Author Topic: Looking for a good square  (Read 4701 times)

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Offline Bird

  • Posts: 15
Looking for a good square
« on: December 31, 2021, 10:01 PM »
I’m setting up my new sliding table saw and want to get a good square. What size would you recommend? Brand? I’m looking at this one:
https://taytools.com/collections/tools-measuring-machinist-squares/products/kinex-knife-edge-inspection-machinist-squares

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Offline ryanjg117

  • Posts: 289
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2022, 04:11 AM »
That square could work, however I'm not sure the knife edge would be helpful for this application. Why not go with a combination square? What are you trying to measure with precision here?

I've had good results with a small square, a combination square, and a Wixey style angle finder.

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1680
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2022, 06:21 AM »
I find a set of 1-2-3 blocks invaluable for machine set up. Heavy enough to stay put. You can angle them so a corner gives a narrower edge.

Ron

Offline Steve1

  • Posts: 184
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2022, 09:22 AM »
I see you are looking at "Machinists Squares".   I agree with that because in metalworking, tolerances are typically much tighter than in woodworking and tools are correspondingly more accurate.
Even a relatively cheap machinist's square will be pretty darn accurate.
Those look like good tolerances, although I would want slightly larger square.
Its nice having a couple of squares you KNOW are accurate.
If you want more choices, try a metalworking site, such as KBC Tools.

Offline Lbob131

  • Posts: 568
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2022, 10:14 AM »
If  you  take  a  piece  of plywood  about 2  foot square  and  cut  about  half  an  inch  of  each  side  rotating  the  plywood  in one  direction  the  finished  off  cut  should  be  exactly  half  an inch  at  both sides.

If the fence  is  off  the   discrepancy   will  be  magnified   x4  on  the  final  cut.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 1460
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2022, 10:16 AM »
Second on the 1-2-3 blocks. They are very handy as squares and as spacers.
Machinist squares are a bit overkill but not really over the top either. Mid-level or even lower end are plenty accurate enough for use on table saws, jointer fences, etc.
As Steve1 said, pretty much all machinist tools are far more accurate than woodworking tools need to be.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1010F
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation
MFT clamps set

Offline montyss

  • Posts: 46
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2022, 11:07 AM »
 When your setting up your New Slider A Dial indicator is almost a must to make it the Best you can quickly and Accurately.
Look at the One Way Multi gauge (https://oneway.ca/products-category/miscellaneous/Multi-Gauge) for setting the Slider Toe Out , Rip Fence Toe out and the Slider height from the Cast Top. You will also need a Good straight edge and a Good level. There is a Good series from David Best on Instagram  if you Google that name along with setting up your sliding table saw it will walk you right through it from start to finish.  Beware It takes a lot of Patience ...   

Offline TSO_Products

  • Retailer
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  • Posts: 430
    • TSO Products LLC
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2022, 01:46 PM »
@Bird - congrats on having the space for a Slider!
Your set up tools can serve you multiple other tasks for a very long time - so this may be a place where you want to buy for the long haul.

You may not be aware of two precision squaring tools we have been making for several years. Inspired by customers who were frustrated that they could not buy a precision 18 inch Square/Triangle when it was available only as a red anodized One Time Tool.

So we chose to fill that need with a competitively priced tool TSO PTR-18 that had a few extra features:
https://tsoproducts.com/tso-precision-system-triangles/

It was not long before other features were also requested leading to TSO's family of Precision Triangles and accessories:
 - the TSO MTR-18 Multi Function Triangle.

enjoying some quality time in our woodshop this holiday week, I'm sure glad to have both of these tools available along with my trusty STARRETT Combination Square, Digital Caliper, 1-2-3 Blocks and more.

Happy New Year in your woodshop [smile]

Hans

Offline Mini Me

  • Posts: 204
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2022, 04:51 PM »
If setting cross cut fences is why you want a square then it is not needed and this video bt Sam Blasco shows a better method. A new slider owner should watch all his videos and also make a Frits & Franz jig as well.




Offline Bird

  • Posts: 15
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2022, 09:27 PM »
Thanks for all the feedback!

Offline Mini Me

  • Posts: 204
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2022, 05:22 AM »
For setting things up I have never used a square and can't think why it would be needed. Two dial indicators and a one way surface gauge is what I use and David best shows some innovative ways to use them. The first thing I did when I got mine was turn it on and use it and for some years I never had any issues with the machine's accuracy. There seems to be a fetish out there for fiddling with these machines when they don't need it and I can state emphatically that the first time setting the table heights requires a fair bit of head scratching to understand what is going on with the adjustments available. As an aside if an accurate square is needed order good quality plastic geometric triangle, they are as accurate as any square offered here or anywhere else for all practical purposes.

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 9670
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2022, 11:37 AM »
For any initial eye-balling my go-to tool is a Starrett combination square. Sometimes a 12" or sometimes a 4" depending upon the task. This gives you a baseline for most measurements and helps you to decide what other measurement tools or methods you'll need to set up the tool/jig/fixture.




I'd anticipate that a 4' long straight edge would also be helpful.




