Here at ToolGuyd, we love mini layout squares, and Lee Valley has a new Veritas 1-1/2″ “pocket layout square” that looks like it could be useful.
If you want a small square for woodworking tasks, there’s also the Woodpeckers Delve square, and Milwaukee’s trim square. Those two squares are different sizes and with different features, and the same is going to be true for this Veritas square.
The Veritas pocket layout square measures just 1-1/2″ long and wide. Its base is offset 1/8″ on one side, and 1/4″ on the other.
It has 1/16″ markings on the side, and angle graduations in 10° intervals, although Lee Valley cautions that the protractor functionality won’t be as accurate as on standard squares.
Lee Valley says:
Keep it in your pocket and use it for joint layout of small parts or in cramped areas of a project that require simple cut-off or miter squares.
The square is made from extruded aluminum with black anodizing and laser-etched markings. It’s made in Canada.
If this piques your interest, you might also be interested in reading about Lee Valley’s Veritas layout blocks.
This is a really small square, teeny tiny even.
It does look like it’ll come in handy for smaller joinery layout work, or working with smaller pieces of wood where standard squares are just way too large.
Lee Valley sells a couple of miniature-sized hand tools, but this doesn’t seem to be a part of that lineup – it really just looks like an attempt to suit woodworkers who work more with smaller-sized pieces of wood.
I do wonder if Lee Valley and Veritas would or should have come out with a larger square, but maybe they’re testing the waters with this one.
Woodpeckers’ Delve square is ~3-3/4″ long (side), and Milwaukee’s trim square is 4-1/2″. The Delve square is machined and priced at $50 (soon to be $60), and Milwaukee’s square is from extruded aluminum and priced at $10. Both those squares are made in the USA, while the Veritas is made in Canada.
I wonder if maybe 2-1/2″ would be a more usable length.
Actually, I could appreciate the smaller size after all, which might serve double-duty in machine setup tasks, with router bits or other adjustable-depth cutters and accessories.
I’ll very likely end up buying one, to see just how useful it is. At just under $10, it’s priced high enough to where I wouldn’t buy one for personal use without knowing if or how I’d use it, but low enough where I can justify it as a ToolGuyd editorial expense.
I love exploring tools like this. I predict that I’ll end up using it quite a bit, although I will probably look to avoid losing it in a pocket.
As for the price, I’m thinking “$10 for that little piece of aluminum?!,” but also “other companies would machine a similar tool and charge 4X as much.”
I have a couple of Lee Valley/Veritas tools, and some of their extruded aluminum products, and they’re all decent. Such tools are economically priced, at least compared to what other brands might charge for similar functionality, since the main shape is extruded instead of being machined. That’s never been a let-down for me.
It will be interesting to see how useful the 1-1/2″ size will prove to be.
Compare: Delve Square via Woodpeckers
Compare: Milwaukee Square via Tool Nut
Compare: Milwaukee Square via Acme Tools
What’s next, a 3″ combination square? I’m a big fan of Lee Valley, but this just doesn’t really fill any need I can conceive of that one of the slightly larger trim squares can’t. I already have smaller try squares for setting up 90 degree joints in smaller boxes and tight corners, and this doesn’t seem to add any new value. I honestly can’t think of an application where this solves a need an existing tool doesn’t already address.
I am absolutely buying one. I think it could be great for pen turning. Especially for marking the center of those small pieces of wood. I might head there tomorrow.
I have a 4 inch combination square that I use constantly. I am a maintenance contractor and we use it on flooring, baseboards and casings all the time. Fits into the tool belt comfortably and is very usefull
Ought to buy one because its cute!!!
Looks interesting – and easy to stick in an apron pocket.
I’ve found small squares to be handy for machine setup and sharpening tasks.
I have a Kinex 4 inch square that I use:
A 4 inch double square can also be handy:
It is still too big!
I will keep waiting for the 1”, 1/2” and 1/4” combo pack.
