Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Talkin' Tools #3: Speed Square

Hi everyone! This week, for Talkin' Tools I'm going to cover one of my most valuable, albeit simple tools, the Speed Square (sometimes called a "rafter square").

When I first started building, my husband handed me a speed square and said "You're going to need this." He is a professional framer and keeps one in his pocket at all times. His gets used countless times a day. Although I am not putting up walls or finding the pitch of a roof (usually), I still consider my speed square invaluable.

The best part of all... They are dirt cheap! I think I got mine at Harbor Freight on sale for $1.

Time for an anatomy lesson:

The whole thing is shaped like an equilateral triangle and has one side with a flat edge, like a "T".

It has lots of numbers on it. On the 2 adjacent sides, there are ruler markings (very handy) used to measure length. On the edge of the hypotenuse are angles in degrees.

And on the inner rail, there are a bunch of dashes and numbers. These are to find the pitch of a roof (4/12, 6/12, etc). 

*On that note, living in Arizona and our sea of 3/12 and 4/12 roofs, I'm so jealous of the rest of you with your stately 6/12 pitches! 

Although a speed square can be tremendously helpful in finding and ascribing angles, I typically reserve finding angles for my combination square.

90% of the time I use my speed square to mark lengths from an edge, giving me a way to draw a perfectly perpendicular line.

Or, to check if two boards are "square" with each other.

Plan on building or repairing a piece of furniture soon? I would highly recommend shelling out the $1 to get yourself a speed square. It will help you avoid stuck drawer boxes and wobbly legs.

Do you have a speed square? Are you constantly using yours?

Linking at:
Liz Marie Blog ThePinJunkie The Shabby Nest  photo grabbutton1_zps655117c3.png Shine on Friday Link Party Craft Dictator Fidlin' Fridays Link Party DIY blog Classy Clutter ..Twigg studios


  1. Okay...My husband has one of these, so now I have a new toy to steal and play with. I'm pretty sure he got his at Harbor Freight too. And we have a 7:12 roof...weep away. :P You're still way cooler than me though. =D


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  3. Yes! My husband has one of these in the garage, and we use it all the time!!! I never knew how much I needed this tool until I saw him using it one day. Amazing what you discover when you back away and watch... :-)
    <3 Kim