Straight edge/ ruler. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 10-22-2019, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Straight edge/ ruler.

I am looking to find a good straight edge/ruler. Now I am on a budget so to speak of $50 or under for maybe a 24"-36". I started my search with looking at the Peachtree site and they seem pretty sturdy and price right for my budget, just wondering if anyone uses them or what is recommended. I am a little OCD when it comes to things I use in woodworking but being on a budget kinda drives me a little batty so to speak :).

Marlin
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post #2 of 29 Old 10-22-2019, 03:04 PM
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I would never consider spending $50 for a straight edge/ruler. I think the last 36" I bought cost between $12 and $15. I think the brand may have been Encore, or something like that.


/george
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post #3 of 29 Old 10-22-2019, 03:18 PM
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As straight edge is a straight edge, what ever it is made of steel, plastic, or wood, beyond that it is personal preference as to markings, thickness etc. so I am with George on this. I have a 4' level that is dead on that I picked up at a garage sale years ago for a couple bucks that is my go to.
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post #4 of 29 Old 10-22-2019, 04:30 PM
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You might want to look at this thread, which I started a few months ago. I was looking for a good straightedge to flatten my table saw top:

https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f12/...6-inch-212929/

While shopping, I learned that some rulers have labels on them that say "straightedge", others not.

I found an Empire 48 inch straightedge / ruler (model 4004IM) that met my needs. I paid around $10 for it in my local hardware store, but it was untagged, the last one on the shelf, and not in their inventory, so they made up a price and gave me a deal.

Amazon sells a Starrett 48 inch straightedge ruler for $14. I don't own one, but a Starrett brand straightedge better be straight, right? A concern would be protection during shipment.

All the straightedges and levels I looked at in the stores were wrapped in shrinkwrap, so you could not test the edges for straightness. I finally decided to buy one anyway and take my chances. It worked out okay for me.

One problem with using straightedge rulers is that they don't stand on their own. I use blocks of scrapwood to hold it up when I need a third hand. A better solution might be a self-standing level. My old long level has too much accumulated cement and other gunk that prevent its use as a straightedge, which is why I bought the new one.

I hope this helps.
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post #5 of 29 Old 10-22-2019, 05:11 PM
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I have several sheet rock squares and a 48” straight edge/ruler. I doubt I paid much more than 10 or 15 bucks for any of them. I have had them for years.
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post #6 of 29 Old 10-23-2019, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
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I have several sheet rock squares and a 48” straight edge/ruler. I doubt I paid much more than 10 or 15 bucks for any of them. I have had them for years.

Sheet rock square and aluminum 4' level. Had both for years, Drilled some small holes in the sheet rock square to screw down to material when using a circular saw.
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post #7 of 29 Old 10-23-2019, 11:19 PM
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Woodpecker Rules are pretty good as both a ruler and straightedge.
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I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. Cheap prices make for cheap goods; cheap goods make for cheap men; and cheap men make for a cheap country. ~ William McKinley
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post #8 of 29 Old 11-14-2019, 09:33 PM
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Im with you OP, my machinist scales and squares would probably turn these guys inside out lol. "You spent HOW MUCH on a square?!" lol

Heres a good one, taylor makes quality tools that dont break the bank. Its not Starrett, but beggers cant be choosers I suppose lol (EDIT: if you need a scale on it, let me know)

https://www.amazon.com/Anodized-Alum...781458&sr=8-21



Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankC View Post
As straight edge is a straight edge, what ever it is made of steel, plastic, or wood, beyond that it is personal preference as to markings, thickness etc. so I am with George on this. I have a 4' level that is dead on that I picked up at a garage sale years ago for a couple bucks that is my go to.

This really isn't accurate at all. What is "straight" to you might be severely out of whack for me. Application matters, if you're rough cutting large sheet stock, no you dont need precision straight edges. For set up and critical applications, "straight" is a defined parameter that is almost impossible to test in a home shop. If OP does any machining work or setup stuff, a "garage sale level" is not the tool for the job. May work for you, but its quite unfair to be critical of others wanting more precise tooling.

