge of the ply, butt up the Trend clamp and lock it off, I get really accurate cuts from the skilsaw. Very quick and easy. Let me know if you're interested and I'll check the make.
Anything below 900mm I can cross cut on the tablesaw.
Stanley do a foldable layout square. It's around 1.2m long. Very handy for larger layouts such as outdoor projects. No too pricey if I remember right.

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Anonymous

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OK, there's a really simple method of using something like a skilsaw and getting the cut exactly where you want it...

Get a bit of MDF/Ply/whatever, up to say 1.8m long, 'bout a foot wide (excuse the mixed measurements, I'm one of those confused generations who learnt this stuff halfway through the change!). Get another bit of MDF/ply/whatever, preferably with the factory machined side available, same length, 1/2 the width. Stick it on top of the first bit on the left hand side (machined edge to the right). Run the power saw along, using the top bit to guide the saw straight - you're running against the factory produced machined edge, so should be straight). That'll cut the bottom piece perpendicular to the top, machined piece. Subsequent saw cuts will always result in the cut being where the bottom piece stops.

Getting it square - for this, it's just a matter of using engineers square to put a stop at one end of the above mentioned jig - butt this up against the edge of what you're cutting, and Bob's you project manager (well, he's mine anyway)
 

Pete W

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Thanks guys.

Why does setting up a workshop seem to be a series of regressive steps?

I can't get things set up until I clear the clutter; can't clear the clutter until I make some cabinets and shelves; can't make the cabinets without cutting straight edges; can't cut straight edges without clearing the clutter!?!?!?

Pardon my little foot-stamping tantrum. I feel better now :D.
 

Chris Knight

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Pete .
I call this the "Hole in my Bucket"

There's a Hole in My Bucket

Liza: Henry! Fetch me some water!

Henry: There's a hole in my bucket dear Liza, dear Liza
There's a hole in my bucket dear Liza, a hole.

Liza: Well, fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Well, fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it.

Henry: With what shall I fix it ...
Liza: With a straw dear Henry ...
Henry: The straw is too long ...
Liza: Well, cut it dear Henry ...
Henry: With what shall I cut it ...
Liza: With an axe dear Henry ...
Henry: The axe is too dull dear Liza ...
Liza: Well, sharpen it dear Henry ...
Henry: With what shall I sharpen it ...
Liza: With a stone dear Henry ...
Henry: The stone is too dry dear Liza ...
Liza: Well, wet it dear Henry ...
Henry: With what shall I wet it ...
Liza: With water dear Henry ...
Henry: In what shall I fetch it ...
Liza: In a bucket dear Henry ...
Henry: There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza ...
 
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