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  1. #1
    User TENdriver's Avatar
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    Combination Squares

    A few years ago, it seemed like all the hand tool guys were raving about their combination squares and double squares.

    I inherited my dadís 12Ē Starrett along with the extra heads.

    I didnít feel like banging around a Starrett just for woodworking, so I went in search of a very good quality USA made square.



    The first one I tried was a double square from Lee Valley/Veritas.

    http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/pag...79&cat=1,42936



    I liked it a lot and was getting good use out of it so I decided to try for another one. One brand kept popping up in woodworking circles and I found a source that sold cosmetic blems.

    I Ďve had the squares for a few years now and I am still very satisfied with them. Better accuracy than I probably need for hand tool work.


    https://www.harryepstein.com/index.p...re-4r-usa.html



    https://www.harryepstein.com/index.p...re-4r-usa.html

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  3. #2
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    Re: Combination Squares

    Good to know! I actually need a new one, my Lowe's junk is far from square and is in date need of replacement. Those seem like a good deal. Is the rule a mitutoyo rule?

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    Re: Combination Squares

    Bromley, I see that brand on the blade. I did some research back when I was in the market and at that time, they were USA production by PEC. My Veritas double square was definitely made by them.

    At the time I bought mine, HJE was THE place to buy these PEC squares for a good price.


    I am not a machinist or engineer so I tried to dig around and get the real skinny on these.

    Here is a link from a few years ago. Mentions PEC and a few others.




    https://www.ncwoodworker.net/forums/...ad.php?t=59321
    Last edited by TENdriver; 12-06-2018 at 12:06 AM.

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    Re: Combination Squares

    I also have that nifty little Veritas double square and 3 Empire blue squares (try-square, rafter square, and a combination square). They're plenty accurate for woodworking but I don't stress out about their absolute accuracy or "squareness". The wood is going to move with changes in moisture and humidity along with an innate tendency to wander from the line.

    http://www.empirelevel.com/combo-squares.php

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    Re: Combination Squares

    I bought my Starrett back when I was taking machining classes in the early 80s. I pick up every one I see that are reasonably priced at flea markets and yard sales, sometimes even pawn shops. Don't find so much these days now that everybody has a computer in their pocket and e-bay lists used tools at prices as though they were new. Now people think their old rusty worn out tools are mint collector items. Still every once in a while... Brown & Sharp and Mitutoyo are other great brands that are often over looked. Those three are my only brands that I know are reliable.



    One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." -Elbert Hubbard

    WWFD

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    Re: Combination Squares

    Quote Originally Posted by mbromley View Post
    Good to know! I actually need a new one, my Lowe's junk is far from square and is in date need of replacement. Those seem like a good deal. Is the rule a mitutoyo rule?
    It's very easy to true a combination square. The landings are made of soft metal so they can be easily adjusted with a thin file or sandpaper. Look here.

    My "Lowe's junk" was junk until I adjusted it... now still keeping nice and square ten years later.

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    Re: Combination Squares

    Empire squares are sold by Home Depot. I have the 8" Empire square that had to be "tweaked" just a smidge and now is dead on 90 Degrees.
    Can't remember the price but it's quite reasonable. Also have the higher priced ones but 90 degrees is 90 degrees (except when I make a mistake).

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    Re: Combination Squares

    I wish I could find something like that in 24".

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    Re: Combination Squares

    My 24" Starrett rule cost $54 in 1987, I use it with any of the heads from other sets.



    One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." -Elbert Hubbard

    WWFD

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    Re: Combination Squares

    Quote Originally Posted by Rwe2156 View Post
    I wish I could find something like that in 24".
    There is also "TaylorToolworks on eBay which sells PEC 'Seconds/Blems.' I put that in parenthesis, because I bought two double squares from him, and besides a small mark that looks like it was put there purposefully to signify it as a blem, it looks great to me.

    Here is a link to the 24" version from him: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Blem-Cosmet...4188:rk:5:pf:0

    However, if you just search for PEC Blem on ebay, other listings will come up.

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    Re: Combination Squares

    Try Wholesale Tool. They had a store in Charlotte at one time but are now mail order only in this area. They have 24" combination squares or just the blades if you want one, in stainless steel and etched or engraved markings, fraction and decimal.
    WHAT BOX?

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    Re: Combination Squares

    Whatever you do, stay away from Swanson at Lowe's. They're junk, in my opinion. They rust like crazy.

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    Re: Combination Squares

    I like the PEC and the price. Long ago I worked with a guy who told me once you have a square that is just right, make some "users" from the dead accurate one.

    I use my adjustable square as a marking gauge to scribe lines with a pencil from time to time so the accuracy of the angle is not that critical. I do need squares for checking for 90 when building lots of box type things.

    https://www.ncwoodworker.net/forums/...ad.php?t=44429

    Joe Sharle had a thread going a few years ago on making some squares in wood. I must have a dozen like those in the photo. Having different sizes makes things easy.

    Up on the peg you see a square used at the joiners shop. I built several this size for inside corners. I didn't like the way the joiner made this one too much. The horizontal,vertical and racking brace are all the same thickness. I like my horizontal piece to be thicker so it can ride against an edge when needed.

    Like the squares Joe built and the one in the photo, you can true them up any time down the road and keep going. Much to my surprise, the ones I built with laminated curly maple have not moved much over a 30 year span.


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    Re: Combination Squares

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    I also have that nifty little Veritas double square and 3 Empire blue squares (try-square, rafter square, and a combination square). They're plenty accurate for woodworking but I don't stress out about their absolute accuracy or "squareness". The wood is going to move with changes in moisture and humidity along with an innate tendency to wander from the line.

    http://www.empirelevel.com/combo-squares.php
    I have a 6-inch and a 12-inch Empire combo that I bought through Amazon a few years back and I have been very pleased. Very accurate at rock-bottom prices.
    "Live like no one else, so later, you can LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE!"
    -Dave Ramsey

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    Re: Combination Squares

    Quote Originally Posted by patlaw View Post
    Whatever you do, stay away from Swanson at Lowe's. They're junk, in my opinion. They rust like crazy.
    Hey!
    Experience is a hard teacher; she gives the test first, and the lesson later.

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