It’s Hip to Have a Square or Two
For the past few years I’ve been doing most of my woodworking in the Fine Woodworking shop. It’s large, well-lit, and well-equipped, with every tool I need readily at hand. Now that my kids are a bit older and slightly more independent (meaning I get hourlong bursts of fix-it or build-it opportunities), I’ve been spending a lot of my spare time organizing my home shop. I’m realizing now, though, how under-equipped my shop is.
Recently, I had a few projects to tackle around the house. I got my tablesaw reassembled, mounted a blade, then tried to check that it was square to the table. I reached for a trusty engineer’s square only to realize that I didn’t own one. Tough luck. I made do with a combination square, but it bothered me that I didn’t have a more precise instrument for checking machine setups.
I fixed the problem, though. After I was given a $50 gift card for Amazon.com, I purchased two engineer’s squares (a 2 incher and a 4 incher). They’re indispensible for checking that fences and blades are square to their tables, and I also use them to check corners for square during glue-ups. By the way, I had some dough left over on the card, so also I bought an eclipse-style honing guide. I like the eclipse-style guide; it’s not fancy, but it gets the job done with little fuss.
Anyway, for under 50 bucks, I’ve punched another ticket for my journey to a well-equipped woodworking Mecca.
Use a 2-in. engineer's square to check that a tablesaw blade is 90 degrees to the table.
A 4-in. square works for fence setups.
An eclipse-style honing guide is a simple sharpening aid that's easy to set up and use.