Woodpeckers’ latest One Time Tools are stainless steel versions of their 641 and 1281 squares. These new model 641SS and 1281SS squares feature stainless steel blades and an aluminum handle.
But these aren’t just copies of the all-aluminum designs, they have some new features, such as laser-cut notches for scribing parallel lines, additional scales on the inside and end of the handle, and an easy-to-use recalibration feature.
The 1/16″ thick blades are laser-cut from hardened stainless spring steel and then milled for accuracy. The handles are made from aircraft-grade aluminum and anodized in typical Woodpeckers-red.
These squares have a somewhat unique design – a second stainless steel blade that’s sandwiched inside the handle. This second blade helps support the square on a workpiece edge when drawing perpendicular lines.
Along the blade there are small double-sided notches spaced 1/16″ apart for scribing parallel lines. Larger notches clearly indicate every inch mark.
Each square has four measurement and working edges, with scales in 1/32″ increments. For example the 12″ square has a 12″ outside scale and a 10-1/2″ inside scale. On the handle there’s a 6-1/2″ scale on the inside and a 2″ scale at the end.
Woodpeckers has included a way for square owners to re-calibrate the squares if they are ever find to be out of alignment.
On one side of the square is an Allen screw marked “loosen here,” that unlocks the blade. Once the blade is free, you can use the “adjust here” screw on the other side to slowly move the blade to the left or right until it is square again. Then just retighten the “loosen here” screw and the square is ready to go.
You can always send the squares back to Woodpeckers and they will realign them for free — although you’ll probably have to pay for shipping.
Woodpeckers is selling this square in six different packages:
- 6″ stainless square (641SS imperial) for $100
- 12″ stainless square (1281SS imperial) for $160
- A set with both 6″ and 12″ stainless squares for $250
- 150 mm stainless square (641SS metric) for $110
- 300 mm stainless square (1281SS metric) for $170
- A set with both 150 mm and 300 mm stainless squares for $270
Each of the squares or sets of squares come in their own MDF storage case.
Like most of Woodpeckers One Time Tools, you need to think fast on this one, the ordering deadline is April 24th, 2017. Once ordered you’ll have to wait until August 2017 for them to ship.
I spent some quality time at Woodcraft earlier this week. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but I did notice a Woodpeckers 641 square for sale. Since my Crown Tools square is out of alignment, I’ve been thinking about buying a new precision square to setup machines for a while. I figured what the heck, and was about to buy it until I talked to the sales guy.
I jokingly said that for me it’d be a choice between a Woodpeckers square and a Starrett square. He went to a display case I missed and pulled out a Starrett 6″ double square. After talking about the pros and cons of each I decided I’d spend the extra money on the Starrett.
While I was talking to him about the square, I mentioned that my Crown Tools square was out of alignment. He asked me how I used it. When I did, he told me something I didn’t know, the outside of the square isn’t guaranteed to be perpendicular, only the inside with the brass edge. The wood can swell and shrink and throw the outside of the square out of alignment. That didn’t really matter though, my blade is still off on the inside too. Still, I never realized it was never meant to be used in some of the ways I had been using it.
The Woodpeckers 641SS 6″ stainless square is around the same range as the Starrett square I purchased. Had the Woodpeckers 641 SS been in the store that day, would I have considered it? Maybe.
Part of what attracted me to the Starrett was the durability, I liked the hardened steel blade of the Starrett vs. the aluminum blade of the standard 641, and these new One Time Tools have a steel blade. I think the scribing notches the stainless steel version have would have been really attractive too. They look a lot more useful than the tiny holes that only fit a certain size mechanical pencil lead.