machinist's square - size for equipment setup?

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Forum topic by rossn posted 01-26-2019 08:35 PM 1118 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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29 posts in 154 days

01-26-2019 08:35 PM

I’m looking to buy a machinist’s square for setting up my tablesaw, jointer, etc. What size(s) do you find most useful? Trying to decide between ordering 1 or 2, versus a set like the grizzly. I find when I buy sets, I often don’t use all the pieces. FWIW, I would like to do some more metalworking in the future.


22 replies so far

View Richard Lee's profile

Richard Lee

240 posts in 1135 days

#1 posted 01-26-2019 09:00 PM

Why not this , can also be used as a height gauge for Saws, Routers, set your planer and jointer knives.
And its dead square.

View Redoak49's profile


3926 posts in 2349 days

#2 posted 01-26-2019 09:46 PM

I use a dial indicator and home made jigs to hold it for different applications. The Oneway is nice and will work but a bit expensive for me.

View TungOil's profile


1207 posts in 855 days

#3 posted 01-26-2019 10:30 PM

I like a 8ā€¯machinists square.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View WoodenDreams's profile


577 posts in 271 days

#4 posted 01-26-2019 10:47 PM

The machinist square I use most is the 3”. For the angles on table saw blade and jointer fence, I use a Wixey digital readout gauge.

View Mainboom's profile


90 posts in 117 days

#5 posted 01-27-2019 02:15 AM

new from woodpecker.. there is another one they make as well . this is nice but cost…personally I just us a combination square for my table saw and bandsaw. But I only use that combination square for the purpose of setup. I do have a 2 inch machinists square I use for my scroll saw got it on amazon

-- CRANE OPERATORS START EARLY because iron workers need their heros ready when they wake up

View rossn's profile


29 posts in 154 days

#6 posted 01-27-2019 08:10 PM

Thanks, all—I’m really glad to hear about the alternate tools and their versatility. When looking up the woodpecker gauge, I also saw the Delve Square, though it isn’t available currently. That 45/90 gauge block and Oneway are very nice, though certainly spendy! I will keep them as an option, and for the moment may start with a 3” square, as it’s only about $12. I’ve also heard that the plastic drafting tools go a long way.

View Andybb's profile


1884 posts in 963 days

#7 posted 01-27-2019 08:23 PM

I know I’m gonna get the wrath of some so I apologise in advance.

I’m one of those folks who say “square is square” regardless of the cost. My avatar is a homemade square on top of my $100 Woodpecker T-Square. I bought a set of these. They are square too and so is the plastic speed square I got from HF. Not saying that expensive tools aren’t good also. (i.e the $100 I spent on the Woodpecker square and don’t regret). I use the WP as a reference. Square is square here and in China. :-)

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View ibewjon's profile


366 posts in 3153 days

#8 posted 01-27-2019 08:32 PM

I too have purchased very few woodpeckers tools ( because of the high price ) , and use them mostly to check everyday tools. Don’t want to chance dropping a woodpeckers tool.

View JohnDon's profile


88 posts in 1529 days

#9 posted 01-28-2019 12:45 AM

Cheap, accurate square: CD jewel case.

View jonah's profile


2067 posts in 3659 days

#10 posted 01-28-2019 01:23 AM

I use 4” double squares for layout mostly, 6” combination and machinist squares (PEC cosmetic seconds from eBay, mostly), and a 12” combination square.

6” is really the sweet spot for machine setup IMO.

View ibewjon's profile


366 posts in 3153 days

#11 posted 01-28-2019 02:02 AM

I checked a couple CD cases. You just added that for a joke, right? I guess they would be ok for framing a shed. IF you use foaming poly glue to fill the joints. The hardwood you are using costs more than a good machinist square! I guess we all needed a laugh.

View Andybb's profile


1884 posts in 963 days

#12 posted 01-28-2019 06:26 AM

The cd case is apparently no joke. Not to hijack the thread….I must need meds because ibewjon’s post about the cd case made me think because my first thought was it’s laser cut so I did a non scientific experiment.

Each of the tools are (appear to be) dead nuts square to my reference, the Woodpecker TS-24. Actually the cd case had that perfect fit like it and the TS24 were long lost laser cut brothers. Probably the best fit of all. On the right side is a cd case with a Toledo carpenters square on top. On the left side are a 12” HF triangle, 2 $2.99 imported 3” squares, 1 homemade 4” square and a HF 12” sliding square all topped off with a Woodpecker 6” rule. I figured that if there was any deviation it would be amplified exponentially by the 8 edges of a total of about $12 worth of cheap tools. When I stacked the WP rule on top it all it slid dead nuts up against that cd case without any visible gap.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View CaptainKlutz's profile


1224 posts in 1854 days

#13 posted 01-28-2019 07:02 AM

I m one of those folks who say “square is square” regardless of the cost.
- Andybb

+1 when dealing with dimensions less than a foot, cheap or expensive – they all seem to create same results for me? Sweet spot for WW machine setup is 4-6 inch square.
I use Wixey digital angle gauge to set TS blade angles as the blade bends under pressure and it is hard to get enough blade extension to use regular square.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View robscastle's profile


6012 posts in 2564 days

#14 posted 01-28-2019 07:14 AM

Nothing beats a speed square for costs and flexability, and it does just about everything,
closely followed by a a small japanese square for setting the disc sander at 90 deg and checking the table saw blade, after that and anything in between a digital angle box.

Otherwise the already existing calibration markings on mitre gauges and saw setting angle are hard to beat.

Not forgetting the calibrated eyeball, ....if it looks square it usually spot on square.

-- Regards Rob

View jutsFL's profile


167 posts in 201 days

#15 posted 01-28-2019 01:53 PM

I bought a couple sizes from this brand on Amazon very cheap. They are VERY solid, and accurate per anything I can measure against. Highly recomend for the price point!

Kinex 4033-12-015 6” Tall x 4”...

Kinex 4033-12-007 3” Tall x 2”...

-- I've quickly learned that being a woodworker isn't about making flawless work, rather it's fixing all the mistakes you made so that it appears flawless to others! Jay - FL

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