Try Squares & Bevels

Try squares are used for marking lines that run at right angles; avoid dropping them as they can be knocked out of true. The carpenter's square is designed primarily for large jobs such as tabletops, cupboard frames and doors. The short arm (the 'tongue') is 40.65cm (16in) long and the long arm (the 'blade') is 60.95cm (24in) long.

Because it is made out of a single piece of steel, it's strong, precise and pretty much 'idiot proof'. The long arms of the square mean that they are in contact with the workpiece for longer, which gives greater accuracy. You don't have to keep measuring and marking a series of short lines.

Sometimes known as a 'T' bevel, or a bevel gauge, the sliding bevel is another tool used for marking and laying out angles. It is used like a standard try square, but the blade can be adjusted to take and mark out any angle. Bevels either have a blade pivoted in the middle of a wooden stock (handle), or a blade slotted so that it slides along the pivot.

To draw an angle, the wing nut or screw is loosened, the blade set to the required angle against a protractor - or set against an existing angle - the nut is tightened, and the angle then transferred to the work piece. Hold the stock of the bevel hard against the edge of the work piece.

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