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How straight do cuts have to be?

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Forum topic by Tefkar posted 07-13-2013 04:39 PM 693 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tefkar

6 posts in 540 days


07-13-2013 04:39 PM

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

1932 posts in 559 days


#1 posted 07-13-2013 04:41 PM

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

2874 posts in 1934 days


#2 posted 07-13-2013 04:44 PM

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

View Loren's profile

Loren

7741 posts in 2338 days


#3 posted 07-13-2013 04:52 PM

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

112335 posts in 2268 days


#4 posted 07-13-2013 04:54 PM

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 540 days


#5 posted 07-13-2013 06:24 PM

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

toolie

1769 posts in 1319 days


#6 posted 07-13-2013 10:55 PM

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

1051 posts in 977 days


#7 posted 07-13-2013 11:00 PM

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.

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

1027 posts in 716 days


#8 posted 07-14-2013 04:54 AM

My cat hates that saying.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View dpwalker's profile

dpwalker

265 posts in 1522 days


#9 posted 07-14-2013 05:42 AM

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 1058 days


#10 posted 07-14-2013 11:28 AM

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

884 posts in 1366 days


#11 posted 07-14-2013 12:15 PM

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.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15248 posts in 1258 days


#12 posted 07-14-2013 12:17 PM

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

2804 posts in 1976 days


#13 posted 07-14-2013 12:30 PM

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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