Lee Valley straightedges - slight twist


1st, Lee Valley has already impressed me w/ their customer service, and I have every confidence they will make it right.
I got their 38" aluminum straight edge a few weeks ago. When I placed it on several supposed flat surfaces - in and out feed of jointer, and TS, it seemed like there was some small amount of twist in it. Since I moved it around and the twist was alway apparent and alway across the same diagonal, I've assumed it to be in the straightedge and not the surfaces. Only on the jointer do I feel I can make that statement, my Delta contractors saw table is anything but flat! But on the jointer, I could rock the straight edge back and forth just slightly.. maybe 2-4 thous.
I sent them an email.. and w/i an hour I was told a new one was being shipped. Wow!
The specs on the straight edge says 3 thous. across the lenght of 38". That may indeed be the case, but the twist was kind of annoying. I just about ordered the 24" steel one instead, but really wanted the extra length.
Just wondering if anyone else has seen this, or if I'm way too picky.
Thanks, K
PS. any Delta reps reading this? Is the contractors saw (about 8 years old now) suppose to be out of flat by .010 to .020? The front right edge has always been dipped down. Finally w/ the Lee Valley edge I can measure it.
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nospam snipped-for-privacy@mesanetworks.net wrote:

No you aren't too picky. I've had more than a few quality control issues with LV products, but I keep buying there, knowing they'll eventually make it right. I'm hoping that if I get the steel straightedge it will live up to the hype. If not, it's going back.
Dave
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On Thu, 08 Dec 2005 16:28:52 -0700, nospam snipped-for-privacy@mesanetworks.net wrote:

IMHO, you can't use an aluminium straightedge that long to measure to that level of accuracy anyway. Even if it survives shipping, just storing it in the typical workshop isn't going to keep it perfectly straight.
I have an aluminium straightedge like that, but I only use it for sewing. My machinery testing straightedge is deep box-section cast iron.
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I'm sure the Lee Valley straight edge is good, but I don't know. For me personally when it comes to things that measure precision is important. I'm pretty anal about that kind of stuff and don't skimp on price there. The LV AL straight edge may be fine and it's tempting to get being that it's only $34.50. At nearly quadruple the price of the LV straight edge (about $140) you can get a nice 36" steel Starrett non-beveled straight edge. It's pricey but with an edge straightness of .0002" per foot and parallelism at .0004" per foot you know you can trust and rely on it! *AND* it's steel...meaning you won't have to worry about dinging it up. That's important especially in the rough environment of a woodworking shop. Can you honestly say you'll *never* drop or bump the AL straight edge?
Layne
On Thu, 08 Dec 2005 16:28:52 -0700, nospam snipped-for-privacy@mesanetworks.net wrote:

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Layne wrote:

Got that exact straight edge myself, the #380-36, although I waited for one of the 25% off sales at J & L Industrial and got it for about $105 plus shipping. They have those sales all the time...get on their mailing list and they'll send you the e-mails.
And you're right...it's everything and a bag of chips. A whole box of bags of chips. It's one of the tools I couldn't be without...as a newbie, it was quite a time getting my machinery set-up in the first place...without that straight edge it would have been that much worse.
Having something I can rely on, and I mean _always freakin' rely on_, is a nice comfort.
I talked to one manufacturer who sensed I was a newbie, thought I didn't know what I was talking about when I said their table top wasn't flat enough.
Them: "How do you know? What did you use to determine it isn't flat enough?"
Me: "My 36" Starrett says it isn't, so it isn't."
Them: "Let me get your address, I'll send you a new one."
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I thought about that long and hard. I about went with the Lee 24" steel at $38. Probably plenty accurate for WW, but when I put the 24" down on a jointer, I knew I'd be wishing I had the extra 12".
Maybe I should have dropped another $100 and got the Starret. I guess if I'm not happy w/ the Lee, they will probably accept a return. I know Robin used to watch these threads.
I can probably be careful enough w/ the aluminum one to keep it in mostly good condition, but I know, it's hard. All the stuff we want to measure flatness are iron.. and iron is going to ding Al, so that maybe says it all.
On 8 Dec 2005 18:34:11 -0800, wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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Rest assured, if you drop the steel straitedge, you WILL damage it. Probably as much as the aluminum one. They are heavy.
wrote:

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Yeah, I figure if I drop, it comes down to where does it land. Al will have some give, and may handle a non-edge drop OK. Mostly I'll need to be careful with the machined edge running it across the cast iron tops and beds. Tapping it on an edge will surely ding it. It comes in a hard cardboard tube. That will probably be my storage case. I thought about making a edge protector out of wood, but that tube is pretty solid and gives protection all around it. I think my biggest risk of damage is tapping it on the edge of a jointer or TS bed.
I did notice, that over that 38", perpendicular to the reference edge, that Al bends pretty easily. Sighting down along the ref. edge, it's easy to deflect it 1/4" to 1/2". But the straightness should come along the ref. edge and not perpendicular to it.
We'll see. If the new one has no twist, I'll probably be happy enough.

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Hi,
Just browsing through my new Iturra bandsaw catalog again (great catalog, btw) and noticed toward the back that he sells steel striaght edges. A 1/4" thick x 1 3/4" inch wide x 36" long straight edge goes for $54. He doesn't list the tolerances, but I'm sure if Iturra is selling it should be pretty good. A quick call to him should answer the tolerances question.
Layne PS, usual disclaimers apply.
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Can you post the catalog or number to call? I searched Google.. and no luck.

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Hi,
I'm certainly not saying that a steel straight edge is indestructable, but pound for pound aluminum is still softer than steel and is easier to ding. Also, aluminum is much less flexible and more prone to twist or bend out of shape when dropped or mishandled.
An example: I have two friends who both rode road racing bicycles. One had an all aluminum Trek frame and fork. The other had a steel Italian Masi frame and fork. Both were in separate accidents in which they broadsided cars going over 25 to 30 mph (the bicycles were travelling at that rate of speed).
I advised both of them to have their frames checked for alignment. Both the aluminum and steel frames didn't lose their alignment. However, the aluminum fork had absorbed the force of the impact and was totally bent out of shape saving the frame from damage. You really should have seen that fork! The forward curvature was totally gone and it was bent to the side! The steel bike was saved from damage but also, the steel fork *survived* the impact as well and retained it's shape.
Can't say either friend was in better shape! The Masi rider suffered a bruised shoulder from hitting the car's windshield pillar. And the Trek rider went airborn flying over the car's hood and got major road rash when he landed... *ouch*
Layne

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Don't drop or mishandle it. I would go for the steel myself but I wouldn't expect to be able to beat it up.
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On Sat, 10 Dec 2005 02:24:47 +0000, Layne wrote:

You _want_ the fork to deform. It absorbs impact energy so your head won't. Forks are replaceable...
--
"Keep your ass behind you"



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anyone hear of these..
http://www.shoprutlandtool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Rutland/OnlineCatalog/catalog.jsp?pgg5&zoom=4&view=1&cat=Rutland
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