How Many Inches of Straight Edge?

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The longest I have is the 50" Veritas from Lee Valley. After testing it on a granite surface plate (8'), it was accurate to 0.001 over its length. I use it to setup my jointer and many other uses where accuracy is important. I use the 24" steel straight edge for most things but the 50" is a handy addition to my ever expanding tool inventory!
Dave

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Thanks you, Dave, for not giving me a wise ass answer like some of the other posters. The Veritas straight edges are that expensive so I don't know why my question evokes such snide remarks. I tend to agree with you...
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I went with the 38" version myself. Just got it a week or so ago so can't comment on it's useful/useless - ness just yet. I figured for setting up the table saw, RAS, Jointer, etc... I just didn't need anything longer. Heck, the 24" would probably work for those things. Cheers, cc

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24 " ruler enough? Not really. With table saw extensions and everything I have to use my 8' metal straight edge to check all the alignments.
Did not know about the highly accurate Lee Valley rules - should have guessed though.
Just got some some angle gauges from Lee Valley. Now the table saw, chop saw, band saw and scroll saw all produce accurate angles and mitres. Last mitred item I did went together with no discernible gap. First time for everything....
Thought the need for these accurate "base line" measuring tools was obvious. Maybe not. Judging by all the wise-ass answers -- including mine. :-)
James "Cubby" Culbertson wrote:

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Never Enough Money wrote:

I only counted one (OK maybe two) wise ass answers. The rest looked pretty gen-you-whine to me.
Maybe the rec is too rough for you and you ought to enroll in one of Silvan's Sensitivity Sessions.
UA100, who thinks maybe humor is often misidentified...
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Your counts is correct. It was two out of the first five, I think but I'm not going to waste my time going back counting or arguing with you about it.
The wise-ass answers aren't too roug, so I think I'll spend the money that would have gone to Silvan Sensitivty Sessions on, for starters, some straight edges.
Now what does bother me and drive me to moderated woodworking newsgroups is all the political, religious and vulgar postings...all things off-topic. There are so many newsgroups dedicated to everything underthe sun, I don't know whypeople need to cluuter up this one with off-topic stuff.. Oh wait, I'm waxing off-topic. Sorry.
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On 12 Feb 2005 07:09:14 -0800, "Never Enough Money"

Amen. It's because (i) they don't have a life, and/or (ii) their brain can't get past that.
I have my father's old 2' steel straight-edge, and I'm old enough to remember when.... And I've been building with it without any difficulties whatsoever. Mind, I don't worry if it's off by a couple of thou either, so I can just get on with the project, and enjoy what I do and build.
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On 12 Feb 2005 07:09:14 -0800, "Never Enough Money"

Maybe because we know the people in here (as well as you can know someone via Usenet) and they are the ones that we want to express our opinions to and whose opinions we want to hear.
Personally, I think that any straightedge accurate to within .001 is going to be more than adequate for setting up your tools. If you are like me, where the shop temperature varies a lot day to day and even from morning to night you probably have more movement than that in your machines from thermal expansion. Length is more significant, as I think you need something long enough to check your larger pieces of equipment. You probably don't need something that will do the full length of your jointer bed, but at least 3/4 would be essential. Same with a TS and extension tables. Unless you are using huge, industrial type machinery I can't see any need in a normal shop for anything longer than 4' and I'd guess that 3' would be plenty for most of us.
More important, IMO, is that you have some very accurate 90 and 45 degree setup tools. It is easier to find something straight than to set your saw blade or jointer fence to a perfect 90.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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For sure! I look for tools from the metal dudes for that kind of accuracy. I have a couple of British Standard machinists squares. I check them against each other and do the 'flip-scribe' test on other tools like that.
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[snipperized]

There best be no silicones in that wax.... Fisheyes in the Wreck... *shudder*
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I use 150" straight edges from Pinske .005 over the 12-ft length.
http://pinske-edge.com/catalog/catalog.htm
click on 'cutting & shaping'
Smaller ones are available.
The 8-footer is .002" Plenty accurate for my needs.
Another solution, which I have suggested here before, is to find a supplier of standard aluminum extrusions. You pay for those by the pound. An 8-foot 1/4" x 6" cost me about 50 CAN$ and was very straight.
00
Rob
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Cool edges from Pinske. I tend to like Lee Valley/Veritas because of the hole for hanging and the ergonomic shape (in the aluminum ones). See then at:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pP074&cat=1,240,45313
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On 12 Feb 2005 07:03:01 -0800, "Never Enough Money"

Those look very nice. I could use a 50" aluminum and the shorter steel one as well. I fear shipping, however, for anything that needs to be accurate when it arrives.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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Pinske edges are aluminum. You can drill as many holes in them as you like...even with cordless. You can't use the Lee Valley ones to run your router ontop of with a bushing or against the edge with a square base. But they're more suited for machinery set-up. I have had my Pinske's for 15 years now... I'd be lost without them.
00
Rob.
"This killer was so mean, he used a kitty as a silencer" (CSI)
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On 11 Feb 2005 13:36:00 -0800, "Never Enough Money"

two answers:
as long as you can afford.
_or_
as long as the longest thing you'll need to align.
in both cases my longest straightedge is about 7 foot long by maybe 3\8" thick by 6" wide of 7075t6 (your basic aircraft aluminum) from the salvage yard. it's not machined to any particular accuracy, but it's as straight as I can measure. other than that, I have a 24" machinist's straight edge.
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since I'm extra anal about accuracy, and also a skinflint, I bought an old browne & sharpe 48" vernier caliper off of Ebay for $15 +s/h. Using this fine old chuck of steel, I set my TS outfeed and extension table up using a piece of tracing paper. I couldn't find any super-thin feeler gauges in my little town. I don't know how much the Veritas is, but it must be more than my amazing auction buy. Plus, I can check the accuracy of cabinet rails/stiles with it when I need to. Hope it helps...
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wrote:

I use a longer straight edge (mine's 36") for jointer setup and verifying that the tables are parallel.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ The absence of accidents does not mean the presence of safety Army General Richard Cody +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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