The Speed Square

Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

The Swanson Speed Square

Swanson speed square

In my never-ending and epic battle to remodel our son’s 1960’s built house, I’ve had the added perk of getting to buy some of those unique tools that make guys happy.  We all know that for guys it always boils down to “tools and toys”.  Either one enables us to hold an animated conversation with a perfect stranger.  Well this past week I spent a lot of time on my knees working on either vinyl flooring or wood flooring at the house.  The Speed Square was just the ticket for a number of tasks and it will stay within reach in the workshop.  Handy doesn’t begin to describe it….

Some people will call this device a rafter square.  My wife says is just a triangle.  Invented in 1925, it really combines the rafter square; framing square; straight square; protractor; ruler; and cutting guide all into one single device.  Cleverly designed and incredibly simple to use too.

It has a ridged fence like protrusion along one leg of the triangle which allows you to use it for making square cuts, scribes, and aligning boards prior to cutting.  Every edge has some sort of measurement scales along it for multiple uses.  This week I used it to measure the vinyl and also as a cutting edge to run by razor knife along to cut it too.  No more grabbing a tape measure…making a mark…then getting a straight edge… etc.  Just grab the Speed Square.  I also had to frame up some blind cabinet corners when installing the kitchen cabinets.  Cutting the 2x4’s with my circular saw was SO easy…just by using the Speed Square as a fence to rest the saw against while cutting.  Straight and square cuts every time!

speed squareIt comes in two basic sizes – 7 in and 12 inch versions, but in multiple materials like steel, aluminum, or plastic.  Plus you can get it in US or metric measurements.  Mine also had an adapter that allowed you to measure and adjust the square for angles that were not “square”.  So in our 1960 house you can imagine how many walls were not exactly plumb.  Making custom cuts was a breeze using the angle-finder.

wooden stairsComing up next, I have to rebuild the basement stairs.  This tool will work great in measuring and setting up the stringers and risers.  Sometimes it too bad when you finish a project because you have to put away your toys… er I mean tools!








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Average: 5 (1 vote)

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Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

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