Because I travel a lot with my tools, every ounce and inch (centimeter and kilogram) is critical.
I usually push the weight limit for luggage, so compact tools can mean the difference between bringing my own underwear and having to purchase some foreign undies that might just lift and separate things that should be neither lifted nor separated on a man (see also: my trip to Italy this June).
So I’ve always wanted a take-down framing square – it’s a standard carpentry tool that separates into two pieces for travel. It’s brilliant for travel. But I’d never buy one online – they have a reputation for being abused and out of square.
While I was teaching this weekend at Roy Underhill’s The Woodwright’s School, I sneaked up to Ed Lebetkin’s tool-porn-a-go-go store and examined three of the take-down squares he had for sale. All three were out of whack. But Roy thought he could fix one of them with a little metalwork.
It took a couple hours of filing, cleaning and peening, but he transformed this Pexto SR-100 into a factory-perfect jewel. The parts click when they slide together. And the cam lock snugs up everything tight.
I can now get rid of the old framing square I’ve had since college. Anyone want it? Come and get it. The only catch is you also have to take two pairs of pink and gray Italian undies.
And thanks Roy.
— Christopher Schwarz