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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Default Machinists Straight Edge

I am in the market to buy a precision straight edge. I would be using it for things like aligning my jointer tables/knives, checking for flatness, etc. I would prefer steel instead of aluminum only for the fact that the aluminum ones are more prone to being damaged.

Now for the real question, 24" or 36". My mind tells me 36" but my wallet says, 24". would the extra foot justify the difference in cost?

Thoughts?

Bill

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 02:11 PM
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For a jointer the 24" might be marginal but the fact is any good quality level and most rules are probably accurate enough for working with wood. Remember that we aren't making parts for NASA. I was told that Delta only flattens the top of a Unisaw to .003" and I've never been able to tell that it isn't better or worse than that.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by schnewj View Post
I am in the market to buy a precision straight edge. I would be using it for things like aligning my jointer tables/knives, checking for flatness, etc. I would prefer steel instead of aluminum only for the fact that the aluminum ones are more prone to being damaged.

Now for the real question, 24" or 36". My mind tells me 36" but my wallet says, 24". would the extra foot justify the difference in cost?

Thoughts?

Bill
from experience...
rethink aluminum and go with a bit more versatility ...

Measuring & Layout - Woodworking Rules

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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For a jointer the 24" might be marginal but the fact is any good quality level and most rules are probably accurate enough for working with wood. Remember that we aren't making parts for NASA. I was told that Delta only flattens the top of a Unisaw to .003" and I've never been able to tell that it isn't better or worse than that.
God, don't tell me we are not working for NASA! I was a subcontractor to them for 30 years. Working on Manned Space Flight Vehicles pounds quality control into making the product. Hard to break old habits. (as Stick would say SNARK).

I have to agree that absolute precision is not always necessary and that 24" may be a little light for the jointer and for some other things. If I am going to spend the money I just want to make sure that it is a one time purchase. I don't want to go cheap and buy a 24" only to wish I had spent the extra money for a 3'.

Bill

Hi, sorry I missed you. I have gone to find myself, but if I return before I get back, please ask me to wait.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 02:29 PM
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Stick486 View Post
from experience...
rethink aluminum and go with a bit more versatility ...

Measuring & Layout - Woodworking Rules

Stick, what are these made of?
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 02:36 PM
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Stick, what are these made of?
some kind of thick, strong high tensile aluminum...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 02:40 PM
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Charles when did you buy the delta? I bought mine in 02 I've heard a few complaints from power tool sales techs, Woodworkers warehouse (before they died) and Western Tool supply that replaced WWW that delta was lacking in many of the aspects that made their tools so desirable up to the early 00s. WTS even said he'd prefer a Jet arbor TS over a Delta, (before Jet was considered anything but Asian junk).

If I overlook the outer tip of the left wing rising up I can fit a .0015 but not a .002 feeler gauge under the machine square. If I include the left wing it shoots up to .007. I'd go for the 36" too just because it increases it use.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 02:44 PM
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some kind of thick, strong high tensile aluminum...
Thought so, but was wondering, with you post starting, "rethink aluminum". But those do look like a better straight edge then the flat ones.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 02:51 PM
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I'd have to agree that the anodized Aluminum ones are way easier to read than the s.s. ones. Especially if the steel is polished; worse than trying to read an old mercury thermometer.

(But the s.s. is inexpensive. How accurate are they as a straightedge? No idea.)
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