Veritas 38" Aluminum Straightedge

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Review by TheGman posted 07-21-2011 05:17 AM 16636 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Veritas 38" Aluminum Straightedge Veritas 38" Aluminum Straightedge Veritas 38" Aluminum Straightedge Click the pictures to enlarge them

I just purchased the VERITAS 38” Aluminum Straightedge from Lee Valley. The straightedge was shipped in a sturdy cardboard tube that I’ll continue to use as a place to store the straightedge to prevent any damage in the shop.

I had a very good first impression once I removed the straightedge from the packaging. It has a very nice finish, which looks great and feels nice in your hand. Its contour makes it very easy to grip and handle.

To check the straightness of the straightedge I used .5” reference blocks to support the straightedge on its ends on a machinist’s granite surface plate and a precision dial indicator (see pictures). The straight edge measured within .0005” at each ends with a .0015” deflection in the middle, easily within the specified .003”. I also performed the same procedure with the reference blocks placed closer to the center. The straightedge then measured within .0005” across the whole length, meaning that the .0015” deflection initially observed was actually sagging caused by the weight of the straightedge.

I then performed the same tests on my 4’ Harbor Freight level. The level measured .00015” at each ends with a .003” sag at the center. Even though this is impressive for such a cheap level, it is very flexible and very little pressure causes the center to sag dramatically more.

I purchased this straightedge in order to align my in- and out-feed tables on my jointer. I have an INCA 570, which has relatively short tables (40”). Because I need over 20” of the straight edge to be suspended over the in-feed table, the amount of sag is very important in your accuracy. This is the primary reason why fiberglass levels, even very straight levels, are not adequate for the job.

For anybody with longer jointer tables, who may be considering the 50” model, I would recommend you to consider the VERITAS steel straightedges since the amount of sag that you may experience when using the aluminum model may dramatically effect the accuracy of your table alignment.

All in all, the 38” inch model is perfect for my needs. If you have never purchased a precision straight edge before, the $39 price tag may scare you. But, compared to other precision straight edges on the market, this is a good value.

View TheGman's profile


26 posts in 3927 days

9 comments so far

View TheKingInYellow's profile


233 posts in 4817 days

#1 posted 07-21-2011 07:18 AM

I have the same straightedge and my tolerances are just as good. It’s truly a reference quality tool which makes the price more than reasonable to me.

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 5355 days

#2 posted 07-21-2011 07:50 AM

I have this same straightedge. I keep it stored in the cardboard shipping tube it arrived in leaned mostly upright in the corner.

The straightedge has a hanging hole at the end and I’ve always wondered would I be better off storing the straightedge hanging by the hole under it’s own weight instead of leaned in a corner.

Figure that 99.99999999% of the time the straightedge is leaned in the corner, sometimes for years at a time.

What are the chances of the straightedge getting a bow, kind of like when you go to the big box stores and find that all of the lumber stored on end has a significant bow.

How do you gentlemen store your precision straightedges?

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 4297 days

#3 posted 07-21-2011 09:12 AM

I have this straightedge and it really is a great value.

@coloradoclimber – I’ve been hanging mine from the hanging hole…

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View karlhead's profile


6 posts in 3980 days

#4 posted 07-21-2011 02:05 PM

I have used industrial straight edges for years, some were older than me they were always hung to prevent bowing. And they were reference quality grounded polished steel. I’m a millwright by trade and like machinist we were though to take very good care of our measuring tools and strait edges.

Just my two cents worth Karl

View TheKingInYellow's profile


233 posts in 4817 days

#5 posted 07-21-2011 03:07 PM

Yup, hung by the hole as well.

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...

View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 3980 days

#6 posted 07-21-2011 05:13 PM

That seems like a reasonable price for a quailty reference edge. I spent $50 plus shipping on a Masterplate, so I can’t complain too much about the price. Thanks for this review!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View jayman7's profile


219 posts in 4792 days

#7 posted 07-21-2011 08:59 PM

I have the same product and it’s great!! I have it by the hold as well.

View lashing's profile


111 posts in 4108 days

#8 posted 07-21-2011 09:56 PM

I have the steel version. I like steel for this purpose. Its flat. I have had an issue or two with Veritas but not once did they not just take it back and replace. WHich is why I shop with Lee Valley. If you have a problem – no arguments.

View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4975 days

#9 posted 07-22-2011 03:50 AM

Thank you , I’ve been shopping for a quality straight edge : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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