I understand how one checks for square. But, what do you do when it's not square?

I put together four boards to begin forming a cabinet. I checked for square and nudged it into place. Then I screwed the boards together (using pocket holes). When I checked again, it was no longer square. Now what? There's no back board or cross piece to hold everything in place.

  • 1
    Did you have the pieces clamped together, e.g. with a band clamp?
    – Niall C.
    Feb 10, 2012 at 15:18
  • No, I had no idea how to clamp pieces at a 90° angle. Feb 10, 2012 at 16:24
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    This one time, at band clamp...
    – uncle brad
    Feb 10, 2012 at 18:54

1 Answer 1


Having screwed it together, and as importantly made the holes for the screws, you may need to remake one or more pieces of this frame, or choose new locations for the screws.

In some cases, one can put a clap across a diagonal of a frame to draw it into square if it is not racked too badly. Then new parts of the frame can help to keep it all in the desired shape.

Clamp it up carefully BEFORE you put in those screws. Make sure that everything is in its proper place and stays that way. A large part of doing fine woodworking well is in how much care you take in the small stuff.

  • How does one clamp a board perpendicularly? Feb 10, 2012 at 16:34
  • @Jeremy - I'm not sure what you mean. There are corner clamps. There are band clamps that can be used around a difficult to clamp case. There are regular clamps (in a variety of styles) made for woodworkers to hold casework together. In some cases, jigs are necessary to hold things in place. When all else fails sometimes you must even glue a block in place to then fix a clamp on. Hot melt glue is a commonly used tool there. Some woodworkers use tiny brads. Once the pieces are clamped together solidly, there is no need to worry they will move when you fix them together in that position.
    – user558
    Feb 10, 2012 at 16:43
  • Check out the shop of any well equipped woodworker. One thing you will find are racks of clamps, in a wide variety of shapes and styles.
    – user558
    Feb 10, 2012 at 16:46
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    Finally, I should point out that pocket screw jigs have a clamp built in, so that you drill the holes and screw the pieces together in one step. If the pieces are not square after this step, then they were not square before that point either.
    – user558
    Feb 10, 2012 at 16:48
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    Great advice. Clearly I have a lot to learn. Thank you! Feb 10, 2012 at 18:22

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