What Are Straight Edges And How To Use Them In Your Home Projects?

Straight edges are instruments generally used to determine the flatness or straightness of surfaces. Typically, they’re made of wood, plastic, cast iron, steel, and aluminum. Straight edges are mostly used in machining, automotive services, and construction industries. You may also utilize a straight edge in some of your home projects. 

Suppose you’re considering using a straight edge anytime soon. In that case, you may need to know the different home projects you can fit for this tool. Before that, though, you have to know what a straight edge is and its possible applications. Thus, this article will guide you toward learning more about straight edges. 

What Are Straight Edges? 

Straight edges come in various forms and sizes. They usually look like narrow sticks but with generally wide bodies. Straight edges with measurement markings are also called rulers. In most cases, these tools draw lines on the surfaces of the machine pieces a person will be working on. 

Straight edges, like most tools, have different types. These are as follows: 

  • Tool Maker 

This type has the topmost accuracy and is available in many cross-sections. Single-edge tool makers are useful in checking straightness just by a sight test. Meanwhile, tool makers with one to four edges are ideal for comparing cross-sections. 

  • Wide Edge 

This type refers to the ones used to measure parallelism and straightness. Thus, it is fit to compare the various and opposing surfaces. 

  • Angle Straight 

An angle straight is used to determine the straightness and flatness of surfaces in arcs and circular surfaces. 

Where To Buy Straight Edges 

Many tool shops and hardware offer different types of straight edges. In the United Kingdom, you may visit Maun Industries and similar stores. Maun supply straight edge rulers in the UK, including a range made from steel or aluminum, precision-engineered to ensure maximum accuracy in flatness and straightness. You may also initiate a trade with other machinists, woodworkers, and metalworkers who may have what you need. Their expertise will come in handy as they can demonstrate how to use the tool safely in your home projects. 

“Steel Straight Edge from Maun” 

Uses Of Straight Edges 

In general, workers don’t use a one-size-fits-all straight edge as points. There should also be a consideration for tool composition, the purpose of comparison, and the size of the workpiece.  

Straight edges can help you: 

1. In Comparing The Flatness Or Straightness Of Two Objects 

Straight edges can help you compare the flatness or straightness of two opposing surfaces, such as floor spaces or frames. Before comparing, however, you may need to choose the right straight edge based on size and length. A safe choice would be to use a 12-inch straight edge for objects 12 inches and below. 

You may measure the flatness or straightness of the thing or portion installed adjacently after determining its degree. For example, you may calculate the floor area first before the jambs and frames you’d fit into the space. 

In flat spaces, remember to measure the most significant gap between the underside of the straight edge and the topmost surface of the object compared to. In addition, you may consider applying a 0.05 mm margin of error or adjustment or stick to absolute flatness. 

2. As Cutting Guides And Tools 

You may use a straight edge to identify the parts to mark and cut before getting objects through machine tools. Initially, you could draw the lines on the wooden board or metal frames you’d be cutting. Using a straight edge ruler might be the easier option in this situation. However, if you want to use your saw track guide, you need a straight and extended edge to produce accurate cuts. 

You may need to clamp your straight edge into the object you’re slicing through for a more accurate cutting. You may also consider using rulers because of their markings. Likewise, straight edges can guide cutting tools, such as circular saws. Degradation marks can be applied to guide you toward a more precise cut. 

3. In Precision Layout 

You may use a straight edge to inscribe horizontal lines. Because of the different versions of these tools, you can select from the various types appropriate for laying out reference and dimensional points in workpieces. These are ideal for crafting a design for tubes, plates, and sheets. Moreover, they’re also perfect for structural shapes and machine parts. 

Some Home Projects You May Try With A Straight Edge 

1. Woodworking 

In most cases, you’d use straight edges for woodworking. Because wooden panels tend to misalign, straight edges are an excellent alternative to level the wooden pieces. Whether you’re smoothing a board with a spokeshave, hand planer, or electric planer, a straight edge can help produce long straight lines and widths and flatten the top. 

2. Tool Making And Repair 

If you’re thinking of designing and producing a homemade tool, you can use straight edges for your product’s precise straightness and flatness. Aside from this, you may also use this in repairing your workshop pieces of machinery at home, such as drilling, boring, and turning machines, so they won’t deviate from the standard measurements. 

3. Metalworking 

You may use various straight edges in comparing the primary surface and the frames you may need to attach to a metal project. This will help prevent the shrinkage and denting of the surfaces. Thus, you’re ensured that straight edges are faithful to your project’s needs because all surfaces are flat and straight after using them. 

Wrapping Up 

Having the right tool contributes to completing your project on time and efficiently. You may use straight edges for various home applications, such as tool making, machine repairs, and woodworking. For more ideas on using a straight edge properly, you may ask a seasoned machinist or a workshop staff with years of experience in woodwork or any other project where straight edges are helpful. 

In choosing a straight edge, you may consider its durability first. The tool shouldn’t chip or wear out fast despite repeated use. Furthermore, you may also think about the tool’s ease of maintenance and appropriateness for different projects at home. 

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