When a square is not square...

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Review by nwbusa posted 09-11-2012 05:39 AM 4302 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
When a square is not square... No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’ll make this review short and sweet. When it comes to try squares, they really only have to do one thing well—be square. I bought this inexpensive Crown 4” try square, not expecting any more or any less from it. Unfortunately, it failed in its primary purpose—it was only mostly square, and that just ain’t good enough. The specific problem was that the blade was indeed square to the base; however, the top of the blade was not parallel to the bottom. The last 1” of the blade had a slight narrowing taper of about .010”, which was quite noticeable. I checked it against two Starrett squares with feeler gauges and measured the same error.

I managed to remove the taper with some careful filing, thus salvaging the tool… and that’s the only reason I give it 2 stars (well, that and it looks nice). I wouldn’t recommend this tool and I won’t be buying inexpensive try squares again.

-- John, BC, Canada

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1022 posts in 3053 days

11 comments so far

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#1 posted 09-11-2012 06:07 AM

I’ve had one of these for years and it is perfectly square.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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10880 posts in 3882 days

#2 posted 09-11-2012 06:24 AM

I wuold have complained to the store and let them changed to a new one
anyway thanks for the rewiew John


View Rick1911's profile


9 posts in 2984 days

#3 posted 09-11-2012 02:26 PM

I think this applies to what you’re saying.
According to what I’ve read, including this from the following linked page:

Like all antique and modern squares made to this design, the 90° accuracy
is set for this inside angle only.

-- “Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?”

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1022 posts in 3053 days

#4 posted 09-11-2012 03:52 PM

Interesting, but in the case of my square the top edge of the blade was tapered at the end (i.e. not flat) which Is clearly a defect.

-- John, BC, Canada

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3389 posts in 2941 days

#5 posted 09-11-2012 03:57 PM

Nice review! Just learned the lesson.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View rwyoung's profile


412 posts in 4239 days

#6 posted 09-11-2012 08:20 PM

Traditional try squares meant for use in woodworking are only supposed to have the inside edge of the arm (the wood and brass bit in your square) at right angles to the outside edge of the beam. Anything else is gravy but typically, the beam has parallel edges so the angle will be 90 from the inside edge of the arm to either edge of the beam.

So, the one you had did not have parallel edges to the beam through its entire length? I’ve seen ones that were manufactured that way but it was very, very obvious that the edges were not parallel nor were they meant to be at the time of manufacture. It was intended to be a visual reminder as to which two edges to use on the square.

If you want square to all edges, use a machinist’s square.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

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1022 posts in 3053 days

#7 posted 09-11-2012 09:15 PM

I really wish now I had taken a picture. The edges of the blade were parallel until the last 1” or so, farthest from the arm. At that point, the top edge tapered toward the bottom edge by about .010” at the tip. Basically, the top edge was not true along its entire length. I don’t think it was intentionally manufactured that way.

-- John, BC, Canada

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Mark Davisson

598 posts in 4085 days

#8 posted 09-13-2012 10:51 PM

Mine’s good.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View Ken90712's profile


17867 posts in 3956 days

#9 posted 09-14-2012 09:31 AM

Good to hear you fixed this. Good info from woodcraft on this Rick1911, never knew this.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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717 posts in 3065 days

#10 posted 09-17-2012 02:00 PM

I dont use a square so I just look at my ventures and make them pleasing to the eye

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View gko's profile


83 posts in 4012 days

#11 posted 09-20-2012 08:16 AM

I have the same square and did find that the inside edge was square and the outside edge was off by a small but noticeable amount. Checked it by the old flipping on a board with a flat edge method which doubles the error. Inside was excellent while the outside split by a small but noticeable amount. I only use the inside square but use the outside if it’s less than an inch.

-- Wood Menehune, Honolulu

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