Earth: The Riches of Clare
A Set Square
The carpenter always uses one edge of the timber as a basis for setting out so there is an overall consistency of quality and pattern, in an effort to work with the organic and variable nature of the wood.
The stock edge of the square was placed against the face edge of the timber, with the blade of the square on the face side. When setting out the lines, he then scored across the timber with a bradawl (awl) or sharp knife. This prevents the wood fibres from tearing out along the grain and provides an accurate guide when paring down to the line with a chisel or plane for a final fit. The square was mainly used for checking an edge for square.