ensuring steel rectangle tube is flat for DIY fence - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-08-2015, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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ensuring steel rectangle tube is flat for DIY fence

As in the title, I've got some 2x3 steel rectangle to use for a Biesemeyer clone. hopefully I'll have some time to work on it soon ,but before that, I was looking for some ideas to sanding the faces to make sure they are flat. I can't inagine that tey're that bad, but I'd think that some kind of milling would need to be done. Would I be able to use adhesive backed sand paper on a granite counter top (when the wife isn't home, of course...)?? If that's a acceptable strategy, any ideas on ow to check, and correct, the tube for the guide rail? it's 72", I'm pretty sure I can't use my counter top for that.. :)

I know there are some Diy Biese clones around here, curious about how you folks accomplished the task. Or, is goning to be good enough as is?? Thanks.
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-08-2015, 07:10 PM
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Without seeing the tube, or at leasts a picture, it is impossible to say anything about it's quality.

You can use the top of your table saw for a flat surface and spare your wife's counter top. You can also use that to gauge the flatness of the tube.

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post #3 of 8 Old 10-08-2015, 08:52 PM
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I've built two but had the tubes machined by a pro. Didn't cost much. Trying to flatten it yourself will be a life time achievement. Also it won't be worth your time if you don't make the rails long enough to rip a 30 inch piece.

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post #4 of 8 Old 10-09-2015, 07:06 PM
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When I went to the steel supply for a tube, I brought my 6' straight edge. The tube was straight enough as is. It was a little thicker wall than needed. 3/16" wall. He was out of the 1/8" wall I wanted
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-09-2015, 08:08 PM
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Extruded metals are generally pretty flat and straight to begin with, so I wouldn't worry too much. Sight down one of the corners, if its optically straight you shouldn't have any problems

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post #6 of 8 Old 10-09-2015, 08:55 PM
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I never understood why, if you have to pay big dollars for a fence. Why would you pay for a Bies. Too easy to make at a fraction of the cost.

Okay well I did buy one. But then saw it was no better than one that could be shop built.

To the OP. Good for you.

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post #7 of 8 Old 10-09-2015, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I wonder if I'm splitting hairs, thinking about epicfail48's reply. When I get a chance I'll take another look at them and maybe use the counter top to make a bit of an inspection and go from there. I have 11 gauge rectangle. I had read that cold rolled would have less deviation, but I could only get hot rolled in the 2x3.

I don't have a welder so I'll have to talk to some friends about that portion, maybe I can borrow one. I do want to get a small welder to have for other projects. That cost adds to the build cost, but I've been planning on getting one anyhow so I guess I can not figure that into this project directly. In any case I'm looking forward to the DIY aspect. It feels good to finish a project and have it workout like planned. I just built a crosscut sled and after adjusting it, my 5-cut test resulted in a 0.0005" error ratio (!). Honestly, I checked it twice... I had to smile to myself, I had been fighting a base of construction grade ply (flatness issues), and finally went and got some cabinet grade. What a difference!

Thanks again. I'll update as I get a chance to work on it...
Bob
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-10-2015, 02:26 AM
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I feel the need to add to my earlier comment; For the fence rails optically straight will be more than straight enough, but for the fence itself, the portion that the wood runs against, you do want that to be as dead flat as possible. No worries with that though, just grab a roll of low grit self-adhesive sandpaper, stick it to the table on the saw and scrub the fence along. Lot easier handling the 27 inch long fence than it would be doing the same with the 6ft rail

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