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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found plans for Inside Measuring Sticks in the book "The Woodworkers Guide to Making and Using Jigs, Fixtures and Setups", Rodale Press. The first one I built is shown in the attached picture. The plans called for two brass keepers, 3/4 " x 3-3/4" made from 12 gauge (roughly 0.010" thick) brass shim stock. I was able to get a sheet of brass that was 0.01 x 6 x 12 " from Ace Hardware. I was not happy with the 3-3/4" cut using aviation snips. My next try was a utility knife and straight edge. The utility knife results were better than the Aviation snips results but I was still not pleased with the results. Since I have consumed a lot of time "cleaning up" the utility knife results, starting with a 3/4" wide roll of brass shim stock would have yielded much better results. So far I am unable to find 3/4" wide brass shim stock. Is anyone aware of a source?

Thanks.
 

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You should be able to cut brass on a table saw with zero clearance insert. Got an old melamine blade to try it with? I would think that the shear is stretching the edge when it cuts.
 

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Theo
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I don't see any reason it would "have" to be brass. I've got some steel strips, probably around 1" wide, around here somewhere, along with some aluminum about the same width. Easy to bend either to the desired shape, might take a hammer to do it, but it wouldn't be rocket science. For that matter, you could even use wood/plywood, which is what I would likely use. I just now even thought of a way to use plastic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You should be able to cut brass on a table saw with zero clearance insert. Got an old melamine blade to try it with? I would think that the shear is stretching the edge when it cuts.
Thanks. With a 10 mil thickness, the brass sheet should probably be sandwiched between two layers of wood. With my SawStop, I am hesitant to circumvent the safety circuitry and leave metal filing on the saw.


I don't see any reason it would "have" to be brass.
Thanks. With my "pride in craftsmanship", I want to stick with brass.

Thanks. I had looked at McMaster and somehow overlooked the "strips". It is worth a try even though the 16 mil thickness is thicker than desired.
 

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That thin a stock, I would sandwich it and use a hacksaw...works like a champ. You could sandwich the whole 6x12 and use your bandsaw and make a bunch of strips...or sandwich it and use your miter saw...even a sawzall, pull saw, scroll saw, etc...

In any event, making a sandwich is the key point then use whatever tool you feel comfortable with...
 

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If you go to that Mc Master page that Doug posted

https://www.mcmaster.com/metals/cop...ultra-formable-260-brass-sheets-and-strips-8/

and use the selection guide on the left side of the page, you can easily select the width, length, and thickness, although you won't find the exact 0.010 thickness. It will be a little thicker than that, but once you have entered the requirements, it will give you the part number, price, etc. I came up with a piece 3/4 X 12" long for $1.75 . I doubt you will find a better deal.

Charley
 

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Theo
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Thanks. With my "pride in craftsmanship", I want to stick with brass.
In my shop, for my use, anything that works will be used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In my shop, for my use, anything that works will be used.
I did not intend to diss you on "using whatever works". My objective was to two fold: make a useful tool that works and second, make the tool look like something a skilled craftsman (which I don't claim to be) would have made a century ago. There was no right/wrong way implied in my response to your suggestion.
 

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Mike
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Thanks. With a 10 mil thickness, the brass sheet should probably be sandwiched between two layers of wood. With my SawStop, I am hesitant to circumvent the safety circuitry and leave metal filing on the saw.
If you have a SawStop you are right about leftover brash chips after cutting. I worked building aerospace cabinetry for many years and we cut aluminum honeycomb panels all the time, locked out the cartridge before cutting than we always brushed and vacuumed the blade and interior of the saw cabinet after cutting. We did have a cartridge set off when someone did not follow the procedure but never had the problem when people followed the cleanup after cutting.

If you don't want to use the saw or one of the other methods you have tried them then you could use a straight edge as a guide and a pattern bit to cut it with a handheld router or on a router table.

Personally I would make it out of two 1/4" dowels and a woodblock with epoxied nuts and screws to clamp the rods but there are all kinds of ways to make a working tool.
 

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If I HAD to rip the strips myself I would do like everyone says and sandwich it between (2) 3/4" thick boards. with 3 wingnut clamps,one each end and a middle one to clamp it tight and use the table saw or band saw with metal cutting blade.
HErb
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Here are my finished products where I used the 3/4" x 3 3/4" brass strips I cut using a utility knife and straight edge. This technique worked but I was interested in a "better" technique for cutting the brass. I had to round over two edges on each of the sliding runners because the brass performed as a scraper.

The photo sequence shows how I would do it if I had to repeat this process again. My sheet of brass was sandwiched between two layers of 1/4" MDF; painters tape was used to hold the assembly together. I was able to cut the strips to width (3/4") with a Freud LU89 non-ferrous metal blade in my old Delta 10" miter saw; luckily the cut strips did not get thrown into the saw blade. If I did this again, I would tape the off cuts to the saw base. The six sandwich-strips are shown in the next picture. The sandwich-strips were then cut to length. The final 3/4" x 3 3/4" strips are shown in the last picture. The results are superior to cutting with a utility knife. If my table saw was not a SawStop, I would have made the cuts on the table saw instead of a miter saw. I was not willing to gamble on using the SawStop. Unfortunately, the sequence of the photos was changed by the computer gods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
@bfblack What is that thing sticking out the butt end? a screw eye for hanging? How did you secure the nut onto the brass collar?
Herb
You guessed it. It is a cup hook for hanging. The brass nut was soldered to the brass strip. My partner is an experienced stained glass gal and she performed the task. I tried to get her to teach me but she said she did not want to waste her time.:smile:
 
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