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Thread: Storing Combination Squares

  1. #1
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    Storing Combination Squares

    Over time, I wound up with several combination squares - a couple of 12" Mitutoyos and several Starretts of different sizes from 6" to 18", including one 12" that was my father's when he was a machinist prior to WWII. I now store them on a shelf which I find inconvenient and want to make something better for their storage. I am always reaching for one of them so it has to be convenient.

    I've thought about just making a shelf with slots in it that the blades would stick through (hanging down). So I could just look at the shelf, pick the one I want and grab it. But before I try to design something myself, I though I'd see what others do.

    How do you store your combination squares?

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  2. #2
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    I like the slots in a shelf idea. It could be somewhat like a clamp rack so the blade wouldn't bind and they would take up a minimum of left-to-right length.

    Mine live in a plastic silverware holder in my top workbench drawer. They lay at an angle in the spoon-fork-knife slots but, my largest is only 12". Your 18" would never fit into this sort of a deal.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
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    All of my rulers, levels and other measuring kit live in one of the wide shallow drawers in my hand tool cabinet.

    Just an idea, but your could build a slide out (full extension slides) that would have a cut out for each square, it would not be very deep, more of a tray than a drawer, this could live on the underside of a shelf, would not take up much room at all. When you need a square, slide out the tray, and get your square. It would keep them out of the workshop dust and such as well.....

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
    Mike, I'm like you as well. I have quite a few machinist tools that my Grandfather had prior to World War II and I like to store them properly. The one thing I found out early on is that there isn't a tool box I could buy that would let me store my tools the way I liked, so went about designing and building my own toolbox. This is the design I came up with. I even made two of these toolboxes...one for my woodworking shop...and this one for work. I really like the layout of them.

    I use the angled top section to keep my most used tools within sight, within easy reach, and the angled top really lets me do that. I spent a lot of time arranging the tools so that any one of them could be removed without disturbing the others, and yet still get as many tools organized as I could. This angled top section is on hinges and can be swung up with an area underneath which is where I keep all my combination squares. I don't use mine as much as I use my machinist squares.

    Here are a few pictures of my work toolbox. (The G is the insignia for the old Guilford Rail System where I used to work, and the other insignia is for the International Association of Machinists.) As a side note, you might note the double paneled doors. On the railroad we were required to keep a copy of the rule book, and union book on hand at all times. The inside of the doors allowed me to have a pocket where they could be stored.





    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  5. #5
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    Hi Mike ,
    I drop the one I use mostly into a slot which has a bottom at the correct place so as to not lose the blade if inadvertently not tightened when inserted. Works great and you can tell if the slot is empty, the square is not there! Funny as this may seem, and obvious, it does make it easier to know what tools are missing if each one has a specific hole.
    Shaz

    Hi Travis ,
    Lot of work in your tools box. That is a beauty! Can you show us some more photos of the way you have arranged your tools and the way you hold them in? Maybe in a new thread, Sorry Mike!

    Shaz
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  6. #6
    Mike, I was just out in my shop and I thought of this. I use a slot to store my 6 inch combination square, but its placed horizontally instead of vertically. This might be better then a vertical slot because as Shaz pointed out, if the lock is loose, the blade could slide off.

    Here is a picture of my set-up. I have this over my radial arm saw. A light is mounted underneath so I can see my saw cuts better, while the top keeps some of my tools organized. I am not saying you should make something like this, but its just kind of an outside-the-box way of looking at combination square storage (horizontal versus perpendicular)

    The square is to the left of the chisels and just underneath the glue,as this picture is kind of crappy. You can see I store my Machinist square horizontally too. Even the center head part of my combination square has its own spot, which can be seen on the right hand side of the chisels.

    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  7. #7
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    Stu - that's a good idea about the drawer. The way I work, it's always be sticking out so I'd just as well build it sticking out. But your point is well taken about protecting the tools from the trash floating around the shop.

    Travis - wow, that's a work of art. You must have put some real time into that - And two of them, also. And thanks for the other picture and idea.

    Shaz - that's a great idea to put a bottom on the storage so the blade doesn't fall out. I would not have thought of that (until after I built it and the blades started falling out)

    Thanks for the idea.

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 02-02-2008 at 03:12 PM.
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  8. #8
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    Interesting figures on the front, Bro.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  9. #9
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    The center finder & protractor heads along with the 4” & 6” blades live in my machinists (Kennedy) box. The square head & 12” blade live in the collet rack near my mill. For my longer blades/rules, I drilled 1/8” holes in the center of the blades near the 1” mark and hang them on a nail.
    "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a
    friend...if you have one."
    --George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

    "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second..if there is
    one."
    --Winston Churchill, in response




  10. #10
    I have 3 combinations squares that go on a pegboard above my work bench. Each of them have their own pair of hangars from which they hang.
    Ken
    ------



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