The Top Questions Everyone working with Framing Squares should know how to answer

The framing square is one of the most useful and versatile carpentry tools. It can be used to layout and cut common rafters, hip rafters, staircase stringers, to name a few. To layout and cut common rafters, a framing square one of the more important tools you need to own.

You may have known the role a framing square plays in your carpentry work, while do you have ideas about how to use it with the most efficiency?

A framing square is a lot more than a simple square-cut saw guide. This simple device includes tables stamped right into the tool itself, and is crammed with tables, data, and tricks that allow a carpenter to layout roof rafters, stairs, or other building features.

Get to Know Different Parts of Framing Squares

BLADE: this is the wider and longer arm of the “L”, normally 2″ in width and 24″ long.

TONGUE: this is the shorter and more narrow arm of the “L”, normally 1 1/2 ” in width and 16″ long.

HEEL: it is the point where the two arms of the framing square meet.

FRONT: This is the side of the square you will see while holding its long arm, the tongue, horizontally with the shorter arm, the tongue to your right, and pointing down.  The front of the framing square is imprinted with the manufacturer’s name and perhaps a patent identification. What is more important is, on the framing square front blade, you’ll find rafter framing tables.

BACK: you will see it if you look at the square while holding its long arm, the tongue horizontally with the shorter arm, the tongue, to your left and pointing down.

Watch out for the color and material of framing squares

Maybe you thought this was just a problem of personal preference. While no! It matters a lot to choose the right material and even color when you are about to start your carpentry work!

The traditional steel framing square was black while newer framing squares are often made of aluminum. Choosing a framing square with proper material is essential to keep its accuracy and sturdiness. Normally framing squares made of aluminum are lighter and easier to operate compared to those made of steel. Framing squares made of steel tend to hinder, while are better in sturdiness and accuracy.

How to Use a Framing Square

Note the graduated scales. Generally, the framing square is broken down into fractions of an inch on top, and in centimeters on the bottom.
Measure a cut. Place one arm parallel against the edge of a piece of material that you wish to cut at a right-angle.
Mark a line along the edge of the other arm and mark out a cut line.
The arm used for marking is generally determined by how long of a mark you need – use the Blade for a longer mark and vice versa.
Cut along the mark.

There is no other tool available today that holds the answers to common roof framing problems other than the framing square. It would be useless for me to go on and on about the many virtues of the steel square. For those who are not carpenters or professionals, it might be quite confusing to choose from different framing squares at the beginning. But don’t panic! We will systematically introduce everything about framing squares. Follow us and you will get the right framing square for your carpentry work!