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13 January 2015

Tool Review Tuesday, 03: LeGesse LaSquare

What is it?

LaGesse LaSquare
Mine has the 12" blade graduated in 1/16" and 1/32".

What does it do?
It acts like a square but better in many cases dealing with transferring lines around corners or dealing with corners that have large radii or are round. 

The biggest differences are in the width of the base and the fact that the base meets the top of the:

The square on the right is the one I have been using at work for a couple of years now. (It is an Empire branded one and is pretty decent, having held up well to the abuse in my shop, but that's another review . . . )

How well does it do it?
VERY well. First, it stands on its own, making squaring things up very easy. Second, transferring lines around corners, even ones with large radii is a piece of cake. Here's a very typical situation for me transferring a line that will be used to fit an angle to the flange of the beam:

 With the regular square, you are left eyeballing the line.
With the extended base, you simply line up and mark!

Notable Observances:
1. The machining on the base is amazingly good. the casting itself is VERY excellent.
2. My square proved exceptionally hard to move the rule at first, but with subsequent use, it is getting easier, BUT this is a good thing as it is a very "tight" assembly, which is far superior for accuracy.
3. The exceptionally good finish is distracting at first. I wish the machined surfaces were finished in a satin or non-reflective manner.
4. I am not a fan of the markings on the blade. I prefer the half and quarter marks to be longer than they are:

5. The 12" blade is an awkward size.

Pros:
-Exceedingly well constructed. This is made better than some very good name brand machinist's squares I've  used.
-Makes transferring lines around corners much more accurate and faster
-Marking round things is way easier
-Stands on it's own, which makes squaring things less of a hassle

Cons:
-The markings on the rule are not to my liking, but they are useable and made well
 -VERY scarily tight at first (but seems to be improving with use)
-Reaching around the wider base requires re-learning how to loosen and tighten the locking nut! It feels really, really weird at first.
-The superfine ground finish on the base is very reflective and is oddly distracting
-The 12" blade is either too long or too short, I may purchase the 18" blade in the future

Summary:

A very well made tool that is very useful to me, but requires some adjustments as to how I have handled a square for decades. It is worth the initial awkwardness for the additional flexibility, speed and precision.

Is it BBA (Beaver Built Approved?)

HECK YES!