Most combination and try squares are difficult to read. Why? Their blades have stamped markings that don't contrast sufficiently with the rest of the blade.

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Some combination and try squares are difficult to read. Why? Their blades have stamped markings that don't contrast sufficiently with the rest of the blade.

Spray or spread a thin coat of black epoxy enamel paint onto the blade, and then wipe away the excess paint with a squeegee (the type used for auto-body work) or an old credit card as shown below top. This will leave most of the paint in the indentations, making them more visible. After the paint dries, remove any streaks between the indentations with fine-grade steel wool as shown below bottom.

—Raj Chaudbry, Astoria, N.Y.