Inexpensive straight edge

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jglord

New User
John
While working in Bill Anderson's beautiful shop during a hand planing class, we used some aluminum straight edges. They seemed to work well.

The tip is he purchased an 8 foot length of aluminum bar stock from his local BORG. Cut a 4', 2' 18", and 6" piece, filed the cuts, and drilled a hole in one end. I went to my local Lowe's and found the same aluminum bar for $25+, and cut it to the sizes with an old blade on my chop saw and have been very happy with my set. :eusa_danc

[MOUSE]Are they dead-on accurate to the .0001"?[/MOUSE]

Probably not, but they are as close as I can work and the price is right.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
When I bought my last Grizzly 6" jointer, former owner said it never worked real good. First I changed the knives, and then tried a face joint. Board hit the out feed table. Got out my 4' level and home made height gage and found that in feed table dives to the cutter by about 0.5 MM. Took some brass shim stock and shimmed the in feed table. Jointer is now one sweet machine. It doesn't take thousand dollar tools to align woodworking tools. Now if it were a LeBlanc lathe that would be a different story.
 

froglips

New User
Jim Campbell
A great tip to say the least! Sometimes (yes, i am guilty of this) I think wood working needs to be accurate at the subatomic level. Wood moves no matter how much we spent on our alignment setups :)

To add on to the home center metal tools of mass accuracy, aluminum angle iron, 1/2 or 1 depending on how well you are conneced to donald trump.

They make fantastic and accurate winding sticks. I like them as they are very stable as well as accurate (enough).

I got this from Christopher Schwarz of Popular Woodworking.

Jim
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
In what borg did you find "aluminum angle iron?' I have seen angle iron and aluminum angle, but never aluminum angle iron. But I have seen galvanized angle iron, along with powder coated angle iron.
 

Tarhead

Mark
Corporate Member
If you need to use a straight edge for machine set-up and can get a copy of John White's Care and Repair of Shop Machines , he describes making a "Master Bar". It's essentially 3 pieces of 4 to 6in wide 3/4 in. thick MDF cut to the length of the bed, edge, fence, etc. you need to check/adjust. Three, 1 5/8 fine thread drywall screws are screwed into pilot holes evenly spaced and alligned on one edge of each piece of MDF. One is marked Master and the others are marked "A" or "B". These screws are referenced off each other and adjusted sequentially until no rocking happens. It takes 4 pages for him to describe it but for a little bit of MDF, 30 minutes and 9 drywall screws you can get within .001 in. or less over a long distance.
I need a 6 footer to check my jointer and will do a write up over my Christmas break.
 

jerrye

Jerry
Corporate Member
In my experience Agri Supply cheaper than big box stores on angle, bar, rod, tube, etc stock. Can order online if store not near you. Web site has store finder. www.agrisupply.com HTH.
 

Joe Lyddon

New User
Joe Lyddon
In my experience Agri Supply cheaper than big box stores on angle, bar, rod, tube, etc stock. Can order online if store not near you. Web site has store finder. www.agrisupply.com HTH.

Jerry,

I went to the website and looked, searched, etc. and could not find any metal stock at all...

What category do you look under??

Thank you...
 

Joe Lyddon

New User
Joe Lyddon
While working in Bill Anderson's beautiful shop during a hand planing class, we used some aluminum straight edges. They seemed to work well.

The tip is he purchased an 8 foot length of aluminum bar stock from his local BORG. Cut a 4', 2' 18", and 6" piece, filed the cuts, and drilled a hole in one end. I went to my local Lowe's and found the same aluminum bar for $25+, and cut it to the sizes with an old blade on my chop saw and have been very happy with my set. :eusa_danc

[MOUSE]Are they dead-on accurate to the .0001"?[/MOUSE]

Probably not, but they are as close as I can work and the price is right.
What thickness and width did you find & get?
 

PeteM

Pete
Corporate Member
If you need to use a straight edge for machine set-up and can get a copy of John White's Care and Repair of Shop Machines , he describes making a "Master Bar". It's essentially 3 pieces of 4 to 6in wide 3/4 in. thick MDF cut to the length of the bed, edge, fence, etc. you need to check/adjust. Three, 1 5/8 fine thread drywall screws are screwed into pilot holes evenly spaced and alligned on one edge of each piece of MDF. One is marked Master and the others are marked "A" or "B". These screws are referenced off each other and adjusted sequentially until no rocking happens. It takes 4 pages for him to describe it but for a little bit of MDF, 30 minutes and 9 drywall screws you can get within .001 in. or less over a long distance.
I need a 6 footer to check my jointer and will do a write up over my Christmas break.
This section of the book is actually available online at:
http://books.google.com/books?id=OV...Zkol&sig=uCJyG4OkjgTC5x8TgXzyDjJI4Mk#PPA26,M1

pete
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Corporate Member
I've been able to acquire a few straightedges similar to these over the years. The first is a 12' piece of aluminum bar stock 2" wide and 1/8" thick. It's like a long drywall square. The other is a piece of spring steel 8' long x 4" x 1/32". It's flexible enough to lay on curved surfaces and hold its shape. I'd be reluctant to use the aluminum in any really critical work. It isn't tempered & is subject to lateral distortion. You may need to think about that on your aluminum pieces as well.
When you can't find that aluminum angle iron, just ask them for some 'angel iron'.:lol: It's kept over with the board stretchers & sky hooks.
 
J

jeff...

I use the ole thumb to eye at a distance straight edge. Works well as long as you don't have to many beers and don't cost much either...
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
I cut three 4" to 6" width strips of MDO, furniture ply, etc to longest length needed. Square edges if they did not come off the saw that way(use a fine toothed blade). Mark one edge of each piece. Clamp piece "A" on work bench and then match piece "B' and "C" to it, sanding, planing, etc until they match. Then clamp piece "B" to the bench and trim "A" and "B" until they match. Then go to "C" and do the same. When all three match, all three will be straight edges (impossible to match 3 edges to all of each other without them being straight). Keep all three long, or cut the other two to convenient lengths.
When I say clamp to the bench, I clamp mine on edge so I can set the other on top and look throught the mating surface at a bright light to see any gaps. With a good tablesaw, it takes little work to get them to match as the original line is fairly straight. If the ply is thin or prone to bending, you may want to put a stiffener strip on it to keep it straight when using it. If you do as I do and set it on the surface I am checking, put a stiffener on each side as it balances better when standing on edge, or route a dado in the center of a narrow piece to put on the non-reference edge.

Just another idea. Inexpensive but accurate

Go
 

Tarhead

Mark
Corporate Member
Here you go Joe:
Re: Inexpensive straight edge
If you need to use a straight edge for machine set-up and can get a copy of John White's Care and Repair of Shop Machines , he describes making a "Master Bar". It's essentially 3 pieces of 4 to 6in wide 3/4 in. thick MDF cut to the length of the bed, edge, fence, etc. you need to check/adjust. Three, 1 5/8 fine thread drywall screws are screwed into pilot holes evenly spaced and alligned on one edge of each piece of MDF. One is marked Master and the others are marked "A" or "B". These screws are referenced off each other and adjusted sequentially until no rocking happens. It takes 4 pages for him to describe it but for a little bit of MDF, 30 minutes and 9 drywall screws you can get within .001 in. or less over a long distance.

This section of the book is actually available online at:
http://books.google.com/books?id=OVE...JI4Mk#PPA26,M1
 
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