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 In Shop Blog, Techniques

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Tool seller Patrick Leach has a new sliding bevel in the works that does something that no other modern bevel does: It locks at a perfect 90°.

Yup. Sliding bevels are great at describing almost every angle except 90°, which is why we have try squares. With this new sliding bevel, some woodworkers might throw away their try squares (I won’t. It might hurt someone).

This bevel square is an exact reproduction of J. Robinson’s improved patent of April 9, 1872 (patent 125,617). Robinson invented and patented the first butt-locking sliding bevel in 1870, and his mechanism is still the best one around.

The improved 1872 version features a small tab at the base of the tool. When you push the tab up, it will square up the blade, allowing you to lock it at exactly 90°.

How exact? Exact enough for woodworking. If you are a machinist or measure things in angstroms, you will have to adjust your dosage or find another sort of tool to make you happy.


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