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Thread: Youve got to be kidding

  1. #16
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    I have about 4 of Chris Vesper's squares. But,they were from trading tools with him while he was staying with us.

    The Clenton squares have a clever mechanism for getting the blade square again. However,I would never recommend brass blades. Or brass faced stocks,really. They are just too easy to nick. And they will tarnish from handling quite easily. If I wanted to make squares,I'd buy strips of blue 1095 spring steel,pre straightened,to make blades from.
    Last edited by george wilson; 05-25-2016 at 6:23 PM.

  2. #17
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    Jun 2008
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    I have a starret no 61 square it's nice little tool.Its handy for checking my other squares with ya know a reference tool.Lots of my bench squares have been dropped to many times.

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by lowell holmes View Post
    $165. Who would spend that much for a square?
    Me, not. But there are many woodworkers who love to spend on tools would. The list of things like this goes on and on and part of the story is woodworking and part consumerism. Like the $200K sports cars, these tools are made for certain segment of the market and many of them are under the so-called boutique tools category.

    I recently came across a magazine (WOOD?) that sample tested three squares and the Starrett comb. square placed second behind a $12 square the reviewer picked up from a hardware store, in terms of squareness. The magazine's advice was to check the squareness even if it was a brand name tool. I wasn't surprised by that finding.

    Edit - It's in a FW Feb 16 webvideo by its web producer.

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 05-25-2016 at 7:39 PM.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by george wilson View Post
    I have about 4 of Chris Vesper's squares. But,they were from trading tools with him while he was staying with us.

    The Clenton squares have a clever mechanism for getting the blade square again. However,I would never recommend brass blades. Or brass faced stocks,really. They are just too easy to nick. And they will tarnish from handling quite easily. If I wanted to make squares,I'd buy strips of blue 1095 spring steel,pre straightened,to make blades from.
    I have three of Chris' squares: the tiny double square (and a Starrett version, which was a gift), and 4" and 7" squares (4" is perfect for small joinery, and 7" great for large joinery). The latter are essentially infilled machinist squares that are super accurate and made from hard, yet flexible steel. What I like about these squares is that they will never go out-of-true. Plus they are gorgeous to look at and hold. Very handily, they have an integral tab that makes it easier to balance in use with one hand, as the other hand is needed to wield the knife.

    The Vesper squares replaced Clenton squares. I did not trust the brass blades not to wear or ding, and the fact that the angles could be tweeked was a disadvantage to me - who wants to check the accuracy of a square each time, and adjust it?

    If I did not have these (they are expensive and I am fortunate to get a discount as Chris is a friend), I could buy cheaper machinist squares. Simple, accurate square that are ready to use when needed. No fussing with accuracy checks each time. Get on with the woodworking. It is the same philosophy I have for sharpening. KIS.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    I could buy cheaper machinist squares. Simple, accurate square that are ready to use when needed. No fussing with accuracy checks each time. Get on with the woodworking. It is the same philosophy I have for sharpening. KIS.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    +1.

    An owner of 3 Vesper squares? Lucky you!

    Simon

  6. #21
    I'll buy that $165 square- for $5 at an estate sale.....

    actually, I have a drawer full of squares, and parts thereof. One Of These Days I'm gonna work out an accurate and efficient way of truing up combo square heads.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridger berdel View Post
    I'll buy that $165 square- for $5 at an estate sale.....

    actually, I have a drawer full of squares, and parts thereof. One Of These Days I'm gonna work out an accurate and efficient way of truing up combo square heads.
    It is actually very simple. One either side of the threaded apparatus that holds the blade in place are raised metal bosses (lands or other names may apply). If the angle of the beam (ruler?) to the head is greater than 90, the one between the holding device and the work needs to have a little filed off. If the angle is less than 90 then the boss on the far side of the holding device needs to have a touch of metal removed. Use a file like an auger file with safe sides.

    Also go slow and check after each stroke. You will be surprised how fast things change.

    Hope this helps,

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  8. #23
    I buy everything used except fasteners, and I try to get them at yard sales. Thinking of my offspring, I try to not pay more for a tool than they will be able to get at my estate sale. None of them will want my tools, so I want them to get the right amount of cash for them.

