Newsletter Article: 18 Ways to use a Combination Square

18 Reasons Why I Love my Combination Squares

By Luther Shealy

 

There are a lot of well-designed woodworking squares on the market today.  There are also a lot of tried and true vintage squares out there.  I know, being a bit of a tool hound, I have owned just about all of them at one time or another.  But for all the squares that are sitting in my workshop, the square I tend to reach for is my 12 Combination Square.  I have two, premium, very accurate, combination squares – a Starrett and a PEC.  I find them equal in accuracy and quality.  I keep one in my traveling tool kit and one in my tool chest near my workbench.  So if I could do it all over again, I would save the money buying all those unused squares and just purchase a premium combination square (or two).

 

OK, so why do I prefer combination squares?  That’s easy.  Because there are so many things you can do with a good combination square.  How many you ask?  Well here are pictures of some of my favorite ways to use a combination square.

 

Marking a board for a 90 degree crosscut

 

Marking a board for a 45 degree crosscut

 

Checking the end of a board for square

 

Checking the edge of a board for square

 

 Striking a line parallel to an edge

 

Laying out a mortise

 

 

Finding the center of a board

 

 

Checking a glue-up for square

 

 

 Checking my jointer fence for square

 

Checking my table saw blade for square

 

Checking my table saw blade for 45 degrees

 

 Checking if my table saw blade is parallel to the miter slot

 

Checking to see if my table saw fence is parallel to the miter slot

 

Setting my router fence parallel to the miter slot

 

Setting the height of a bit in my router table

 

Setting the height of a bit in my handheld router

 

Measuring the depth of a dado, rabbit, or mortise

 

 

Setting my mortiser for distance away from the fence

 

How many more ways can you think of to use a combination square?