With illuminated magnifying glass and mechanical pencil in the deluxe travel kit!
This would be useful for alot of hobbyists. Take a look at micromark for other interesting mini tools.
Like a 3″ square
For a while now I’ve been meaning to get:
This may edge it out (and I’ve _got_ to get the 3″ square which @Mopar4wd pointed out) — I do a lot of small-scale work.
Looks like it could pull double duty as a 90° clamp guide for places where larger ones wouldn’t fit.
If this was anodized red it would cost $40.
That would make a cute keychain
My thoughts exactly.
With shipping to the U.S. and tax, it’s twice that cost. Maybe it will end up on Amazon Prime one day.
I usually add non-urgent items to my cart or wishlist and then splurge during a “free shipping on $40+” promo event.
Good point. Thanks!
Amazon would probably bundle $5 or $6 shipping cost into their Prime pricing – then also add (the no longer avoidable) sales tax.
My recent purchases with Lee Valley have been for a Christmas gift – so I look for their BF (or is it Cyber Monday?) discounted gift cards.
Lee Valley does distribute certain tools through other retailers, but they’re woodworking suppliers.
In my opinion, distributing through Amazon probably wouldn’t result in many extra sales, but could open the door to bigger headaches for them.
There are so many knock-off and generic tools on Amazon that Veritas tools would face strong competition and relatively few new customer sales.
I’ve had issues with how Amazon packages and ships certain items. What’s going to happen when they ship certain woodworking tools in nothing but a baggie mailer?
I am happy that Lee-Valley/Veritas has not succumbed to the siren’s song (aka Amazon’s marketing appeal). I hope that they can remain profitable as a niche player – and unlike Rockler and Woodcraft not need Amazon’s marketing clout. My take is that if they became dependent on a broader market that Amazon might provide – than they might be pressed to cut costs to meet Amazon price points. Once that would happen – could Veritas quality – built on Canadian manufacturing be sustained? Or would we see them outsourcing to Asian-based factories. After Stanley plane manufacturing sort of fell off the cliff something like 60 years ago – it was nice to see folks like Lie-Nielsen and Veritas bring plane manufacturing at modest scale (rather than just custom made planes) back to North America. I hope that they do not go the route of Bridge City.
Koko The Talking Ape
There’s also a version from Bridge City that has a magnetically secured and removable fence. I’d worry about losing the fence, but being able to remove it might be useful for some setup tasks. 2″ x 2″, $23.
I’ve seen Lee Valley do some things like this before. “Testing the Waters” is not far from what they intend here. But, it’s not to test interest, it’s more to test whether they can manufacture them without buying new machines. Similarly, they got a new machine in the main factory, and they want to try making a tool they’ve never done before. Either way… by hook or by crook, expect more things like this.
This might be in response to Woodpecker’s recent release, or it might be totally ignoring it, because they just want to see what their own version might look like. I can say, without question, this is NOT the only one they will make. I have rarely known Veritas Products to half-ass the release of a new set of possible useful tools.
In fact… I would keep an eye out for the 2020 Gift Catalog in November/December. This may get put into a marking and measuring set, in a special case of some sort. Perhaps into a set with a series of specific sizes of these, Both in Metric and Imperial. Probably separate sets for Metric and Imperial, but still… Lee Valley can sometimes be like a dog with a bone… They don’t like to let go of a good idea.
I have severe doubts this was created to compete with anyone. Worst case scenario, they just bought a new dye for their main extruder, and wanted to see if it was cost effective, efficient, and profitable enough to make something THIS size instead of other standards. They’ll probably make enough of a run to break even, bare minimum, and continue making them as long as they’re wanted by customers, in which case they’d start being profitable again.
If all else fails, I’ll call them and just ask. They love getting ideas and feedback from customers.
And report back to us in the Lower Forty Eight. Please.
I love their sense of adventure by always trying new things.