If there were a woodworking tool hall of fame, the Bridge City TS-2 try square would definitely be on display there.
my travels through shops all over the country I’ve seen this square in
the hands of many woodworkers, including those who prefer their tools to
be salvaged from junk stores and incorporating bottlecaps, goat hooves
and bits of tin foil.
Why would cheapskates shell out serious
money for this square? Because it is square. Really square. Dead-on
square. And for many years the term “try square” meant that the
manufacturer would kinda “try” to make it “square.” I have a few of
these tools. I call them “fail squares” or a “try rhombus.”
Economaki, the founder of Bridge City Tool Works and maker of the TS-2,
is now doing something that sounds a tad crazy. He is showing home
woodworkers how to build this square using home shop equipment in
classes. And in 2011, we are going publish an article by Economaki (a
funny writer – check out his blog if you don’t believe me) on how to build this square.
you don’t want to wait until the article appears in the fall, you can
take a week-long class with Economaki May 23-27, 2011, on toolmaking and design
at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking.
Adams has kindly agreed to let us photograph Economaki and the students
at work building this square, so it should be a fun class.
You can get more information at marcadams.com.
Registration for all the classes at the school opens on Dec. 1.
Economaki taught a short version of this class this fall. You can see
photos from that weekend here.
Of course, the big question here is why Economaki would teach people his trade.
his answer: “The motivation for teaching the tool-making class is to
foster some young buck into starting a tool-making business – we need
more toolmakers and woodworkers.”
— Christopher Schwarz
Like Making Tools?
• Want to make a fancy French wooden try square? We have plans for A.J. Roubo’s beautiful try square in our store for just $5.
• We’ve also just added Steve Olesin’s “Tool Making Projects For Joinery And Woodworking” – a great book on building all sorts of tools. Right now it’s on sale for $10. Sweet.
• One of the coolest DVDs I own is Larry Williams’s DVD on making moulding planes. Even if you don’t want to make tools, this is fascinating to watch.