In Tool Reviews, Tools

try squareby Jim McConnell
page 16

One thing I always worry about with fixed-blade metal try squares (especially beautiful and expensive ones) is the reality that rough handling or an accidental drop from the workbench can knock them out of alignment and render them useless. The new 4″ x 6″ square by Blue Spruce Toolworks has an answer for that. Instead of being fixed with pins, the hardened steel blade is fixed on an integrated pivoting mechanism and, with the aid of two thoughtful set screws, can easily be adjusted for a lifetime of accurate use.

The mechanism itself is robust, and I found it nearly impossible to knock the square out of alignment. In the end I loosened the screws to simulate misalignment, but within a few seconds I was able to reset the high-carbon steel blade to dead square and get back to work.

Right out of the box, it is clear that the Blue Spruce square is positioned to compete with other high-end squares. The heft of the thing bears witness to a quality tool and the fit and finish are impressive. I was tempted to write off the dazzling array of available finish and infill options as purely cosmetic, but after spending time with the square I had to admit that the details add up. Recessed wooden infills on the stock felt comfortable and natural in my hands, adding an organic feel to this otherwise highly machined instrument, and I soon came to appreciate how the matte black coating on the blade of the test model reduced glare, allowing me to more accurately try my work for square against a source of light. (Note: The blade is also available polished or with a ceramic coating.)

At $165, the Blue Spruce square is a significant investment, but one you won’t regret.

Make your own wooden try squares with the help of Graham Haydon.

From the August 2016 issue

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