Best material for a straight edge? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Default Best material for a straight edge?

Although I've been hanging around the RF for over six years, I recently forgot my password and, long story short, I had to start from scratch with a new handle.

I've researched the forum for recommendations on high quality template materials, but I think what we've got in mind is a bit different. You see, we use our big routers with long straight bits to form tenons on the ends of heavy timbers of various dimensions. As I'm an old vet who's slowly losing optical dexterity, I'm growing very weary of constantly making the same fence measurements. In other words, we end up making a lot of repeated measurements to accommodate the fence lines that guide our straights shoulder cuts.

With this in mind, I'm finally doing the smart thing and researching materials that, for all intents and purposes, will be used as straight edges for pencil marking our fence lines. Put another way, we wish to use a square to mark the shoulder -- from which the tenon protrudes from -- and the proposed straight edge to mark the router fence line. Not to state the obvious, but more than one of these "fence guides" will be needed due to the fact that we use straights bits of various diameters.

Does anyone have thoughts on the best material for creating a combination fence guide/straight edge? Polycarbonate comes to mind, but I've never cut it before -- and these guides we wish to fabricate will have to remain smooth to accommodate a nice straight pencil line.

Thanks for your time...
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 04:59 PM
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Lexan come to mind. Tough, holds an edge and, easily worked with our tools.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 09:29 PM
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I use HDPE.....(or , if I'm cheap, MDF)
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 09:10 AM
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Lexan?

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knothead47 View Post
Lexan?
It's a polycarbonate.
HDPE is cheaper. Walmarts cutting boards will work if you don't need a really long piece.
I get my Lexan at the glass shop. They often have cut offs for free...or very cheap.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Pvc

Thanks for the reply, folks. I was at our local box store last night, and I visited the section where they display the PVC trim pieces. Hidden in their stock, I found an 8' piece of 5/8" thick x 6" wide smooth-face PVC trim that might just work. We've used similar stuff before to form concrete piers. Why? It's a long story, but let it suffice to say that it cuts fairly easily and leaves a nice smooth face. Yes, this stuff costs much more than it should, but, once again, I'm simply getting too old to repeat the same measurements/lines over and over again.

Nevertheless, I'd love to read more responses to the thread question and, specifically, I was wondering if anyone has ever cut canvas-based phenolic laminate? If you have, I'd really appreciate any words of wisdom you might be willing to share when it comes to cutting it properly. For example, does it require special table saw blade?

Thanks again for your time...
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 11:04 PM
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Glad you're back. What was your old handle? I think this happened to Rick and somehow they recovered the account and I think reset the password. PM David Falkner or post to an administrator to see if they can get you back on with your original account.

I have my logons stored in an othewise ordinary sounding document on DropBox, you can put them on a usb stick or two. Don't name your file password, or put that word anywhere in the file so it doesn't pop up in a document search. You can use a phrase for your password, just put a number and a symbol in it. For example, mydo9has#leas. Easier to remember that way than something like 7d3#bo5qvp.
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