How to Measure Squareness

Maybe, you need to check how square an object is but are not sure how to do that.

If you need an object to be square, accurate and uniform, it is essential to know how this can be checked and even measured accurately. This article will inform you briefly on how to measure squareness with the most popular methods.

In essence, you need to determine how one surface relates to the others, which adjoin as we look for parallelism, consistent angles of 90 degrees, and flatness of the surfaces.

How to Measure Squareness by Using A Dial Indicator

As one of the engineer’s arsenal, a dial indicator can be used to determine the tolerances, any variance of this, along with horizontal and vertical positions in respect to each other. Commonly, the indicator will be used against a surface set at 90 degrees to another, with the reliance on a delicate tip and flat base.

To measure squareness, using a fixed axis to move the measuring point will pick up any deviations away from what is known to be square. It also helps establish just how to square an item.

This can also be conducted rotationally through the use of dial indicators and checking how much movement there is across a plane whilst material is taken through a revolution. An example that you can check its squareness by rotating is a cylinder square.

There should be little to no variance then the item being measured will be more square.

– Step by Step

Your dial indicator or dial test indicator will come with a measuring point or tip, which is then set against the face of the object to be measured.

The next step is to either move the object through an axis or the measuring tool; the indicator will feedback any deviations from its original plane of movement. In this case, you can use a good height gauge to set the horizontal plane datum.

This method lets you know if it is running out of alignment, which means it is not square, provided that you have set everything up correctly. Most importantly, using a dial indicator to measure squareness lets you know its deviation expressed in numbers. Besides, you can measure down to 0.001″ or 0.0005″ resolution.

Depending on which field you operate in, the size and scale of the measurements needed and level of accuracy will assist in determining which methods or apparatus you require for the squareness checks.

How to Measure Squareness by Using A Ruler or Tape Measure

Requiring only a measuring tape or metal ruler this time served method is fundamental know-how for any engineer.

You should measure and record the diagonal measurements from each corner, then, using these figures, determine the variance between them.

Once you have a number (from the diagonal measurement), divide it by two, and you’ll know how far out of square an object is.

This method is easy but you only have a small resolution. For general work, this method should be okay to do.

How to Check Squareness Using An Engineer Square

An engineer square can check an object’s internal or external corner to check the level of squareness. It is simple and relies on the users’ eyes and the way the users hold the square correctly. So, it is pretty straightforward.

This will enable you to determine how square two lines are in correspondence to each other., striving for the optimum 90-degree right angle.

Primarily is used for smaller measurements and items in machine shops, tooling, and general day-to-day use where exact readings are not essential and using a trained eye will be deemed sufficient.

Its handy size and simplicity allow easy transportation, and without complex computing bits or additional hardware needed, not much can go wrong with it.

– Step by Step

First, we’ll run through how to check the internal angles for squareness. Get your square and hold it up to the corner you wish to measure so that each section of your engineer’s square will be touching the surfaces.

Checking the try square's squareness using machinist square
Checking the try square’s squareness using machinist square

You should be checking to see there is good contact between the square and surfaces. If they are not flat or square, it will be easy to see the gap that appears between the contact. It is said that the surfaces will be running out of squares if the angles are not 90 degrees to each other.

Measuring the external is the same principle but is approached from the outside rather than the inside.

Other types of square tools such as try squares, combination squares, double squares, framing squares, T square, and speed squares can also check squareness. They check the object’s corner whether it is 90 degrees or not. The engineer/machinist square, however, has greater accuracy as they are made in certain grades that shows its level of squareness deviation.

How to Measure Squareness by Using A Focusing Telescope

A versatile method for measuring precise micro increments, this instrument can also be referred to as a micro alignment telescope.

Simple principles, ease of transport, and a user-friendly approach make this tool one of the most popular methods for testing within the engineering field.

Since it relies on optical methods, the ability is there to measure a range of other relevant alignment data such as flatness, straightness, parallelism, and more.

– Step by Step

Firstly, you’ll need to set up the apparatus to be appropriately used, flat and level, with the correct attachments, target or prism.

After this, the object being measured must be placed within the line of sight, and reference points noted.

Looking through the eyepiece, you can observe any deviations from the line, which we know is true.

Since we measure in two directions at right angles for checking squareness, it’ll be pretty apparent if the object is unsquared.

Autocollimator to Check Squareness

The use of this optical equipment ensures a high degree of accuracy when testing for squareness between two machined surfaces.

Since the beam is turned through an angle of 90 degrees, if one of the surfaces doesn’t align nicely with the collimator, you know it is not entirely square.

Assisted in part by machine, the human error or poor judgment is reduced, and accuracy increased.