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Thread: Steel Straight Edge

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Philadelphia, Pa
    Yup. I think, according to the new Starrett retail price guide, that mine is now $293 or so. Way expensive.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Shiloh, Illinois

    Gloat: 36" Starrett SE

    I just bought my 36" Starrett straight edge.

    Amazon has some good prices on these right now too.



  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    augusta, GA
    lee valley sells a 4 foot straight edge that is sturdy and very useable for less than $100. mine is within 0.001 over the entire length.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Pflugerville, TX USA
    If you do go the box level route, make sure it has machined edges and not just an aluminum extrusion. The empire true blue line is nicely machined. I checked mine on a granite surface plate and it is indeed extremely straight.

  5. #20
    Don't forget about Woodpecker. Good stuff but not as spendy as Starrett.
    I know it was here a minute ago ???

  6. If anyone ever needs a straight edge to cut a 8 foot sheet of plywood or any other sheet goods, a metal stud works great. They are 2x4 or 2x 6 in size. They are cheap and straight. My $.02. Hope it helps someone in a pinch. John

  7. #22
    link doesn't seem to point to correct product..

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Bachler View Post
    Here's the best deal I could find: Starrett 48" beveled 1 edge, no graduation. $183

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Plymouth County, Massachusetts
    Try this.....scroll down ...


  9. #24
    Rob Will Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Turner View Post
    I have the 3 foot Starrett, bevel edged, graduated, straight edge. Bought it used for $35 (smile).
    Yes Alan, you suck.

    I had to cough up retail.


  10. #25
    You guys working in wood or setting your machines up to make parts for NASA?

    What you can't get out of a 4' paperhanger's straight edge sold for 20 bucks at Home Depot, ain't worth getting.

    Fortunately, measuring arbor runout and other unnecessary fussing with your machines thinking it'll improve your work is a stage we all went through and you'll grow out of. Trusting your eyes and hands working with wood beats anything Starrett sells for machinists hands down.

    Reminds me of a comment I got once when recommending buying a woodworker's drill press instead of a machinist's drill press. Over twice the reach, on casters that move it to the job, and unlimited angles on long workpieces:

    Q: "But radial arms drill presses have too much flex and runout".

    A: Inaccuracy over what, hand drilling? Because that's how I'd have to do much of it if all I had was your machinist's press.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 11-17-2007 at 3:10 AM.
    “Perhaps then, you will say, ‘But where can one have a boat like that built today?’ And I will tell you that there are still some honest men who can sharpen a saw, plane, or (who) live and work in out of the way places, but that is lucky, for they can acquire materials for one third of city prices. Best, some of these gentlemen’s boatshops are in places where nothing but the occasional honk of a wild goose will distract them from their work.” -- L Francis Herreshoff

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    northern minnesota

    Haven't done this myself, thought I would save this project for when I retire.

  12. #27

    One more source

    Enco is a sister company to MSC. However there prices are lower for the same items.


  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Smalser View Post
    What you can't get out of a 4' paperhanger's straight edge sold for 20 bucks at Home Depot, ain't worth getting.
    That still depends on what you're doing. If you're working with expensive materials and you want to be able to check straightness on a surface that you just planed with a 0.001" through shaving after doing a series of stop shavings, those rules from home depot aren't going to cut it. I've tried both, and I'll save the home depot rules for home improvement, and not making cabinetry.

    Of course, that type of accuracy isn't necessary, but if you want to measure it, you won't be doing it with an aluminum empire ruler from home depot.

    I, like several here have done, spent the $200 or so and got a single bevel 4 ft starrett rule. I'm glad I did - it gave me a good indication of just how far off those rules at the big box stores are.

    If the money isn't an issue, there's no real reason to get something that is probably within a couple of hundredths of straight over its length when you can get something that is less than a thousandth from straight.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    San Anselmo, CA
    I agree w/Bob that it is a "complete" waste of money to buy a Starret for woodworking; I know, because I fell into "the thinking" that I needed them--and bought two of them--one four feet long. I am now past that. In hindsight, all I needed for machine set-up/woodworking was a cheapo straightedge from the borg.

  15. #30
    Make 'em yourself

    This is pretty much the old school toolmakers method from way back when milling machines didn't have increments marked on dials and got power from flat belt pulleys over head driven by water wheels - and it works.

    What he doesn't tell you is that you need to purchase longer steel members than you expect to have as finished products. For a 4' tool the steel bars should be 3/8" thick by2" wide or 1/4"thick by 3" wide and buy lengths 2 - 3 feet longer than the final length. When done your straight edge is in the center of the bar.

    when Lapping one should seek as random a pattern as possible.

    We used to do hand lapped components that had to be measured for flatness within nanometers (light bands) The janitor was better than the machinists 'cause the machinists had years and years of forcing themselves to do everything with dead accurate repeatable precision and random is key when hand lapping.
    Last edited by Cliff Rohrabacher; 11-17-2007 at 11:35 AM.

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