It’s unusual for us to create a replica of a tool that was never actually made, but such is the case with this bevel square – a design patented in 1890 by Justus Traut, a 38-year employee of the Stanley Rule and Level Company. The tool’s design incorporated an improvement to a bevel square patented by Traut and produced two years earlier by Stanley. Curiously, the improved version was never released for reasons that continue to be the subject of speculation today.

Our replica of Traut’s sole prototype from the Stanley model shop shows the addition of a small washer or eccentric that bears against a point on the rule, intended to ensure accuracy by eliminating play between the movable parts. The eccentric screw allows periodic adjustment to ensure the rule is always held square to the head.

In addition to representing an intriguing piece of history, the replica also functions as a typical combination square. A lip on the long side of the head registers against a workpiece for easy marking of ±45°, while the rule is used more conventionally for 90°. Although the 8" long by 1" hardened (Rc40-45) stainless-steel rule is without graduations, it works well for taking and transferring dimensions referentially. The investment cast stainless-steel head is about 2 1/2" high by 4 7/8" wide by 9/16" deep and weighs about half a pound.

Made in Canada. A useful tool with a fascinating pedigree.

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