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  • Square not square

    I have 3-4 large and small steel squares in the shop and if I mark a line and then flip it over and try again, the lines don't match. This is on a straight stock. I read a while back about straightning a square. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Re: Square not square

    Yep,

    If they are not out too bad (say 1/16" or less) you can try straighten them out. I will make an effort below to explain how I do this.

    If the square is bowed outward, take a center punch and hammer and start making a few strikes on the inside corner. I strike the punch about 1/4" from the edge and usually make around 3 strikes and re-check. Dont try to bury the punch in the steel. If necessary, continue making some punch marks but check often. After finishing, you will want to clean up the raised areas around the punch marks with a fine file or some sandpaper.

    If the square is bowed in, make the marks along the outer edge.

    Also worth noting, I work on the shorter ( more narrow) leg of the square as there is less mass to displace and usually easier to straighten out.

    Hope I have not confused you, if so, someone else will chime in and give a better explanation of the process.

    If they are out 1/8" or more, I would just toss in the trash and go buy a good square. Dont be afraid to check them in the store along the edge of some MDF or drywall.

    Regards,

    Regards,

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Square not square

      HEre is a website that gives you a better explanation than I did, I found it right after I posted.

      hxxp://www.newwoodworker.com/fxfrmsqr.html

      replace hxxp: with http: and you are good to go.

      Regards,

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Square not square

        wow! thanks Biscuit for the great website. I read the tips and tool reviews..
        this is an excellent site for all to visit.

        Perhaps we need to initiate a "links" section on this website to provide the readers with some excellent resources.

        Cactus Man

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Square not square

          Yeah, it is a pretty good site, I should have tried to find it before I made my first reply as they explain it a heck of a lot better than I can.

          There is some pretty good information on there, makes for some intresting reading anyway.

          REgards,

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Square not square

            The link is great, but don't you have this backward? Or maybe I'm not understanding "bowed outward" and "bowed inward" as you mean them. If the angle between the legs is less than ninety degrees, you need to punch the inside of the corner, right?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Square not square

              jkl: You are correct. The punch slightly expands the metal around it. If the angle is less than 90, punch the inside corner. If the angle is more than 90, punch outside. If you punch on both sides (of the inside or outside corner as the case may be) you have less chance of warping the legs out of flat with each other. You can also use a small (i.e. 4 oz) ball peen hammer (use the ball) instead of the punch. Use a very hard wood or the anvil of a bench vise to support the corner when striking it. It took me three taps on each side to align a 24" aluminum framing square that was out 3/32 measured on the long leg. Check it after each tap.

              Go
              Last edited by Gofor; 04-24-2007, 07:45 PM.
              Practicing at practical wood working

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Square not square

                Thanks for the advise and link. I made sure to bookmark that one.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Square not square

                  Go with GOFOR. He's right on . I'd like to add, that in a (near)perfect world, then, when you buy your square, check it at the store. If the first ones off, or/and the second one, then that brand's no good. You really get what you pay for, when it's precision measuring equipment. Having found a perfect example of your square, then treat it with great respect and care. I know that YOU! wouldn't dream of opening beer bottles, etc. with a measuring tool, but when not in use, keep it in a drawer, or cupboard, where wives, (or husbands), children, and especially guests, can't get to them. I do it especially with my speciall beating & forming hammers for stainless. Try explaining that someone may not use my Schlichthammer for hitting nails! Yeah! so life's easier if they can't see it. The real horror story was when a (now ex) girlfriend wanted to use a micrometer as a "G" cramp!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Square not square

                    Yep, I had it backwards in my explanation, Sorry about that, I was in a hurry typing that response and my fingers were faster than my brain

                    Or have I got that backwards too

                    Regards,

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Square not square

                      Originally posted by ernurse View Post
                      I have 3-4 large and small steel squares in the shop and if I mark a line and then flip it over and try again, the lines don't match. This is on a straight stock. I read a while back about straightning a square. Any suggestions?
                      I've alway used the 3-4-5 method for checking square. Works great on framing squares.
                      Buy cheap, buy twice.

                      Comment

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