Tips on "adjusting for square"

Submitted by AJD008 on Wed, 04/23/2014 - 08:47

Howdy - First post here. I've got a few projects under my belt, and have learned enough to be trying to weed out my more obvious mistakes. The biggest struggle I have is getting my projects square and level, and candidly I find the "adjust for square" step in every set of plans to be mysterious.

What precisely does this involve? I tend to find that things look square when I'm dry fitting or laying out pieces, but once I glue, screw and clamp them up mistakes creep in. Some of this is probably the result of sawing errors (working on that too), but I would welcome any suggestions for "adjusting for square" at the time I join pieces together.



Thu, 04/24/2014 - 09:40

In most joints, you will be using at least 2 screws or nails. Once the first one is in, you're committed on position, but you should be able to rotate slightly to adjust the angle if needed before you lock it in with the second screw.

And yes, a good miter saw is critical.


Fri, 04/25/2014 - 08:58

First thing is to make sure corresponding parts are as close to the same length as possible. If one side is 23 inches and the other side is 23 1/4" you will always have at best a trapezoid and never a rectangle.

You can make or buy square corners that you clamp in position as you're assembling.

You can also measure diagonal measurements to ensure they're the same. Assembly, fasteners and clamping can all draw things out of square as you go. Do a final check with diagonal measure before you walk away and call it good.

Tom Moxey

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 06:48

Hi. First time on here. Awesome website.. Built a few things from here allready and really enjoy it. Thanks.. Just a question regarding the plans for the swingset ... In the plans it talks about certain hardware "hangers", but doesnt show any pictures of them. Just wondering if someone has built the swingset and might know what they are talking about. Particularily interested in the hangers for the 4by6 beam. And the other hanger to join the 4x4 beams that join togeather on the end.


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