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Angle aluminum as straight edge for table saw jointing?

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Forum topic by nickbatz posted 08-28-2020 02:22 AM 1245 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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nickbatz

615 posts in 968 days


08-28-2020 02:22 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jig

Every YouTube video recommends using the factory edge of a sheet of plywood against the fence when jointing on a table saw.

But I want to make something permanent and 100% reliable. My medium-bed (42”) jointer seems to be hit or miss for jointing 5’ long boards, and I’m unable to make a good straight edge with it.

So my idea is angle aluminum, covered with paste wax.

Is that a stupid idea?

TIA


23 replies so far

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SMP

2689 posts in 794 days


#1 posted 08-28-2020 04:38 AM

Well, i heard the Schwarz mention this, so I went to home depot and grabbed a couple pieces of the 1/8” thick 3/4×3/4 and 1×1 aluminum angle 4’ long and held them up to each other. And any 2 I grabbed and put together had quite a bit of light shining through. Maybe “good enough” for hand tool work, but not good for setting my jointer tables.

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John Smith

2738 posts in 1051 days


#2 posted 08-28-2020 12:01 PM

as an old sign maker, I have a stack of aluminum structures in different dimensions.
I often use a 2×2 x 1/4” angle for a fence. I keep it standing in a corner so it won’t get bent.
so yes, if you can find a “stout” piece that suits your needs, by all means use it.
(I even have a 7ft piece of 4×4 x 3/8” angle that I have had for over 20 years).

.

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

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RobHannon

347 posts in 1419 days


#3 posted 08-28-2020 01:54 PM

L has a lot more flex in it than you would expect. I made a slab flattening sled using what I thought was quite sturdy aluminum L and ended up with a very large shallow bowl. Take John’s advice and find some box channel instead of L.

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therealSteveN

6490 posts in 1462 days


#4 posted 08-28-2020 02:59 PM

Versus “aluminum” angle which is very soft, and can be prone to directional changes if someone doesn’t treat it lovingly. Usually this is in the store where a NON buyer is handling it, and stuffing it back into the rack.

For a better straight edge go to 8020.net

http://8020.net/shop

Because it is extruded, you lose most of it’s weakness from a flat surface. So it’s strong, reliably flat and true. At least for a jointer. Consider that most of the guys building their own CNC’s go there for their frameworks. Kreg also sells some, as I’m sure a lot of other places do. Probably a google of aluminum extrusion, adding rail, or track probably gets hits too.

-- Think safe, be safe

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John Smith

2738 posts in 1051 days


#5 posted 08-28-2020 03:38 PM

Rob H. ~ this is why I recommend steel bed rails for router sleds.
they can often be found at the Thrift Stores for $10 or less.
(or, maybe you have one in your garage, attic or basement ??).

.

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

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AlaskaGuy

6131 posts in 3197 days


#6 posted 08-28-2020 04:35 PM

Plywood factory edge hehehehehehehehehehehehe

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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nickbatz

615 posts in 968 days


#7 posted 08-28-2020 05:09 PM

Thanks for the replies. Lots of good ideas.

The main thing is that the idea of using metal isn’t crazy.

I’m going to take a look at my local hardware store and see what they have as a first step.

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SMP

2689 posts in 794 days


#8 posted 08-29-2020 12:02 AM

I would say if you can find 1/4” it might be ok, but don’t get the 1/8” angle. If you have money, the extrusions are better, but I am cheap.

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SMP

2689 posts in 794 days


#9 posted 08-29-2020 04:39 AM



Plywood factory edge hehehehehehehehehehehehe

- AlaskaGuy

Well plywood maybe funny, depending on brand and grade, but MDF is usually dead on , as well as quality baltic birch.

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JohnDon

135 posts in 2057 days


#10 posted 08-29-2020 04:52 AM

John White (“Care and Repair of Shop Machines”) has a method of using a length of mdf or plywood with 3 drywall screws carefully aligned along one edge, such that the screw heads are perfectly coplaner. With just three contact points, it’s possible (and easy) to align jointer tables, with accuracy equivalent to using a machined straightedge, at a much less cost.

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therealSteveN

6490 posts in 1462 days


#11 posted 08-29-2020 07:26 AM



Plywood factory edge hehehehehehehehehehehehe

- AlaskaGuy

If a fella can’t use one of each below to figure out if something as tiny as 4’ x 8’ is square, or not? Perplexed by it is what I am.

I guess I have never seen these miles of non square plywood that others here seem to trip over at every turn.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Robert

4064 posts in 2369 days


#12 posted 08-29-2020 11:35 AM

I check every piece of ply before I break it down. I’d say 1 out of 10 are not perfectly square.

I agree with the poster on MDF, I’ve never seen one yet not square.

I suggest the OP evaluate his joints rand jointer technique to see if there’s a problem. I admit jointing 5’ board on a 42” bed can be a challenge, but it can be don’t.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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4wood

62 posts in 842 days


#13 posted 08-29-2020 01:02 PM

I would suggest not trying to find it in a hardware store, but go to an aluminum distributor. There is one near me that is a large operation and they have several big boxes of pieces that were cut off from other sales that they sell. I use 1” x 2” channel for a straight edge for many things. Google Aluminum distributors near me and you may find something.

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hairy

3122 posts in 4420 days


#14 posted 08-29-2020 01:19 PM

Consider this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbuurg5wAlE

About 3 minutes in, Jimmy Diresta jointing boards on a table saw, no jig.

I do this with rough lumber, it works.

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

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higtron

262 posts in 3565 days


#15 posted 08-29-2020 02:21 PM

I use a plywood sled with toggle clamp mounted to clamp the board to the sled and run that through the tablesaw. If the boards are only 2-3’ I have a 6’ level I use for hanging doors I quick clamp that to the fence to extend the length of the fence I run the board with the cupped edge against the level.

-- A friend will help you move, a good friend will help you move a body

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