Unique features include unequal-pitch rafter tables (left) and miter and bevel angles for applying fascias to square-cut rafter tails on hip and valley roofs (right). Edge scales are laid out in 20ths of an inch and in 1/4-inch increments for ease of use.
Bruce Greenlaw Unique features include unequal-pitch rafter tables (left) and miter and bevel angles for applying fascias to square-cut rafter tails on hip and valley roofs (right). Edge scales are laid out in 20ths of an inch and in 1/4-inch increments for ease of use.

I've cut hundreds of irregular hip and valley roofs during my 35-year carpentry career. Although I use a framing square for drawing and layout, I rarely use the rafter table imprinted on it because it only applies to regular plans and pitches and a calculator is faster. So when veteran timber-framer Steve Chappell recently introduced the Chappell Master Framer square, I was pleased to try one out to see if its unique decimal scales and patented rafter tables might change my approach.

The Chappell square ($118 at chappellsquare.com) is made in the U.S. of 304 stainless steel, with deeply etched and blackened markings. It has the usual 2-inch by 24-inch blade, but the tongue is 1 1/2 inches by 18 inches, which is two inches longer than normal. The extra length helps on extra-steep rafters, forms a 3-4-5 triangle, and holds...

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