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Beginner Combination Square Advice

if you're new to the combination square and have questions about what it is and what it can do then stick around a combination square consists of a straight blade that slides along a handle and the handle is made up of an anvil and a shoulder which is at a 45 degree angle to the blade this particular combination square also is fitted with a leveling file an describing tool which we'll talk about later the most common two sizes are the 12-inch like the one I have here and a six inch version this measuring and marking tool has multiple uses let's cover seven of them the first and most common use is for marking or verifying 45 or 90 degree angles it's great for marking those angles on the face or the edge of stock and it works well at verifying and or checking 45 or 90 degree angles on previously cut pieces it's also used for verifying and checking angles on power tools and accessories which leads us into the second use which is to aid in power tool maintenance and set up because of normal wear and tear on power tools like table saws and miter saws they only need adjustments made to the blades to keep them cutting at a true 45 or 90 degree angle with the blade of the combination square set to the end position it then can be slid up to a fully raised table saw blade to verify that the blade is indeed at 90 degrees to the table the combination square can also be used to check if the blade is parallel to the miter gauge slots which is very important to check and adjust if needed in addition if you remove the blade from the handle it can be used as a straightedge to check that the saw blade is in line with the riving knife and set to the proper position now that the handle is removed you can use the shoulder to check if the blade tilts to a true 45-degree angle you can also then take that over to the miter saw to verify its 45 degree bevel and miter the next use is a marking tool it's great for marking reveal lines on window trim like in my window casing video and it's also really great at transferring lines around a piece of stock on top of that it's a rock star for making long lines on the face or the edge of stock and you can use the blade by itself to mark out and lay out almost anything the fourth use is a depth gauge and last week's video we looked at making notches with a sir I saw and the tool I used to set up the depth and transfer those measurements to the other pieces was the combination square and that's what makes this tool so great is that once you set a measurement it's easy to transfer that measurement to multiple pieces moving on similar to using it as a depth gauge its next use is to set blade and bit Heights there are two ways to use a combination square to set blade height the first method is to slide the blade to the end of the handle and then place the handle flat on the table with a blade facing up then slowly lower raise the blade until you've reached your desired height on the ruler the other method which most people seem to like is to set the measurement first on the ruler so say to a half an inch and then stand the square up on the blade while using the handle as the blade height marker these two methods can also be used to set router bits and other tools in the shop no matter which way you do it just make sure the blade is at the top center of its rotation the last few uses number six and seven are not available on all brands but it's definitely worth talking about number six is to use the combination square to roughly level a surface using the built-in leveling vial this is a very small level and would only be useful on small surfaces however if you're trying to draw a plumb line from an unlevel surface like the top of this cabinet the leveling vial definitely helps to plumb the blade the last use is actually an accessory that fits into the handle and that's the scribe tool it's used to mark lines by scribing or scratching a mark into the surface of the wood personally I've never used the scribe tool because I've always had a pencil round but it got me thinking about what I could use this for and this is what I came up with if I needed to drill a hole every inch down the length of this board I would first find the center and then set up the combination square to mark a center line all the way down the length of the board I then would use the ruler and the scribe tool to mark each location by using the scribe tool more like a scratch al or a punch punching small holes every inch this way I would benefit twice from one step I would get both my layout marks and my starting holes at the same time the starting holes would then help me to locate the fit properly which helps to keep the bit tracking correctly it's amazing what happens when we take the time to think about like what I just did what's possible with the tools that we have and I encourage each one of you just do that with all the tools that you have in a shop you'd be amazed at what you come up with and what's possible with what you have thanks for watching this video as always if you have questions you can leave them below you can always email me thank you for joining it's good to see you see you next week

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