A combination square is perhaps one of the most versatile small tool that you may need to use every now and then for your DIY projects. As its name suggests, it is a combination of parts, which are used for different functions. On the one hand, we have the ruler, which you can use for measuring lengths and widths. On the other hand, we have the head, which is actually interchangeable with other heads depending on what you need to do. For example, you can affix a 45-degree head, a 90-degree head and so on.
Many DIY enthusiasts pass this tool because they do not know what it is for. I too did not know that it could do quite a lot and that is the reason I bought my father one. He has been a DIY enthusiast all of his life and therefore, I figured I would buy him something to remember.
As fate would have it, the only tool missing in his collection was the combination square and so I ordered one for him. Since it arrived, I have been watching him put it to work, and I am amazed at the things it can do.
Here are just a few of them:
For marking angles on timber
When you are working with timber, you need to cut different angles for different jobs. Even when you want to cut the wood in a straight line, you will still use the combination square. When you want to make a 45-degree joint, use the combination square affixed with the right head to cut your angle accurately. Just place the square on the edge of the wood, making sure that the edge runs straight to the ruler side.
To mark lines along the length of your wood
This is another very useful task for the combination square. Assuming you have a piece of timber that is 10 feet long and 6 inches wide, and you want to cut it into two equal parts lengthwise; the square will really help you. All that you need to do is adjust the head to rest at exactly three inches, and then place the square on the edge of the wood.
You can then place a pencil against the edge of the ruler at the center of the wood and move both the square and the pencil to draw a straight line all the way to the end. Of course, to achieve this, you will need to keep the timber on a flat surface where it will not budge.
Find out how squared a corner is
You can never tell whether a corner is square just by looking at it. You can only tell that by placing the edge of the square inside the corner. If the wood edge veers away from one side of the square, it means the corner is not a perfect square.
The combination square can come in very handy when you want to make a molding to the window or doors in your masonry projects. By measuring the distance between the wall surface and the added molding, you can see where you need more plaster and where you do not.