May 26, 2012

A Dozen Things (and more) You Can Do With a Combination Square

This post is in partnership with L.S. Starrett Company. All opinions are my own.

Invented Over a Century Ago
The combination square was invented by Laroy Starrett over 125 years ago.  Since then, the L. S. Starrett Company has made and sold millions.  To this day, the tool remains one of the most used and useful measuring and marking devices in practically any workshop.   I seem to reach for it on almost every project that requires building.

A Tool that Tells the Truth
The combination square will confirm that the end of a board is cut squarely or at a perfect forty-five degree angle.  It will instantly  reveal whether the edge of a board is perpendicular to its face.   It can quickly and accurately determine the depth of a cut or confirm the dimensions of a mortise and tenon joint.

Much More Than Just a Square
While the  most common use for the instrument is probably laying out square ends and edges on boards,  this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to its capabilities..  Whenever I’m setting up or calibrating a power miter saw, table saw, jointer, drill press, even a router this is the tool I most often use.

This tool can find the center of a circle, draw parallel lines along the edge of a board or provide a precise means for laying out a rectangle on a work piece.   Need to draw connecting lines around a large post or beam?  This tool will do it.

Quality Counts
If you’re thinking about getting a combination square for yourself or as a gift for an aspiring woodworker or do-it-yourselfer, don’t skimp on quality.  I say this for two reasons:   (1) it is, after all, a measuring device-- accuracy is essential; and (2) a well-made combination square will last for a lifetime – I’ve had mine for over twenty years and, unless I misplace it, I plan on using it for another couple of decades, at least.

For more information on the L.S. Starrett Company and combiination squares click here.

Posted in: News Tools & Know-How Hand Tools Measuring Savers Woodworking & Workshop Carpentry Workshop Techniques
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