Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 6, Issue 3
   January 2012
   Featured Patents

The Adjustable Bevel Square

Adjustable bevel square

For any do-it-yourselfer, or for that matter any professional, who has attempted to install crown molding, the adage of "measure twice and cut once" will have a familiar ring. Few people get the corner cuts right the first time. The combination of holding a long piece of molding, standing on a ladder or scaffold, visualizing the reverse side and appropriate angle of cut and coming down to make the cut by hand or by power usually translates into a bit of confusion as to what the original measurement was. There is no magic formula to prevent mistakes when doing this type of work, and for some the tube of paintable latex caulk is the acceptable solution to what can be a very frustrating problem. For over 150 years, inventors have sought to make the job easier with gauges and tools such as the one shown here.

W.T. Fisher of Lenoir, Tennessee, sought with patent #79,062 dated June 23, 1868, to improve the versatility of bevel-type handheld marking devices. He claimed that his improved instrument could function as a bevel square, a right-angle square, a plumb and a level. The addition of the protractor scale meant the instrument could also be used as an inclinometer, as outlined in detail in the patent. By releasing the two thumbscrews, one could rotate the protractor section, allowing for more extensive readings. The tool has three basic components, each fashioned from a different material. The body stock is rosewood, the blade is steel and the protractor mechanism and top section are brass, as are the bottom tips on the main wooden body. This combination makes for an attractive tool.
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