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Is There One Bevel Gauge to Rule Them All?

Angle Tools

We may know what someone else is saying when they mention a Carpenter’s Bevel, Sliding T-Bevel or any number of phrases with two or more of the words, Carpenter’s, Universal, Adjustable, T, Sliding, Bevel, Square, Angle, or Gage combined, but there is no guessing what they might end up calling it. Perhaps this oddity needs a scientific name. limuo lignarii or something like it.

The Superior Works Sliding Bevel Gauge is definitely a contender for the best bevel gauge. This video shows it off.
It is definitely one to covet.[/url] The price is not listed, so it might be a bit pricy to me.

Lee Valley Tools has three of the nicest bevel gauges, The Starrett, Veritas and the Shinwa Aluminum Sliding Bevel. I have the Shinwa Aluminum Sliding Bevel and it is one of my personal favorites, despite the fact that I did not make it.

The Limited Edition Woodpeckers Gauge is also a quite nice aluminum bevel gauge.

For sheer beauty, The Australian Version from Vespers, looks like the best of them.

While these are not bevel gauges, bevel gauges are enhanced by the ability to set them. I have the Veritas Bevel Gauge Setter from Lee Valley, and I use it whenever I am making the odd dovetail. Woodpeckers is making another one time tool, that is similar, but larger. It does not have the locking slide for repeating angles, but it is larger which may mean greater precision and more angle choices.

I may have  obtained what is currently one of the hardest to obtain bevel gauges, The Pitch Square, and it may well be the best bevel gauge of them all. It depends on your view I suppose, but it is the only one here that could be called heavy duty, and apart from the extreme angles the Starrett can do, this can do everything the others listed above can do and a bit more.

The Pitch Square

Pitch Square Close


After taking it out of the package, the first impression of it is substantial.

It is seriously large, heavy duty and solid. I have no question in my mind, the pitch square is definitely the toughest out there. It also adds the built in functionality of an angle setter. It is not as fast and agile as my Shinwa, but it would take it in a fight and in some cases, it is more precise and has a lot of extra capabilities. If you are asking how a bevel gauge can be more precise, the answer is to make it micro adjustable. Make the blade able to be used as a plumb bob and put reference data and scales on the blade. Adding a bevel setting gauge into the tool by putting reference angles on the blade doesn’t hurt either.

I can usually put a bevel square to a 90 degree angle by eye and get within a quarter degree of accurate. The Pitch Square has the ability to lock down on a 90 degree angle. When I first locked the Pitch Square down I needed to pull out my big guns to find the error in it. Setting it multiple times with the slide extended or pulled back on either side, the worst error I got was about a thirty-second of a degree. This beats a lot of squares that I have bought and is more precise than most adjustable angles I have used. The angle guide on the blade tests out as accurate, but with the limited width of a bevel squares gauge, it is hard to achieve the machinist grade accuracy by eye.

That said, I have already used the bevel guide to my advantage. After taking a few picture and measurements of a table that I liked, I was also able to write down the angle of the legs. Not bad for a tool that I was carrying in my pocket. With a cell phone, Pitch Square, and tape measure, no antique’s dimensions are safe!

Having used it to work wood,

I love it. It is solid, heavy, and micro adjustable. The handle I was trying to make out of mesquite failed, but the Pitch Square was a success. Sometimes it is slower, because you have to unscrew the adjuster to allow a range of angles. But then again, you could just leave the adjuster wide open, and it will have all the speed and agility of a normal bevel gauge. When Mike Morrell, the inventor of the Pitch Square, comes out with his next version, there may be no disadvantages at all. He has a design patented with a quick release on the screw!

Consider me in line to get one!

Bob

P.S. If you do construction, be sure to check out Mike’s Pitchster!

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