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Stephen Cutler
Stephen Cutler, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2062
Experience:  35 years of troubleshooting construction, remodel, component & material failures. What to do next
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How do I use an Empire Poly Square

Resolved Question:

How do I use an Empire Poly Square?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Stephen Cutler replied 7 years ago.
Hi and thanks for using JustAnswer.com.
What are you trying to acomplish with the square- find an angle for repeated cuts- find a seat cut - find a plumb cut- find a pitch?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I have built a wood embankment for my garden and need to put supports - bracing the new wood wall to level cement or wood below. I'm a novice - and am not familiar with the terms for the cut. Thanks!
Expert:  Stephen Cutler replied 7 years ago.
No problem. Lay a straight edge or level from the top of the wood embankment to the place on the concrete where you want the brace to terminate. Lay the long side of your poly square on the straight edge. loosen the locking knob and rotate the square until it reads level. Relock the knob. This gives your your plumb cut-that's the up/down cut. The poly square is calibrated in degrees. Subtract the degrees of plum cut from 90- this gives you your seat cut angle- that's the left to right angle.
An easier way is to use a 2X4 as straight edge as before. Measure from the tip of the embankment to the tip that touches the cement- save this measurement. Next lay a straight edge against the embankment and draw a line where it crosses the 2X4. Next lay a straightedge on the cement and draw a line where it crosses the 2X4. These penicl lines are your 2 angles. You can use your poly square to copy them. The saved measurement is the distance between the points where the pencil lines intersect the top of the 2X4. An added benefit of this approach is that it does not matter if the embankment is plumb or the cement level.

A more useful tool than the poly square is a bevel square. It has a locknut and swings 180 degrees, it finds angles without the need of calibration or level bubbles.

I hope that this information was helpful to you. If it was please remember to click "ACCEPT" on your screen to make sure that I am paid for my efforts. By clicking ACCEPT you are not giving up your ability to ask more questions pertaining to this subject, and I will be happy to respond to these as well. Please take a moment and leave feedback, it is very important!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
THANK YOU, XXXXX XXXXX
The Poly Square that I'm using is a yellow plastic Empire one - and may not be the tool I need. I'm going with your second option, but have questions.... forgive me!

I understand placing the 2X4 at an angle between the embankment and cement. I've got 27" between the edge of the wood and the cement. Do I use the same2X4 as the straight edge for the embankment and cement measurements? Is the straight edge to be place perpendicular to the wood embankment and then level with the ground for the cement measurement?
Expert:  Stephen Cutler replied 7 years ago.
The 2X4 between embankment and cement needs to stay in place. Use a second straight edge, a block of 2X4 or something else- to drawn lines on the first. Yes perpendicular-plumb- to the embankment, and level with the ground/cement- with the same block.

I'm sure that this information was helpful to you. If it was please remember to click "ACCEPT" on your screen to make sure that I am paid for my efforts. By clicking ACCEPT you are not giving up your ability to ask more questions pertaining to this subject, and I will be happy to respond to these as well. Please take a moment and leave feedback, it is very important!
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