Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC



Layout and Measuring Tool and their Makers


Stair-building and The Steel Square by F. T. Hodgson & M. Williams



On entering a building, almost the first thing that meets the eye is the staircase and unconsciously it is made to serve as an indicator of the quality of the architecture.

If the design is poor or the construction faulty, this flaw immediately gives the visitor a bad impression of the whole building. Furthermore, stairbuilding is a rather difficult subject and the principles involved are very little understood, which is evidenced by the fact that the layouts as furnished by architects in their plans are often improperly done.

Probably more mistakes occur in connection with the stairway of a building than with any other construction feature. It is with the idea, therefore, of giving a complete though simple presentation of the construction methods as applied to standard design of staircases, that this book has been prepared.

The article discusses straight and winding stairs, stairs with well hole, layouts for curved turns, the proper proportions of rise and width of tread, the design of hand railings and many other problems, the solution of which will be found very useful.

Coupled with this article is a most instructive section on the Steel Square, containing many applications of this useful instrument to roof and other types of construction.


 The Standard Steel Square has a blade 24 inches long and 2 inches wide, and a tongue from 14 to 18 inches long and 1 inches wide. The blade is at right angles to the tongue.

The face of the square is shown in Fig. 1. It is always stamped with the manufacturer's name and number. The reverse is the back. The longer arm is the blade; the shorter arm, the tongue. In the center of the tongue, on the face side, will be found two parallel lines divided into spaces; this is the octagon scale.

The spaces will be found numbered 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70> when the tongue is 18 inches long. To draw an octagon of 8 inches square, draw an 8 inch square and then draw a perpendicular and a horizontal line through its center.

To find the length of the octagon side, place one point of a compass on any of the main divisions of the scale, and the other point of the compass on the eighth subdivision; then step this length off on each side of the center lines on the side of the square, which will give the points from which to draw the octagon lines. The diameter of the octagon must equal in inches the number of spaces taken from the square.

Related Info

Woodworker's Guide to Wood Collection only $79.99 at Shop Woodworking


Folding Rule


Copyright 2005-2018, wkFineTools.com and Wiktor Kuc.  All Rights Reserved.  Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.
No part of the content from this website can be reproduced by any means without specific permission of the publisher.
Valid CSS!