Where can I buy folding carpenter squares?

Years ago I gave a friend a Nobex folding square from Rocklers, not the kind with three legs that become a triangle, but a regular square, except the blade is mounted on a pivot, with a heavy spring and detents at 45, 90 and 135 degrees. The design seemed reasonably sturdy, and the accuracy was guaranteed to last for 50,000 openings and closings, or something like that.

Lately I’ve had to take my show on the road (renting time at a woodworking co-op) so I thought a folding square would be handy.

And lo, I can’t find one for sale in the US. Nobex, Bora and Swanson all make them, but the only one I can find for sale is a plastic Bora, on Amazon.

Any ideas? And why aren’t they sold here anymore?

nobex is sweedish according to the google pic. which would be why it’s hard to find here.

Didn’t Husky make a folding arm square at one point.

meanwhile for something you want accurate and clean ordering from overseas might be a good choice.

Otherwise perhaps use a combination square that take it apart. A quality one shouldn’t have issues with pulling the ruler blade out to put in a bag.

Yes, Nobex is Swedish, but I used to be able to buy them here, as I said. Swedish tools have been sold in the US for a long time, also German, Spanish, French, Swiss, etc.

Don’t know about Husky.

I suppose ordering from overseas is a possibility, but shipping tends to cost a lot, and I don’t feel as confident they will fix it if there’s a problem.

The combination squares I have will all come apart, but the retention screw can fall out, and fitting it back into the blade is a pain.

I could see it being an issue. I don’t know of a good portable square that would work. Other than just deal with carring a 12 in rafter square. etc.

would a 6 inch combination be enough for you - I guess it depends on the tasks. I got nothing so good luck and post up what you find.

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Bora makes one and Hultafors does too.

I knew about Bora, didn’t know about Hultafors. And there’s Nobex and Swanson, like I said.

But my issue, as I said, is finding a place to buy these things.

In the Chicago area there’s a store that carries the Bora, that’s where I got mine. Berlands Tools.

Thanks, but they don’t seem to sell anything mail-order. I’m in Denver.

You might look at this Swanson:

CH Hanson and BonTool also make large right triangles that fold up and are popular among some masons. And CH Hanson plus Kapro makes a sort of drywall square that allows the T-bar to pivot and fold up.

Thanks, fred!

From the video, it seems to have an adjustable stop at 90 deg, but that’s all. It doesn’t lock at 90, and there’s no detent or anything at 45 that I can see. I could see it being useful for framing (which is what it’s designed for) but for furniture and cabinetry, I’m not so sure (and I know I did say “carpenter’s square”). I need something accurate, and maybe 12" long.

Can you please have the video link that you have mentioned on the comment

I wonder if Toolzone over in Thornton would have something like that. I have only been there once but I remember they had an ecclectic selection with some higher end woodworking tools. Although, their prices could be steep.

so ideally what you need is a triangle square where the hypotenuse beam detaches and the arms fold. I mean it might be worth making your own. ODD I know. could be a fun project.

Actually no, the one I’ve seen has no hypoteneuse. It’s a reguar square, but with the two arms on a pivot. The arms lock with four ball bearing that snap into detents with stiff springs. They guarantee some huge number of openings and closing without losing accuracy.

I could try to make one, but I don’t have the means to do any kind of precision metal work. I don’t have a vise, drill press, etc. And with a tool like this, precision is essential. There can be no slop in any of the joints.

Thanks, I’ll check them out.

The video is in the Amazon listing that fred posted.

I was thinking you make a hardwood one - sort of the old school wood work craftsman style thing. use a metal square to ensure accuracy but made of some hardwood like walnut for stability. Meh - never said I was sane.

Sure. You know, I think for a folding triangle square, I’d worry more about the joints than the material itself. Well-chosen wood will keep relatively straight, even as it grows and shrinks.

But the pivot joints have to be both smooth and tight. Any slop at all will throw off the angles. So if I use simple pins, the holes have to be precisely sized to the pins, and they can’t change size or expand with wear. In fact I’d imagine you need some kind of bearings, maybe delrin or brass bushings, maybe even roller bearings, because they have no slop. Also, the holes have to be precisely placed, and if you place them in the wrong spot, you have to throw away the workpiece, or drill it out and install a sleeve.

Actually, now that I think about it, I think I’d leave one of the three joints off. I’d make that corner some kind of adjustable clamp, so I could set the right angle perfectly after the thing is assembled, and then return to that setting repeatedly.

Or I could just keep using my combination squares, even though they’re pointy and uncomfortable to carry!

Yes it is! We more or less dismissed that as a factor several comments up.