How to Use a Speed Square | Ask This Old House

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Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva demonstrates the amazing versatility of the humble rafter square.
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Shopping List for How to Use a Speed Square:
– PVC baluster [https://amzn.to/2XESZXU], used to make Speed Square holder
– 3/4-inch plywood strip [https://amzn.to/31lwFoJ], for reinforcing PVC baluster
– Short screws [https://amzn.to/2MHO7R3] and belt clip [https://amzn.to/31nnTGG]

Tools List for How to Use a Speed Square:
– Speed Square [https://amzn.to/2Wt0XCk]
– Miter saw [https://amzn.to/2X5PAV6], to cut PVC baluster
– Table saw [https://amzn.to/2F3jWxw] or router [https://amzn.to/2XFj1dC], for slotting PVC baluster

Steps for How to Use a Speed Square:
1. A Speed Square, also called a rafter square or layout square, has a 90-degree marking edge and a 45-degree marking edge.[BR]
2. The square can be used as a straightedge guide when crosscutting with a circular saw.[BR]
3. A pivot point allows the square to be used as a protractor for marking angled lines.[BR]
4. The square is ideally suited for laying stud locations for walls.[BR]
5. Built into the square are several scribing notches, which provide a fast, easy way to mark layout lines or cutlines onto lumber.[BR]
6. The perfect 90-degree corner of the Speed Square can be used to determine whether two boards form a precise right angle.[BR]
7. To keep the square close at hand, hang it on your tool belt with a hook or get a specially designed Speed Square pouch.[BR]
8. You can also custom-make your own Speed Square holder from a PVC baluster.[BR]
9. Cut the baluster to length on a miter saw, then cut a stopped slot along one side with a table saw or router.[BR]
10. Cut a [FRACTION 34]-inch-thick plywood strip to fit inside the PVC holder, and secure it with short screws.[BR]
11. Attach a metal belt clip to the opposite side of the holder.[BR]
12. Clip the holder onto your tool belt, then slide the Speed Square into the slot.

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Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we’re ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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How to Use a Speed Square | Ask This Old House
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