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Advice on a precision straight edge/rule, and where to get it

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Basschair, Mar 29, 2006.


  1. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    I need to pick up a new precision 36" straightedge/rule, and was thinking about a Starrett, though I'm open to suggestions. What I'd really like is to get a good price on one, so I'm wondering where to get the best deal (again, it does not have to be a Starrett), either online or in-store.

    btw: ebay doesn't have any right now :meh:
     
  2. KAOSBass

    KAOSBass

    Mar 10, 2005
    Amarillo Texas
    stewmac
     
  3. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    But is $98.40 a good price?
     
  4. KAOSBass

    KAOSBass

    Mar 10, 2005
    Amarillo Texas
    Is it worth that much to you?;)


    Have you checked Sears or home depot?
     
  5. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    :D
    Yeah, I guess it is.

    You know, I've got this irrational phobia about the big chain stores and a lot of their stuff. I was at HD the other day looking, and so many of the rules seemed, well, flimsy. I'd really like a rule that's thicker so that it can double as a straight edge. Plus, so many of them were priced so low that I made the ass-umption that they probably wouldn't live up to the national standard.
     
  6. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    I got one at Home Depot for under $10. What I don't like about it is that it only goes down to1/16". So sometimes I have to mark down to an inch and use a caliper to get what I want.
     
  7. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    How thick is it?

    I've got a 36" rule, and though it's not the super-thin floppy kind, it definitely bends so that when I want to use it as a straight edge to check for flatness in neck woods (by holding it on edge), I have to first check to make sure I'm holding it in a way that straightens it. That's a hassle.
     
  8. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    I would say it is 3/16 or so....

    To check for straitness in on a board I use a frameing square or a level. If you use a level make sure you know that it will have a small bow to it. (the "better" Levels will anyways)
     
  9. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    Cool.

    So, I've decided to buy a strict straightedge, versus a straightedge/ruler, and went with a Veritas straightedge from Lee Valley. This way, it'll be usable for neck woods as well as for checking fret levels.
     
  10. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    Best of luck, what you choose should work!!!
     
  11. Hello basschair,
    glad you went for a straight edge as there is a massive difference between a true machined straight edge and a long rule or level, no matter how much you spent it's gonna be worth it.
     
  12. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    Cool: thanks for the reinforcement! I figured it would be the way to go:)
     
  13. FWIW, the StewMac 24" that I have is a good straightedge and I find it to be worth the price several times over. Not that I am in a hurry to pay more, but I have never thought about the price. I was using a less expensive one, less sturdy, and the StewMac 24 was a major step up. It made a big difference in my setups. That, and the fret-rocker.
     
  14. gfried84

    gfried84 Commercial User

    May 7, 2005
    Owner Fried Guitars Inc.
    Starrett is the way to go. Precision ground steel. Definitely no flex in the steel.
     
  15. mslatter

    mslatter

    Apr 8, 2003
  16. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Most of the higher end Johnson rules and some of the Stanley rules are 1/4" thick and plenty stable for doing straight edge work. Something else to consider is checking out Woodcraft.com...they carry UHMC lengths that you can apply to a rule to keep it straight and flat, while still allowinbg you to use the metal edge of the ruler as a guide. Just an idea that has worked well for me with aluminum rules.
     

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