Review By Dean Bielanowski  Veritas Website -


Veritas® Saddle Square™

Veritas Saddle Square

By Dean Bielanowski


Measuring and marking skills are fundamental to good woodworking practice. In the age of machinery and power tools, these skills are becoming a little less practiced in some instances. The fact is, you can now rely on the myriad of inbuilt fence scales, height measuring devices and digital calipers to get your measurements very accurate. When you need to transfer measurements to other faces of a piece of wood (particularly important when layout out for mortises or tenons) you invariably need to rely on a square or other measure transfer device to maintain that accuracy.

We are going to take a quick look at the Veritas Saddle Square, because quite simply, it is a simple tool!

Veritas Saddle Square 
The Veritas Saddle square is primarily designed to allow you to transfer marks from one surface to another perpendicular surface on a workpiece. The saddle square itself is made from anodized aluminum, a material used in many other Veritas jigs and devices, some of which you can find reviews of elsewhere on this site. The square itself is rigid and strong.

It measures 2" wide and is milled at a right angle that is machined square (to within 1/4 of a degree according to the manufacturer). One leg measures 1 1/4" while the other measures 2 1/4", so its not a 'big' tool in anyone's books. It is quite compact and would easily fit into your pocket, or into a pocket of a shop apron for easy access.

The square is milled very smoothly, however, on each leg you will find several raised ridges running across each leg which go a long way to helping you grip the square and prevent it slipping in your fingers. The image pictured above does in fact show a small hole milled in the wider leg. The saddle square I received did not, but that's no problem. Storing this square will not cause a coronary!

I find I use the square primarily for marking out mortise and tenons, but it could be used for any application where a 'square' transfer of lines is required. I have also found it useful for laying out marks for dowels on right angle joints before attaching the doweling jig, marking out perpendicular reference/stop lines for hinge rebates so I can see then clearly when machining, and if you ever need to measure or mark exactly 2" from the end of a piece of wood or existing mark, it can do that easily too. Another advantage of a saddle square over a regular square is that you can mark two perpendicular surfaces at one time without moving the square.

A good test of the product's accuracy is to take a square piece of lumber and make perpendicular markings around each side until they meet up at the starting point. An inaccurate square will mean the markings will not line up once they make a full revolution around the 4 faces (well 2 faces and 2 sides). An accurate square will have start and end points meeting exactly at the same position. So I took a piece of square lumber and administered the test. The result... an accurate saddle square.

There is not really much more to say. The pictures basically tell the story of how this item is used, and if you do a lot of marking by hand, whether you machine cut or hand cut your materials, a good saddle square will save time and delivery more accurate joints. The Veritas Saddle Square retails for US$10.95 and is available from Lee Valley - (Item Code is 05N5601)

In Australia, order from Timbecon

Veritas Saddle Square Photos
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Veritas Saddle Square

Note the ridges on each leg for easier grip.

Mark two faces perpendicular to each other at one time.

Laying out for a tenon.

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Reproduction in any form prohibited with express prior written permission. Copyright 2005