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36" Veritas or 50" AL Veritas Straigtedge - the Anal Woodworker

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Forum topic by NeophyteGrant posted 08-05-2017 03:21 PM 1107 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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NeophyteGrant

21 posts in 348 days


08-05-2017 03:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: straight-edge precision machinist set-up

Hi All:

Long time lurker, first time contributor. I’ve found LJ to be a wonderful resource as I’ve begun the woodworking journey.

As my handle indicates, I’m relatively new to woodworking. I just recently moved into a single family home in Chicago with a 400 sq ft garage—quite the luxury in some parts—and made the decision to invest in setting up a dedicated shop space: purchased a jointer, TS, router table with incra fence, miter saw, planer, among others, and am setting them up.

I also invested in some higher-precision layout and calibration tools as well. To that end, I’ve been struggling mightily with squaring my JET 6’ straight knife jointer’s fence. It’s fairly true at the cutterhead but twists on the far infeed, lower half of the fence—.009”—which is out of tolerance for the manufacturer.

In setting the knives and making the tables co-planer, I had strived to have a straightedge that matches the length of the full bed, as I’ve read. The one I have for this is a 6 foot Crain’s journeyman that is more oriented towards flooring, but was affordable. Also, have a steel 24 inch, taylor toolworks. Now I’m thinking about exchanging all for the Veritas 36 steel or 50 in AL—more trusthworthy brand (I tried to flip and draw lines but I don’t trust my precision in testing that way), stands up, more robust.

My question: Do I need a 50’. 36” covers the jointer bed and probably table saw set up, too. A small perfectionist voice in my head says it’s inadequate if I do something as long as the jointer bed at 56’, as it wouldn’t reach the ends. Is a 50’ really necessary? Should I do the 50’ AND the 36’ in steel? If the 50’ were as accurate (.0015 vs .003, steel vs. AL, 36” vs. 50”) it’d be a no-brainer, but there is that difference…

Thanks.


11 replies so far

View HTown's profile

HTown

79 posts in 1025 days


#1 posted 08-05-2017 03:54 PM

I’ve got the 50” AL and don’t have any regrets.

View WhoMe's profile

WhoMe

1564 posts in 3082 days


#2 posted 08-05-2017 04:08 PM

If you have a place to store it, get the 50”. If you get the 36 and need something longer, you’re out of luck.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4480 posts in 2190 days


#3 posted 08-05-2017 04:46 PM

Check out Peachtree Woodworking, they have straight edges that are a bit cheaper than Veritas, if price is a conscern.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View NeophyteGrant's profile (online now)

NeophyteGrant

21 posts in 348 days


#4 posted 08-08-2017 05:07 PM

Thanks all—I appreciate the sage advice. I’ve invested in the 50’ AL per the recs.

Best,
Grant

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1138 posts in 1063 days


#5 posted 08-08-2017 05:35 PM

If you’re really the Anal Woodworker, you’ll have both :D

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3661 posts in 2148 days


#6 posted 08-08-2017 05:42 PM

An anal woodworker would have a 72” Starrett…...

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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NeophyteGrant

21 posts in 348 days


#7 posted 08-08-2017 06:04 PM

I did entertain the notion—but I’m trying to conserve funds. I don’t think my skillset is good enough to warrant one yet.

But as evidence about how precise and anal I am (and how being anal can present more problems): I’m working with JET to get my a replacement fence for my 6” inch jointer, which I noticed did not have a square fence (twist of .009, which is out of specs) and while focused on the fence for a couple days, noticed a small set of blemishes on the table (which I had not checked for flatness yet—hadn’t set the knives, nor the tables co-planer, because I’ve been learning as I go).

Anyways, I tried evapo-rust, which I learned really is for immersion. Then I ended up with those black oxide streaks. Then I tried using coarse to find sandflex blocks from Klingspor—which worked—but upon measuring the table I’m not worried that I managed to create a depression by the cutterhead on both infeed and out—it’s .005 or so lower. Of course it might have already been that way. Now I want to get those replaced or reground and am paranoid/anal about that.

So, basically I’m a learning everything the hard way and being OCD ain’t helping much…

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1035 posts in 2600 days


#8 posted 08-09-2017 01:26 PM

.009” . . .

Here again we have someone trying to set tolerances that are impossible to achieve in woodworking. I would pass some boards through the jointer and check with a square to see how they came out. I say this as I have been woodworking for nearly 60 years and have in the past built furniture commissions for some of the nation’s top architects. When it comes to squareness or straightness in woodworking, the tolerances needed are not those of the machining of metal (which I also do). Get realistic guys!

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3661 posts in 2148 days


#9 posted 08-09-2017 02:54 PM

I know from experience with my jointer that when outboard end of my out feed table droops .003 I get gaps in edge to edge glue up. When I adjusted it up to where it should be with my over priced Starrett the gaps went away.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

479 posts in 1308 days


#10 posted 08-09-2017 06:26 PM



.009” . . .

Here again we have someone trying to set tolerances that are impossible to achieve in woodworking. I would pass some boards through the jointer and check with a square to see how they came out. I say this as I have been woodworking for nearly 60 years and have in the past built furniture commissions for some of the nation s top architects. When it comes to squareness or straightness in woodworking, the tolerances needed are not those of the machining of metal (which I also do). Get realistic guys!

- Planeman40

Here again we have someone that doesn’t understand the distinction between tool set-up and wood cutting. </snark>

Setting up tools, even wood-cutting tools, requires a lot of precision. Even the most skilled woodworker will never be able to get straight edges on a board run through an improperly set-up jointer.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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NeophyteGrant

21 posts in 348 days


#11 posted 08-09-2017 08:57 PM

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I don’t expect to work to those high of tolerances—particularly as a beginner, just learning. Even if the aforementioned tolerances are unattainable, I’d like to give myself some breathing room and avoid frustration later, if possible, by being as precise as I can now.

I’ve also found that setup has given me a lived appreciation for what precision is, generally. I didn’t know that these small, granular adjustments were as significant as they are in other professions (such as machining and metalworking). Going through this process has been a learning experience, even if the material value to my future woodworking is debatable.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply and for your help. I’ve been learning a lot here.

Best,
Grant

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