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ALWAYS Do This To Your CARPENTRY + WOODWORKING Projects! (How to SQUARE UP Cabinets/Floors/Walls…)
Understanding “squareness” is one of the most important parts of becoming a good carpenter or woodworker. This short video from The Honest Carpenter will explain what “square” means in carpentry and construction, how we determine if something is square, and how we keep it square!
As I mentioned in my “Plumb, Level, Square” video, the word “square” in construction simply means two lines, components or objects are sitting at a perfect 90-degrees to one another.
Building things square is massively important in carpentry, because elements built out of square will impact later phases of work that are built upon the first.
To determine square for very small objects like little boxes, you can just slide a TRY SQUARE into an interior corner and make sure both legs of the tool are touching the material evenly.
For anything slightly larger like a cabinet, it’s better to “pull diagonals” or “pull corners” to see if something is square.
Hook your tape measure onto one corner and pull to the opposite outside corner–note the measurement. Now pull from the other corner on the same side to the other opposite corner, and note that measurement. If the numbers are different, then your box is OUT OF SQUARE!
One corner is probably squeezed in, meaning that the other corner on that end is being pushed out. Rack the box back into shape and pull corners again until the numbers match up.
On very large structures like floors and walls, it’s best to use the 3-4-5 METHOD. Pull three feet on one leg of the structure and make a mark at 3′. Then pull 4′ out the other leg and make a mark. Now measure the distance between the two marks. If it’s 5′, then your structure is square. If it’s not 5′, then your structure is out of square–shift it into the right shape.
Once you have an object squared up, brace it by shooting a scrap piece of wood across two adjacent legs, locking the shape into place until glue dries, or your finished building!
Thanks for watching!
The Honest Carpenter