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Glenn View Post
    The degree of accuracy of the expensive squares is non-consequential at my level of woodworking.
    I love it! I'm right with you. Plane to fit, that's my MO. :-D

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Boulder, CO
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    The essence of the discussion is one that is both eternal and unresolvable: "Order these good values in terms of importance". Beauty, thrift, accuracy, enjoyment, adaptability, durability, tradition.

    All these things are good, no two humans are ever going to come up with exactly the same ordering. And there's no resolution because there's no correct ordering. I like pretty tools, so I lean more on value 1. YMMV.

    It's the same discussion I frequently get into with my spouse: which is better: thrift or indulgence? We've literally had discussions come down to the following exchange:
    Me: "(dismissive) It's twenty bucks."
    Her: "(emphatic) It's twenty bucks."

    (And then we laugh and do whatever she wants).

  11. #26
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    I order my choices in the following manner: accuracy,durability,beauty.I like tradition also,having worked in a museum for 40 years. My tools all look traditional even if I totally designed them. I obviously enjoy beautiful tools as anyone can attest who has seen the tools I have made. But accuracy must be the first in importance. After all,what does it matter if your square is engraved and gold plated if it isn't accurate?

    Wooden squares are sort of a special thing: They are the least durable,but easy to plane or file if accuracy gets off. And also easy to make when a new one is needed. I used wooden squares in the museum shop for many years. Things had to be 18th. C. there.

    This is just my opinion,of course. Everyone is free to go their own way. I can only offer things for free that might have taken me 10 or 20 years to find out. Saving the new woodworker so much time,and advancing him much faster. This is the reason we go to schools.
    Last edited by george wilson; 05-26-2016 at 12:28 PM.

  12. #27
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    [QUOTE=george wilson;2569012]I order my choices in the following manner: accuracy,durability,beauty.]

    That's why I've had a Starret square for years. IIRC, I received it from my wife because it was on my Christmas list.

    Every time I pick it up, I gloat a little. A friend gave me the round center finding attachment. When working with rounds, using a marking knife, I have absolute center.
    Last edited by lowell holmes; 05-26-2016 at 12:40 PM.

  13. #28
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    I paid probably too much for a 6" Starrett all steel square back in the 70's in a Pennsylvania flea market. Can't recall the price,but I still have it and use it. Still just like new. Since I tend to do smaller work,it is the square I use the most. I have a progression of Starrett and B&S squares up to 24" blade. They get QUITE heavy in the larger sizes,and I have to be careful to NOT DROP them on wooden projects! Of course,they were really meant for machinists,so I'm being excessive using them on wood in the first place.

  14. #29
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    I also have an Athol Machine Co square. I don't know where or how I came by it. I was not aware that it is the fore runner to Starrett. It is an exceptionally smooth working square.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by george wilson View Post
    I paid probably too much for a 6" Starrett all steel square back in the 70's in a Pennsylvania flea market. Can't recall the price,but I still have it and use it. Still just like new. Since I tend to do smaller work,it is the square I use the most. I have a progression of Starrett and B&S squares up to 24" blade. They get QUITE heavy in the larger sizes,and I have to be careful to NOT DROP them on wooden projects! Of course,they were really meant for machinists,so I'm being excessive using them on wood in the first place.
    Same situation here, though not as long ago. I invested in Starrett and Mitutoyo back when I was a mechanical engineer. They were expensive as all get out (esp for me back then), but they've been completely accurate and dependable.

    I've looked at a bunch of Empire and Pinnacle (sold at Woodcraft) combo squares, and they've all had accuracy issues of one sort or another. I have an Empire "beater" combo square that had a reasonably straight blade, and I was able to hand-file the registration lands in the head to make it reasonably square.

    I saw a "Made in USA" Pinnacle once wherein the 12" blade was warped by several mils (in the axis that matters) along its length. Now THAT takes some shoddy manufacturing.
    Last edited by Patrick Chase; 05-27-2016 at 10:58 AM.

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