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How to Use a Try and Mitre Square

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Learn how to use a try square and a mitre square.

Check out all the videos for a comprehensive look into woodworking.
This curriculum was developed to generate an interest in woodworking.

This step-by-step video will take you through everything you need to know to use a try square and a mitre square to help you measure and check 90 and 45 degree angles in your woodwork projects.

Music - Gilles B

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How to Use a Try Square and a Mitre Square.

In this video you will learn how to use a try square and a miter square.

The tools and materials you will require are a try Square, a miter square, a pencil, a measuring tape or a ruler, and a workpiece.

The try square has a stock and a blade set at a right angle to each other.

The stock has a metric scale on one side and an imperial scale on the other.

The mitre square is the same as a trysquare, but the blade is set on the stock at a 45 degree angle.

The two key steps are marking and checking 90 degrees, and 45 degrees.

STEP 1: 90 degress.

To mark a line perpendicular to the straight edge of a work piece, hold the stalk of the try square against the edge, as shown.

Now, draw a line along the blade.

Before cutting or planing the workpiece, you can transfer the line to the remaining sides, as shown.

To check if two parts of a joint are fixed at a right angle, place the stock of the try square against the edge of the first piece and the blade against the second, as shown.

Press the stock flat against the wooden surface, making sure the corners are aligned.

If the surfaces are perfectly square with each other, there should be no gaps or light passing through between the workpiece and the blade.

Check both sides of the piece whenever possible.

STEP 2: 45 degrees.

To use a mitre square, place the stalk flush against the surface so that the blade is positioned at the point where you wish to mark the 45 degree angle.

Draw a line along the blade.

Use a ruler to extend the line.

As you can see, based on the reading of the protractor, the line is angled at exactly 45 degrees.

For practical uses of a mitre square, you can check out the video on 'How to Make a Butt and Mitre Joint'.

A combination try and mitre square is designed to measure both 45 and 90 degree angles using a single useful tool.

It also has an adjustable stalk that can be set to any point on the blade with the help of a tightening screw.

The groove on the adjustable stalk is helpful to draw long lines parallel to an edge.

You now know how to use a try square and miter square.


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