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08-25-2010, 07:55 AM   #1
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## How to tell if corners are square?

How can I tell if a corner is exactly square?

I want to take off my old countertops and put on those pre-fab ones at home depot but I have heard to make sure my walls/counters are square.

I used a protractor, measured 90 degrees at the corners but I don't know if that is sufficient.

Thanks

08-25-2010, 08:11 AM   #2
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you could just take a builders square, stick one edge on one wall, the other edge on the other wall. if all edges lay flat, you'll know two things
1) you are square
2) the guy that built my house didn't build yours

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08-25-2010, 10:37 AM   #3
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carefully measure 3 feet along one wall, 4 feet along the other wall, then you should have 5 feet between those marks.
alternately, if you have some sort of CAD package available, mark the length of the finished countertop on the wall then measure between the marks. use the CAD package to draw out the top and include a 'diagonal' measurement to see what the angles are.

don't assume the corners are square or that the walls are straight. plan to scribe the countertop or back splash.
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 Short of cutting off a body part, the worst that can happen in woodworking is manufacturing really nice looking kindling. --- Quoted from lenaitch

08-25-2010, 11:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by jlhaslip carefully measure 3 feet along one wall, 4 feet along the other wall, then you should have 5 feet between those marks. alternately, if you have some sort of CAD package available, mark the length of the finished countertop on the wall then measure between the marks. use the CAD package to draw out the top and include a 'diagonal' measurement to see what the angles are. don't assume the corners are square or that the walls are straight. plan to scribe the countertop or back splash.
So using this method I got 36", 48" and 58.5" - so dang, I guess my corners are not completely square. Is that enough to fudge to get countertops to fit ok though? I don't mind small gaps <0.5". My current laminate ones do not look like they were cut at all and it looks fine. Just trying to do this on a budget do not own a miter saw nor have the finances or desire to really buy one right now.

 08-25-2010, 11:48 AM #5 Old School     Join Date: Jan 2009 Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them. Posts: 3,634 Rewards Points: 2,000 Just doing it in my head, kinda quick, that should put you somewhere real close to 87 degrees. Which means that your backs will be longer than your fronts... so be sure to measure at the back so you will be long enough. __________________ "True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is." François Duc de La Rochefoucauld Willie T Last edited by Willie T; 08-25-2010 at 12:10 PM.
 08-25-2010, 11:55 AM #6 Member   Join Date: Nov 2007 Posts: 64 Rewards Points: 75 Alright, good info. I just realized that is what the scribing part is for - to even out the edges and make it fit better - and that I actually don't need a miter saw to make that cut in this situation. Thanks again, I'm sure I'll have other posts as the project progresses, new things always seem to come up...
 The Following User Says Thank You to snosurfa7 For This Useful Post: Gary in WA (08-25-2010)
 08-25-2010, 11:23 PM #7 Member   Join Date: May 2009 Location: anoka county mn Posts: 317 Rewards Points: 256 another thing you could do is install the countertop and then have a drywall taper skim in the void areas.
 08-26-2010, 12:03 AM #8 Member     Join Date: Oct 2009 Posts: 61 Rewards Points: 87 What are you using for a back splash? if its the type that is 1" thick laminate particle board it should cover any minor voids. If your going with a tile backsplash you may need to skim like oldrivers mentioned
08-26-2010, 09:13 AM   #9
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indeed, Williet, is correct. I get 87.05 degrees on my drawing.
if the countertop can be 'site-built' using sheet goods you might be able to make the top and place it with a minimal amount of scribing.
if the store bought pieces include a built-in back splash, see if there is an outfit in your area which can cut the top to your measurements.
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Quote:
 Short of cutting off a body part, the worst that can happen in woodworking is manufacturing really nice looking kindling. --- Quoted from lenaitch

 08-26-2010, 12:42 PM #10 Old School     Join Date: Jan 2009 Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them. Posts: 3,634 Rewards Points: 2,000 OK, ok, so I was a 20th of a degree off. I promise I'll try to do better next time. __________________ "True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is." François Duc de La Rochefoucauld Willie T
08-26-2010, 02:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Willie T OK, ok, so I was a 20th of a degree off. I promise I'll try to do better next time.
slacker!
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 The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Mr Chips For This Useful Post: jlhaslip (08-26-2010), Willie T (08-26-2010)
 08-26-2010, 05:05 PM #12 Member   Join Date: Jan 2009 Location: South of Boston, MA Posts: 17,248 Rewards Points: 2,000 My last house I had HD come out & measure They cut, assembled & delivered the 2 countertops for around \$400 I installed them...that was over 8 years ago My corners were off just a little But since I was tiling very hard to notice The material for me to buy would have been around \$300 as I recall
08-27-2010, 01:25 PM   #13
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I forgot about the 3X4X5 method. I always used the diagonal as the square root of 2. That is lay out both sides the same distance and measure the diagonal. It should be the square root of 2 (1.414) X the side. I used this method to lay out a large fenced in area and it worked well because of the long distances involved. Your method is a lot easier for small areas, however. Always nice to know other ways of doing things!

Metalman

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