Use of a Try Square

Try Squares are the most commonly used marking tool. This video provides a step-by-step process of how the Try Square is used.  It is used to mark a line at right angles to a face or an edge.  It is also used to check if two surfaces are at 90 degrees.

There are 3 parts to the try square. A hardwood handle or stock, a metal blade and a face plate on the handle which is usually brass.

Using the try square

  • The exact point at which you want the line to be is measured and marked with a pencil or marking knife on the face side.
  • The pencil or marking knife is then placed on the point made.
  • The try square is then clamped (with your hand) against the face edge of the timber and slid up to touch the pencil or knife
  • You can then mark the line at right angles to the face edge.
  • Turn the wood and and place the pencil or knife on the line you have just marked.
  • The try square is this time clamped to the face side and slide up to the knife or pencil and the line is marked on the opposite edge to the face edge.
  • Repeat the process for the face edge and the side opposite the face side.

Always mark from the face edge or the face side this ensures that any minor errors in the squareness of the timber do not affect the marking out.