Friday, December 07, 2012

Take Down

Ooo, some of you are very good at this, and fast too. On the other hand, I did catch out a fair few by duplicitously hinting at adjustability. We'll call it a score draw.

Yes, the mystery pic didn't show the parts fully "home" so I could lead you astray with thoughts of patented augers and such, but here it is, fully locked and not quite such a close up.

Zoom out a little more, and behold, it is, indeed, a "take-down" framing square. A cunning whizz that eliminated that ever-recurring problem for the framing square user - where to put the darn thing in the tool box. The dovetail slide and locking screw make it really very rigid and it's actually square. Even in this example, which has suffered more than a little in its life; alas, even with the helpful direction indicating arrow, someone tried to tighten it up the wrong way, and did Bad Things at some point. Jeff saved me a lot of time with his correct guess, by also providing a link to the patent - much obliged, Jeff!

Once again, it was one of the former owners of the Newlyn Tool Chest who spared no expense and went for the top of the range from Stanley; a No. R100TD. And it really was an expensive choice; according to the September 1937 "MAC" catalogue, they cost a hefty 26/6 each. An equivalent fixed Stanley square in the same catalogue was a mere 15/-. For the benefit of Americans and anyone else for whom the shilling is a closed book, a 1920s Stanley USA catalogue shows $5.05 and $2.70 respectively. Basically, it's nearer twice as much as not, so no wonder you don't see them much.

The Stanley Little Big Book tells me it was made between 1919-1947 (presumably starting around when Eagle Square was swallowed by Stanley?), and that the key and canvas sack are frequently missing. The Old Tool Archive suggests one half of the square can often be missing too. Well anyway, I have the sack, albeit rather the worse for wear.

But from the state of the slot on the locking screw, you've probably guessed that I don't have the key, and it was lost long before I acquired the square. There's a little pocket in between the two long ones for the arms wherein the key was, I imagine, intended to live. Sad.

Perhaps I've never been tuned to noticing them, but I don't recall seeing framing squares much at all round these parts (right-angles in Cornish buildings aren't really much of a thing), so it seems doubly unlikely that of all the framing squares in all the world, this apparently atypical example should wend its way into my w'shop. I kinda like it, although I've never used it and in all likelihood never shall. Although maybe if it had a replacement key or key-substitute, I might... Where's the To Do List?

#46758594: Make key for take-down square.

Le sigh.

Anyway, now you car boot and flea market types know to start looking out for ratty canvas pouches now as well as more obvious rust - you never know what you might find inside. And thanks for for playing along and taking a guess!

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