# Carpenters Square

The most common use of the Speed Square is to mark square lines at precisely 90 degrees to the board’s edge. Perhaps the most practical—and practiced—use of the Speed Square is not as a square at all, but as a straightedge guide for a portable circular saw. This is just another tool where you want to look out for an old one that is still good enough to use. In addition to use the square tool, construction calculators are also used to verify and determine roofing calculations.

You can use the speed square to mark an angle, such as when cutting a rafter tail, by holding the pivot point against the board. There are also degrees marked in 1-degree increments, and markings that correspond to roof pitch for common and hip / valley rafters along the hypotenuse. If you have any tips or tricks on working with a speed square, or any questions or comments, please post them below.

However, that one didn’t have a county of origin on it, so I suspect it was Chinese…I just wonder how square it is, hmm, thats not a bad idea to check it in the store. Then place a torpedo level on the fat base of the square and adjust the square until the level is level, and read the pitch on the side of the square. Saw Guide – One of the other common functions of the speed square is as a guide for cross-cutting lumber at an accurate 90° or 45° angle.

Needless to say I don’t loan out my forged and heat treated Stanley framing and shipwright’s square It has tapered limbs and acres of tables you can use to cut rfter and jacks, taper spars, and make octagons. To use the SPEED® Square to make an angled cut on a roof rafter, simply align the pivot point at the short point of the cut. The side cut is located at the intersection of the side cut of jack rafters row and the pitch column on the Steel square. Using a square to lay out a standard hip gives a carpenter practice for working with large framing members.

I also use a Stanley 18R for short work, because that’s the other one I inherited from the framing carpenter who taught me how to use framing squares. Find the unit rise (say inches per foot) of the roof on the top line in the framing square rafter table, e.g. a 6-inch rise per foot. This mini try square is only 4 inches long, but will do the job just like the bigger versions.

Among its basic uses are marking common, hip, valley and hip, or valley jack rafters, laying out stair stringers , determining and marking angles, and making square cuts on boards. In carpentry , a square or set square is a guide for establishing right angles (90° angles), usually made of metal and in the shape of a right triangle. Reading, laying out and marking angles typically requires a protractor or a sliding-bevel square, or both.

This table provided on the back of the framing square blade helps you convert inches of rise to slope expressed in degrees. The framing square face or front is the side of the square you will see if you look at the square while holding its longer arm, the tongue, horizontally with the shorter arm, the tongue to your right and pointing down. On this web page I will discuss the most efficient ways to layout and cut common rafters.

Generally, the framing square is broken down into fractions of an inch on top, and in centimeters on the bottom. Measuring – Along one of the right-angled edges of the square is a conventional English ruler which is either 7″ or 12″ (depending on the model of speed square). The square I use is a Stanley stainless steel model, which I have been using for over 15 years, cost 30 some dollars and worth every penny. This is an abbreviated version of what is actually on the square due to space restrictions on this web page. Most roof cutters consider their square one of the more important tools they own, calling it a fine tuned instrument.

A carpenter square will come in handy for any wood construction project that involves repeat angles and squares. Some are programmed to calculate all side cuts for hip, valley and jack regular rafters to be exactly 45° for all rafter pitches. It’s why spending a little extra on a decent square is important, cheap ones really don’t last very long. On the back of a framing square along the inner edge of the blade, inches are divided into 16ths (white arrow).

How to use a framing square and its etched-on tables to figure out roof slope & rafter lengths, rafter cuts, brace lengths & cuts, stair stringer layout & cuts and other construction & framing layouts & saw cuts. The square of the length of the hypotenuse (a) equals the squares of the lengths of the opposite sides of a right triangle (b) and (c) – which is a mathematical way of saying that if we know any two roof slope measurement numbers we can compute the third. A carpenter’s framing square includes some tables stamped right into the tool itself.

From there, you can easily and accurately scribe a line along the other right-angled edge to create a line that is perfectly perpendicular to the board’s factory edge.” You can also use it in this mode to scribe 45° angles along the angled edge of the tool (i.e. the base of the triangle). Tighten the thumb screw and check the measurement (I use this method when chopping in mortice locks to check the depth). FRAMING SQUARE USER’S GUIDE at – online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

Here are some other quirky uses we’ve heard speed squares put to: nail set, boot scraper, shim, butter knife and digging tool. When considering the purchase of a new square, go for quality, those \$12 ones just will not cut the mustard under normal everyday use. The table below, found near the end of the back of our framing square blade converts all of the common inch-fractions into decimal fractions. The framing square heel: is the point where the two arms of the framing square meet.

Like the other apprentices, I thought the wormdrive and pneumatic nailer I soon acquired were the keys to the kingdom and I used my square mostly for marking wide boards and square-checking corners. By firmly holding the fence against the edge of a board, you can use the other right-angle or 45° angle edge as a fence for your hand or circular saw. This angle can be cut on the fly by aligning this given number on the blade of the steel square and the twelve-inch mark on the tongue, and drawing a line along the tongue.

My time spent with the framing square-and the true understanding of the geometry behind how to lay out rafters and rooms-was inspired by a section in A.F.J. Riechers’ book Cuts for Steel Square. Knowing the width of the overhang, you can slide the square along the edge of the board and lay out the notch—or ‘bird’s mouth’—in the same way. Whilst that is handy, I’ve got a ‘Trend M3 Square With Tri-Blade & Scribe’ which I bought because it has more functions than a standard one. Directly below the 6 (inch) mark on the framing square read the required rafter length (13.42) per foot of run for a 6-inch rise (6 in 12) roof.