I bought my Stanley No. 20 ages ago at an antique store, or a flea market, or maybe an estate auction. It was so long ago that I honestly don’t remember. It was filthy from years of use followed by years of non-use.
But I liked it, and after cleaning the rosewood handle and shining up the brass, it quickly became my favorite.
It’s always been spot-on accurate. And even though I own several other squares, some of which are “better” than the old Stanley, it feels so good in my hand that I always reach for it over the others. But in checking it the other day, I discovered it was slightly out-of-square. Not sure how that happened. Maybe I dropped it and forgot; I don’t know.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to adjust one of these like some of my newer ones with a setscrew or whatever. Wanting to bring my favorite tool back to its old perfection, I used my second favorite tool – Google – to find a solution, and it was simple.
Since the inaccuracy was minor, I used a file on the edges of the blade, essentially changing its plane a minuscule amount. It’s tedious to do because you don’t want to go to far, so that meant file a little, do a squareness test, file a bit more, test again, etc.
It took a half hour of trial and error, but the square is now worthy of the name once again.