Designing and Making a Mahogany Straight Edge

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Blog entry by Marty Backe posted 11-30-2011 05:37 PM 4410 reads 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In this video I show the process that I followed in designing and building a mahogany straight edge. I also show how to use a Jorgensen wooden clamp in lieu of a bench vice.

8 comments so far

View Dwain's profile


533 posts in 3881 days

#1 posted 11-30-2011 07:01 PM


Thanks for this video. I found it very useful, as I would like to make a couple myself. I had a few questions. How think is your straightedge? Did you joint all four sides? What router bit did you use to make the hand grips? Would you suggest a tight grained wood for this type of project?

Thanks again,


-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View Marty Backe's profile

Marty Backe

251 posts in 2793 days

#2 posted 11-30-2011 07:22 PM

Hi Dwain,

I haven’t measured the accuracy of the straight edge, but when I set it on my jointer it appears perfectly flat. It meets my intended needs.

I did joint all four sides of the original piece of scrap mahogany, which I usually do with all wood that goes into my projects.

In the video I state that I used a roundover router bit. I was looking at the packaging that came with the bit when I said that. The packaging label was wrong. It’s a Woodriver (sold at Woodcraft) 3/4 inch roundnose bit, used at a depth of 1/8 inch. I didn’t have one for this straight edge, and my local Woodcraft store had this on sale for $10 (normally ~$30).

I think tighter grain woods are preferred over something like oak. Mahogany is in the middle ground. Maple would probably work better, but nothing beats the beauty of mahogany.

View will delaney's profile

will delaney

326 posts in 2657 days

#3 posted 12-01-2011 12:11 AM

Marty great Zen woodworking video. This seams like a nice project to make that will given you some relaxing time spent in the shop. I’ts just you and one piece of wood. The straight edge came out great. Their is a great pleasure in making tools the you design and use in your shop. Thanks for posting I could use a Zen type project. Just as soon as I finish my Christmas gifts.

View Marty Backe's profile

Marty Backe

251 posts in 2793 days

#4 posted 12-01-2011 02:16 AM

Thanks for the compliment Will.

I too have my Christmas present work to finish. The mahogany was a leftover piece from one of my gifts. I kept glancing at it, thinking, “what can I do with that?”. Sometimes I have a hard time throwing away scrap pieces such as this. Perhaps I’m not alone?

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2598 days

#5 posted 12-01-2011 11:18 AM

Nice job Marty!
It’s nice to see a relaxing project.Your shop looks real cozy too. The window behind the workbench really completes it.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3915 days

#6 posted 12-02-2011 02:53 AM

just 10 cents

you joint one edge and one face, the other edge is ripped, while the other face is planed……….jointing 4 edges leaves a funny trapezoidal shaped object.


-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2712 days

#7 posted 12-03-2011 05:39 AM

Moron, I had that same thought (great minds think alike).

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Brit's profile


7385 posts in 2864 days

#8 posted 12-05-2011 03:03 AM

Nice job Marty on the straight edge and the video.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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