Staying Square


Sometimes even the best laid plans take time to come to fruition. Such is the case with our new squares. I have been working on them at a slow pace for over a year now; I wanted all the details to be just right. A trade-off to this slower pace approach is that other projects and crises squeeze into the schedule and wedge it apart. The slow pace becomes even slower, the finish date is pushed out and the earth groans. However, persistence prevails and we are thrilled to finally release our new adjustable square!


A square is a simple tool in theory; it allows one to either check that something is at an angle of 90 degrees or allows you to scribe a mark at 90 degrees to a reference surface. Many squares are available that perform these functions, at least for awhile. However, if dropped or bumped hard or even subjected to changes in humidity level, they can go “out of square”. This is unfortunate as it renders the square rather useless. We have addressed this problem by making the Blue Spruce Toolworks square to be adjustable. This is not a new idea but it is a good one. It is a quick and easy operation to check and make any adjustments if ever necessary. It will be in perfect tune for its lifetime. Two pre-tensioned setscrews maintain a constant pressure on the blade and allow minute adjustments. A key and instructions are provided for convenience.

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Beyond mere function, I believe a woodworking tool can have a beauty and grace that exceeds even visual delight, evoking a tactile feedback which enhances the pleasure of its use. A tool should not be cold and lifeless; it should interact with you and inspire you to do your finest work. This happens through careful design and attention to detail. Weight and balance are immediately apparent when you pick up the square, not too heavy, not too light, easy to hold, it feels right.  The lightly chamfered edges and the  semi-matte ceramic coating give the body a soft, cool, inviting touch while the wood inserts add a warmth and beauty that only wood can bring. Curves, lines, proportions and texture all work together to give light and shadow. Many subtle details dance together to develop the whole performance. You may not want to put it down once you pick it up! Not everyone will appreciate fine tools, and that is okay. For those that do and take pleasure in using fine tools, I am pleased to offer our newest Blue Spruce Toolworks tool:

4 x 6 inch Adjustable Square

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They are available immediately but are also made to order so there is a short lead-time of one to two weeks for assembly.  Current options include a choice of body colors, either blue spruce green or midnight blue, a choice of hardened steel blade with either a satin finish or graphite black ceramic coating, and hardware finish of either satin stainless steel or graphite black ceramic. Wood scale choices include figured maple, dymondwood (dyed, laminated beech which looks quite nice) and cocobolo. Other scale options may be available.

Link to Adjustable Squares on our Website: SQUARES


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  1. Bruce Powers

    Adjustable square; an interesting concept and design.
    What reference solution insures the adjustment is correct? And what degree of accuracy is obtainable?

    Appreciate your work and fine results.


    1. Thanks Bruce. You can use the square itself as its own reference. Using a jointed board, scribe a line using a sharp marking knife. Flip the square over and scribe a line very close to the first line. If the two lines are parallel then the square is true. If not, adjust the blade half way between the two, non-parallel lines. Re-check as before. This method gives accuracy well within the precision needed for woodworking and is easy to achieve.


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