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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Still squaring up

I have really been wanting a precision square. Something that I know is dead-on no question about it. I was cruising around the other day and noticed someone had a kit that coupled the brass gauge bars with a 1-2-3 block. Brilliant. I can’t believe that it eluded me for so long. A 1-2-3 block is a perfect square to help set up tools. With accuracy under .0005” over the entire length they are far superior to the pencil line aligned squares in my kit. So I got on e-bay and found a nice seller who hooked me up with 4 of them for under $25 shipped to my door. That is about half the cost of the cheapest of the woodworking specific “precision” squares and they are usually only guaranteed to about .001”.

The only bad part is that they show that my squares aren’t as perfect as I thought. Oh well, guess the pencil test can only get you so close. I was even using mag glasses and a fine pencil. For those unfamilliar with mag glasses, here is Austin modelling the goods.

Bottom line, even cheap machinist setup squares are as precise as expensive wood squares. Also, not too worried about dropping them on the floor. Heck they are likely to dent the floor.

Using the blocks to set my jointer last night was a breeze. They engage solid on the fence and the bed. There is no question that they are sitting flat. I think they will also be handy for tablesaw setup. Who knows what else, but with a few of these around the shop I am feeling very confident they will come in handy.

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