In addition, a dial indicator would be useful especially this Woodpeckers version for setting the fence parallel to the saw blade in a conventional saw setup.






Finally, I have also used the large TSO triangle because of the 18" length of each leg and it is capable of lying flat on a machine surface.





 

Offline John P Clark

  • Posts: 6
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2022, 11:54 AM »
Try Lamb tools - great for squaring up fences on sliders

https://lambtoolworks.com/square

Offline Mini Me

  • Posts: 204
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2022, 06:16 PM »
For any initial eye-balling my go-to tool is a Starrett combination square. Sometimes a 12" or sometimes a 4" depending upon the task. This gives you a baseline for most measurements and helps you to decide what other measurement tools or methods you'll need to set up the tool/jig/fixture.

(Attachment Link)

Is that on a slider? I will still back the plastic against the fanciest squares for the purposes discussed here and spend the saved money elsewhere. Mind you I wold not touch any slider without proof that it had a problem, it is a rabbit hole which is best not entered until it is necessary to do so. Some of the tools Cheese shows will not even work on some sliders.


I'd anticipate that a 4' long straight edge would also be helpful.

(Attachment Link)


In addition, a dial indicator would be useful especially this Woodpeckers version for setting the fence parallel to the saw blade in a conventional saw setup.

(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)


Finally, I have also used the large TSO triangle because of the 18" length of each leg and it is capable of lying flat on a machine surface.

(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4262
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2022, 01:50 PM »
That Woodpeckers Saw Gauge is really great for testing if there's any run-out on a saw blade, and if so, how much.   [smile]
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline Mini Me

  • Posts: 204
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2022, 07:08 PM »
That Woodpeckers Saw Gauge is really great for testing if there's any run-out on a saw blade, and if so, how much.   [smile]

Some sliders which we are referring to here do not have a slot in the table so it can't be used or at least in the manner that was intended by WP. Setting up the table runout is another job that can be fraught with frustration as well because it interferes with the table height. The sliding table on these saws are set above the cast iron table and the runout is needed to avoid cutting on the back of the blade. Forget everything you ever knew about cabinet saws as it does not apply. 

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1334
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2022, 09:40 AM »
Shinwa has an excellent reputation for their measuring tools.  Their carpenters' square it smallish, in stainless steel, and just $11.00 from Amazon.com.  I would give that a try first.  It is graduated in metric.  So be aware of that. 

https://www.amazon.com/SHINWA-CARPENTERS-SQUARE-30CM-stainless/dp/B007MUO8K4

They also make a mini-carpenters' square but I don't know where to buy it:  https://www.fine-tools.com/mini-framingsquares.html

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4262
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2022, 10:54 AM »
Shinwa has an excellent reputation for their measuring tools.  Their carpenters' square it smallish, in stainless steel, and just $11.00 from Amazon.com.  I would give that a try first.  It is graduated in metric.  So be aware of that. 

https://www.amazon.com/SHINWA-CARPENTERS-SQUARE-30CM-stainless/dp/B007MUO8K4

They also make a mini-carpenters' square but I don't know where to buy it:  https://www.fine-tools.com/mini-framingsquares.html
 

The mini square is also on Amazon.
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 9670
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2022, 11:18 AM »
Is that on a slider? I will still back the plastic against the fanciest squares for the purposes discussed here and spend the saved money elsewhere. Mind you I wold not touch any slider without proof that it had a problem, it is a rabbit hole which is best not entered until it is necessary to do so. Some of the tools Cheese shows will not even work on some sliders.

Well, understand that I approach this type of work from a machinist perspective as I arrived at woodworking from a machinist background, so my approach is going to be different than a woodworkers approach....hopefully the end results will be similar.

The tools shown was just a photo that I already had and I just wanted to be clear for the poster what a combination square was.

Offline Mini Me

  • Posts: 204
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2022, 06:52 PM »
My perspective is the same as yours, from a metal working/machinist view. The accuracy of the plastic geometric squares is as phenominal and not well known. The durability of them is obviously a problem and they would never survive in a tool room. 

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1334
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2022, 09:17 AM »
We had a toolmaker that worked for us for many years (now retired).  He was only given the simplest tools to build.  He also did carpentry in the building when required.

Our toolroom manager said, "Jose is either a very imprecise tool maker or a very fine carpenter."  His skillset fell in between the two disciplines.

Everyone has a "precision comfort zone".  It is always interesting to find out where you stand on that.

I make very nice cabinets, and my "furniture" is really gussied up cabinet work.  I recognize where my  skill-set is and I try to stay in my zone.

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 9670
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2022, 10:19 AM »
We had a toolmaker that worked for us for many years (now retired).  He was only given the simplest tools to build.  He also did carpentry in the building when required.

Our toolroom manager said, "Jose is either a very imprecise tool maker or a very fine carpenter."  His skillset fell in between the two disciplines.


Maybe Jose wasn't really a tool maker but rather a machinist instead?

I've always differentiated the various disciplines by what tolerance range do they comfortably/reliably work in.

