I'm continuing on writing about building some wooden layout squares for the shop. If you haven't been following up to this point you can catch up on the previous posts HERE.
I kind of like Twitter, aside from the stupid name, the group of woodworkers out there are a great bunch of guys. Awhile back when I was beginning work on these squares I spent a day in the shop "Tweeting" through my progress. I would take a picture with my phone and upload it with a "Tweet" I kept calling it an English Layout Square after the title Chris Schwarz and Patrick Leach had bestowed upon it. One of my followers "Tweeted" up, (you see what I mean about the name, I feel like I'm writing about Dr. Seuss) anyway, he said
"I still reckon these are French squares - they are hanging on the wall in Roubo plate 11. Whatever, I love yours, Derek :)",
I answered that I was going with what The Schwarz was calling it but I knew the "Roubo" square was more akin to a try square in design. then Jeremy sent me a link to this picture, posted for download on Popular Woodworking's website.
But before I could get that far I had a few things to finish up. I wanted to peg the half lap joints for some added stability and because I really though it would look great especially if I used some contrasting wood and I had just the stuff. A while back I picked up a bag of random exotic turning blanks from Woodcraft. I never use exotics at all, but they seemed perfect to turn into some tool handles. So the admission here is that I have no idea what wood this is. If you can figure it out from the pictures you're a better person than I, drop me a comment and let me know what you think it is.
doweling plate to make 1/4" round dowel.
HERE"S A LINK to that post and video.
Now I was ready to make the layout square more versatile by giving it the chance to act as a level as well. The first thing I had to do was go out and find a smallish plumb bob. A little time on eBay and I had what I was looking for.
The Village Carpenter, as she's crafting a level. (If you haven't seen it you should because it's amazing work) Earlier this afternoon I had to smile as I thought of her work because now I had a new level too, albeit a different and cruder version. But in her post introducing the project I think we may have an answer to the question I pose in the title of this article. Is it English? Is it French? Nope, it's Egyptian. Read it HERE.
I laid my four foot construction level on the workbench and shimmed it until the bubble was plumb I then rested the arms of the square on the level, with the plumb bob attached. I waited a few seconds for the bob to stop moving and then held the string tight. I used a pencil to mark on the cross piece on either side of the string. Then I used a sharp chisel to cut a "V" marking plumb, then I also excavated a very shallow indent.
A coat of danish oil and she was looking beautiful, and you may think that was enough for me and sqaures, but you'd be mistaken. I had a couple more things I wanted to try.