Straight Edge for tool setup

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Forum topic by Stacey posted 02-13-2008 04:16 AM 3031 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Stacey's profile


19 posts in 4023 days

02-13-2008 04:16 AM

I have recently been thinking of getting a decent straight edge for use on my router table, table saw, and plane soles. Since I don’t have a jointer which most people seem to think requires the most precision, do I need a straight edge with .001” accuracy. I have been thinking of just going to the local home center and picking up a 4’ piece of aluminum extrusion to use for these purposes. The most cost efficient, “real” edge I’ve found is the Veritas Aluminum straightedge with is accurate to .003” but I certainly don’t want to spend much if it’s not necessary. What are your thoughts?

-- S. Box --- "But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." - John Adams

6 replies so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4255 days

#1 posted 02-13-2008 04:38 AM

I have the 24” Veritas aluminum straight edge and it made all the difference in setting my jointer.
Since you don’t have a jointer I’m not sure really what to say. If you get a good one you will use it, and need it down the line somewhere.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Karson's profile


35157 posts in 4667 days

#2 posted 02-13-2008 04:44 AM

I’ve got a stainless steel one that I picked up at a junk yard. It was scrap from a company that makes them. But I don’t use it much other than getting a straight line.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4263 days

#3 posted 02-13-2008 08:17 AM

I hope this doesn’t sound flip (cause I don’t intend it to be), but it really just depends on the level of accuracy you require or just plain want. I have the Veritas 24” steel straightedge and love it, but like Gary, I primarily use to set up and tune the jointer…

For the tasks that you mentioned, I typically use the blade out of my 12” combo square…

If you don’t have a good combo square already, it could be a good way to go. I’m assuming you’re talking about aligning the extensions and throat plate on the table saw and the mouting plate on the router table, etc…

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Stacey's profile


19 posts in 4023 days

#4 posted 02-13-2008 03:22 PM

That’s exactly what I need it for. Extension wings, throat and mounting plates, and hand plane soles. That’s kind of what I thought. I have a nice 4” double square which gets used alot but sold my 6” combo as it normally sat on the shelf. Maybe I’ll pick up another combo blade (12” or 18”) that could be used in double duty as a ruler and straight edge for alignment. I do love tools that are multi use. Thanks

-- S. Box --- "But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." - John Adams

View SPalm's profile


5327 posts in 4148 days

#5 posted 02-13-2008 03:45 PM

I agree with the other posts. I just wanted to mention that an aluminum extrusion (“aluminum angle iron”) is not a very good straight edge. It was extruded and not cut. It can twist quite easily, so you will never know which edge of it is the straightest. As Karson said, a strip of stainless steel would be better. A metal yardstick actually does a pretty good job also.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4141 days

#6 posted 02-13-2008 03:50 PM

I second the recommendation of a combo square. They are really handy to have around.

I’ve found that plastic drafting triangles are surprisingly accurate. They are pretty inexpensive.

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