I bumped into a problem this weekend. I needed a straight fence of
above 2.3 metres in length to do some edge routing. I couldn't find
anything in my small and basic shop that I knew was TRULY straight
across this length. (found some particleboard scraps about 2 metres,
but as I sighted down the long edge, I could see some dents, as well
as a small curve in it.
What do you people use as a reference straight edge? (preferably
something that stays straight for a while...iron, aluminium?)
thanks for your advice...
Usually, wood, but it tends to require some preparation as most commercial
boards aren't straight enough.
Failing that, iron or aluminum is useful. Aluminum is more easily dented, but
is easier to handle. Some say angle iron (or aluminum), but I tend to prefer
bar stock, as there's less likelihood of the angle piece interfering with
whatever you're trying to do (by catching on a low handle or a cord).
"Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for
President. One hopes it is the same half." Gore Vidal
Do a google search on "cutting guides". A cursory look shows most of them seem
to run about $50 or so. I've been using an aluminum extruded guide for about 25
years that I paid considerably less for. I just clamp it to the panel and run
the circular saw (or router) against it.
On 27 Sep 2004 00:34:08 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (Marton
i hate to admit this, but I use an old garage door part... not sure
what you call it, but it's a 2x3" aluminum channel about 8' long that
the chain used to run through..
I used to use a 2 piece aluminum cutting guide called "the edge" or
something, but it was pretty flexible and hard to store..
Just a slight comment on all the straight edge guides. Instead of just
sighting along the length, lay it down and draw a line along the edge. Then
flip it around and check the line. This will at least give you a good idea of
what you're dealing with before using it.
A sheet of carefully selected MDF is gonna be
VERY straight. 1/2" or 3/4"... Rip a piece to the
size you wish making note of factory edge.
You "might" find a metal stud that is quite straight
also. These are a little harder to come by but can
be bought in most buidling centers.
Marton Czebe wrote:
I have a phenolic straight edge that I got because I was concerned
about the durability of aluminum (and the phenolic was affordable,
though not as cheap as other things discussed in this thread).
Subsequently the place I got it from (McMaster-Carr) has quit selling
phenolic straight edges. I wonder why?
Here is another time-tested solution:
I have two I made from 1x3" auuminum box glued to 1/4" hardboard. One
other mod - leave an inch or two of hardboard on the "back" side for
clamping, so your clamps don't interfere with the saw or router.
Better yet, leave enough hardboard on each side so you can use one
side for your saw and one for your most common router setup. Trim the
guide with the tool you will be using it with, and the edge can be
used to set the position to your marks.
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