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How straight do cuts have to be?

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Forum topic by Tefkar posted 406 days ago 652 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tefkar

6 posts in 477 days


406 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: straightedge tolerance straight

I will be cutting plywood for cabinets. I need to cut the bigger pieces using my circ saw and a straight edge. My 48” straight edge has a bow at the center of 0.01” without any stressing. Is that acceptable for cabinet joinery or do I need to find something with tighter tolerances?


13 replies so far

View Buckethead's profile

Buckethead

1920 posts in 496 days


#1 posted 406 days ago

I’m no cabinet maker, but I would think a hundredth of an inch is an acceptable tolerance.

-- Bucket, any person that spends 10k on a bicycle is guaranteed to be a $@I almost started to like you. -bhog

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2790 posts in 1870 days


#2 posted 406 days ago

That’s less than a 64th of an inch; no problem.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7400 posts in 2275 days


#3 posted 406 days ago

If you’re building face frame cabinets, don’t worry about it.

Get Paul Levine’s book or video on cabinetmaking. Best
method I’ve seen for doing accurate work with basic
tools.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112011 posts in 2204 days


#4 posted 406 days ago

Depends on your project, but usually if you rough cut it a little over size and leave one factory edge then you can use a table saw to get a straighter edge .

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Tefkar's profile

Tefkar

6 posts in 477 days


#5 posted 405 days ago

Thanks for the help. I didn’t know if it would be advisable to invest in a straighter saw guide. No point is spending money where it is not needed.

View toolie's profile (online now)

toolie

1739 posts in 1256 days


#6 posted 405 days ago

why not just cut it slightly oversized and rip it to final size on the TS?

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1008 posts in 913 days


#7 posted 405 days ago

If his table saw only does 30 inches then he can’t cut a 34 inch high panel. :)
I ran into the same thing. I cut them with a circular saw and guide. They came out fine. You can also just make the sides 30 inches and make separate ladder frames to set them on. Or use adjustable legs. Lots of ways to skin this cat.

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runswithscissors

906 posts in 652 days


#8 posted 405 days ago

My cat hates that saying.

View dpwalker's profile

dpwalker

265 posts in 1458 days


#9 posted 405 days ago

My dog giggles when I say it.

-- You have not really lived until you do something for someone who can never repay you.

View kizerpea's profile

kizerpea

746 posts in 995 days


#10 posted 405 days ago

when I say that ..the dog starts chaseing the cat right away!

-- IF YOUR NOT MAKING DUST...YOU ARE COLLECTING IT! SOUTH CAROLINA.

View reedwood's profile

reedwood

869 posts in 1303 days


#11 posted 405 days ago

Zero tolerance is hard enough to achieve as a goal when building cabinets.

Why would anyone want to use a tool that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do?.....cut straight lines.

And yes, it does matter. Mistakes compound everything else.

I don’t know how bad your straight edge is bent. But, you have other alternatives.

1. Can you possibly straighten it?.... kind of doubt it.

2. Stop being so cheap and buy a new straight edge. Your building a cabinet, it’s part of the cost to do it right.

2. use a scrap piece of plywood cut to 6” x 48” for a straight edge.

-- Mark - I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude. - Malo periculosam

View Don W's profile

Don W

14845 posts in 1195 days


#12 posted 405 days ago

these old eye’s can’t even see to those tolerates any more. I think your safe.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View huff's profile

huff

2796 posts in 1912 days


#13 posted 405 days ago

Tefkar,

If you find a house that’s within 0.01” of being square, level or plumb than I would be worried about that in a cabinet.

You should always strive to build a square, accurate cabinet, but you can also beat yourself to death trying to make it perfect.

It would probably scare me to death if I went back and checked every cabinet I ever built to see if it was perfect, especially after I screwed it to a wall.

I like Don W’s post!

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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