Last edited by bob493; 11-14-2019 at 09:37 PM.
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post #9 of 29 Old 11-14-2019, 09:58 PM
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Been using a sheet rock square for years without any issues.
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post #10 of 29 Old 11-14-2019, 10:57 PM
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This really isn't accurate at all.
How do you know his level isn’t accurate? Have you used it?
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post #11 of 29 Old 11-14-2019, 11:46 PM
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How do you know his level isn’t accurate? Have you used it?
Kerry, Im a nuclear engineer with a sub specialty in metrology. I dont need to use your "garage sale level" to know its not "accurate" to a level I deem "acceptable". Ive already divulged use cases where "good enough" is "good enough". Some of us require and need more than "something flat" you buy from a random place. The fact frankc said wood was good enough says enough about your use case scenario to let me know that you and I have different requirements for "flat". If youd like to get butt hurt over this, go nuts, but youre spewing nonsense in the grand scheme of things. Sorry to be a butt, but whats good enough for you is clearly not good enough for me.

edit : precision costs money. Period.

Theres a reason people buy things like this...

https://www.amazon.com/Mitutoyo-311-...3789989&sr=8-3
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Last edited by bob493; 11-14-2019 at 11:53 PM.
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post #12 of 29 Old 11-15-2019, 12:30 AM
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Back in my day, we didn't use a straightedge. We used our eyeballs and that was good enough.

You kids with your fancy tools and what-not.
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post #13 of 29 Old 11-15-2019, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob493 View Post
Kerry, Im a nuclear engineer with a sub specialty in metrology. I dont need to use your "garage sale level" to know its not "accurate" to a level I deem "acceptable". Ive already divulged use cases where "good enough" is "good enough". Some of us require and need more than "something flat" you buy from a random place. The fact frankc said wood was good enough says enough about your use case scenario to let me know that you and I have different requirements for "flat". If youd like to get butt hurt over this, go nuts, but youre spewing nonsense in the grand scheme of things. Sorry to be a butt, but whats good enough for you is clearly not good enough for me.

edit : precision costs money. Period.

Theres a reason people buy things like this...

https://www.amazon.com/Mitutoyo-311-...3789989&sr=8-3
Wow! Well you are precise on butts.

Last edited by Kerrys; 11-15-2019 at 01:41 AM.
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post #14 of 29 Old 11-15-2019, 01:54 AM
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Wow! Well you are precise on butts.
Thats just my navy talk

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post #15 of 29 Old 11-15-2019, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by AmishElectricCo View Post
Back in my day, we didn't use a straightedge. We used our eyeballs and that was good enough.

You kids with your fancy tools and what-not.


The future is now old man! ()
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post #16 of 29 Old 11-15-2019, 07:36 AM
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Kerry, Im a nuclear engineer with a sub specialty in metrology. I dont need to use your "garage sale level" to know its not "accurate" to a level I deem "acceptable". Ive already divulged use cases where "good enough" is "good enough". Some of us require and need more than "something flat" you buy from a random place. The fact frankc said wood was good enough says enough about your use case scenario to let me know that you and I have different requirements for "flat". If youd like to get butt hurt over this, go nuts, but youre spewing nonsense in the grand scheme of things. Sorry to be a butt, but whats good enough for you is clearly not good enough for me.

edit : precision costs money. Period.

Theres a reason people buy things like this...

https://www.amazon.com/Mitutoyo-311-...3789989&sr=8-3

Good morning. Glad to see that there are at least two of us "mucky" engineers on here.


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post #17 of 29 Old 11-16-2019, 08:54 PM
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whats good enough for you is clearly not good enough for me.

edit : precision costs money. Period.

Welcome to the forum...We look forward to seeing your projects and your technique and I assume that we can rest assured that they will be straight.

Mother is the necessity of most invention.
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post #18 of 29 Old 11-16-2019, 09:03 PM
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Welcome to the forum...We look forward to seeing your projects and your technique and I assume that we can rest assured that they will be straight.
Sorry, but im not playing this game. Old timers doing "good enough" and giving people crap for caring a bit more is garbage. Dont really care if you dont agree or like it, its not your choice to make. If a 3$ plastic ruler is good enough for you, i dont care. Its NOT good enough for me. If you dont like it, then keep quiet. No reason for this level of contention for those of us that actually care about setups and accuracy. Have a good day.
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post #19 of 29 Old 11-16-2019, 11:13 PM
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Back in my day, we didn't use a straightedge. We used our eyeballs and that was good enough.

You kids with your fancy tools and what-not.

There is truth in that, but really only for really skilled individuals.
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post #20 of 29 Old 11-17-2019, 09:55 AM
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I hope we aren't getting huffy puffy about a straight edge.
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Don in Murfreesboro, TN.
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