Tool maker/mold maker .0001"-.00001"
Machinist .001"-.0001"
Furniture maker .01"-.001"
Rough carpentry .1"-.01"

Now that's a matrix that will provide plenty of discussion for many days... [popcorn] [popcorn]

Offline BarneyD

  • Posts: 108
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2022, 10:32 AM »
And don't forget pattern makers with their shrink rules, etc. Kind of a dying trade it seems.

Cheers,
Barney
Barney

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 1386
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2022, 12:09 PM »
Maybe Jose wasn't really a tool maker but rather a machinist instead?

I've always differentiated the various disciplines by what tolerance range do they comfortably/reliably work in.

Tool maker/mold maker .0001"-.00001"
Machinist .001"-.0001"
Furniture maker .01"-.001"
Rough carpentry .1"-.01"

Now that's a matrix that will provide plenty of discussion for many days... [popcorn] [popcorn]

Methinks there are many a drywaller or cabinet installer who would say that you were overly generous to the final listing on that matrix...  [wink]

Offline Lbob131

  • Posts: 568
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2022, 12:24 PM »
We had a toolmaker that worked for us for many years (now retired).  He was only given the simplest tools to build.  He also did carpentry in the building when required.

Our toolroom manager said, "Jose is either a very imprecise tool maker or a very fine carpenter."  His skillset fell in between the two disciplines.


Maybe Jose wasn't really a tool maker but rather a machinist instead?

I've always differentiated the various disciplines by what tolerance range do they comfortably/reliably work in.

Tool maker/mold maker .0001"-.00001"
Machinist .001"-.0001"
Furniture maker .01"-.001"
Rough carpentry .1"-.01"

Now that's a matrix that will provide plenty of discussion for many days... [popcorn] [popcorn]

I could  never  figure  out  inches  in decimal places.


Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3764
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2022, 02:48 PM »
I am just a serious hobby woodworker, but do some highly precise work with exotics. To get the precision I want from my machines, I keep them dust free and tuned using some machinist level tools. The lack of sawdust probably is more important than the precision tuning. But, using the metal working tools is a lot of fun. Manual Starrett micrometers and other of their products are a testimony to really fine workmanship. They feel really good in my hands.
Birdhunter

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 9670
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2022, 03:31 PM »
Methinks there are many a drywaller or cabinet installer who would say that you were overly generous to the final listing on that matrix...  [wink]

The rough carpentry tolerance was written during one of my kinder moments... [tongue]

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1334
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2022, 04:02 PM »
We had a toolmaker that worked for us for many years (now retired).  He was only given the simplest tools to build.  He also did carpentry in the building when required.

Our toolroom manager said, "Jose is either a very imprecise tool maker or a very fine carpenter."  His skillset fell in between the two disciplines.




Maybe Jose wasn't really a tool maker but rather a machinist instead?

I've always differentiated the various disciplines by what tolerance range do they comfortably/reliably work in.

Tool maker/mold maker .0001"-.00001"
Machinist .001"-.0001"
Furniture maker .01"-.001"
Rough carpentry .1"-.01"

Now that's a matrix that will provide plenty of discussion for many days... [popcorn] [popcorn]


Fourslide tools for bending wire in production numbers, do not require the same precision as stamping tools, but do require design and building tools with multiple moving parts. 

So a skilled machinist with the mental ability to visualize how the moving parts all work, can make very nice fourslide tools.

Simple shapes like a round ring or a triangle or a rectangle all in one plane can be made by a less skilled worker. 

So I agree, of the six tool and die workers we have, only two or three have the skill set to produce metal stamping dies.  But down the road there was a huge progressive die shop and the sophisticated designs and the precision required almost certainly exceeded the abilities of our tool makers.

But...the tools that they made that could, for example, produce the handle frame on a potato peeler would cost 7 to 10 times as much as the tools we would make to produce the same item.  Their tool would run faster, but would take years to recoup the difference in tooling cost.

Most of our tools are for bending wire into shapes in multiple planes.  We do not do much with flat stock that requires blanking.

Potato Peeler

Offline Bertotti

  • Posts: 302
Re: Looking for a good square
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2022, 10:01 PM »
For equipment setup and layout, these are my most used tools. I wish TSO would make a square with the accuracy of the MTR. I have found that the red on the woodpecker stuff is getting hard for me to read without glasses but the blue of TSO is pretty easy still. That said they have a new one-time tool for setup depths that I am seriously jonesing for but it is expensive like everything else these two companies have. I love the original Bridgecity tools square but it needs to be adjusted since it isn't as accurate as the TSO squares. And the Incra rules that bend are great! There are a lot of good choices out there. Think about what colors you can read the best how fine you want your graduations etc. Heck that N0#1 odd job was my only setup tool for years. I still use it a lot for smaller stuff. But the three squares are by far my most used for setup. TSO please make a nice blue small square! and triangle! And a 6, 8, 10 triangle instead of a 45-degree one! 30, 60, 90 like we used to use in architectural design classes. So many fine tools to chase! Good Luck!
I want to populate SD with trees because I miss the forests of the river bottoms.