Straight edges are construction tools used mainly by engineers and professionals in the industry. It comes in various shapes and sizes. Some of these edges resemble rulers, while others resemble spirit levels or rectangular stone slabs. However, they’ll have at least one accurate side that is perfectly straight, and some of them could have two or three straight edges.
Straight edge tools are also used to inspect the surfaces of cylinder heads. Basically, it’s used as a guide for drawing straight lines, determining whether or not other tools are correctly aligned, or ascertaining whether mating machine surfaces are level.
Because of the accuracy with which they are manufactured, straight edges can also be utilized to verify or calibrate the performance of other instruments. In other words, they have a variety of uses, some of these include checking, measuring, and marking lines and surfaces of machinery and construction projects.
Safety Straight Edges
A straight edge ensures exact, straight cuts when used with a power tool. And just like any other construction tool, safety precautions are needed to handle and use straight edges correctly. Just like when you use those from Maun.
When you’re marking lines with a sharp implement, it’s important to keep your fingers out the way, to avoid cutting them. These straight edges from Maun have a recessed central area for your fingers, which removes the risk of slipping and cutting yourself that you have with a flat straight edge.
Aside from design safety, there are other factors to consider if you’re planning to buy a straight edge tool for your personal home projects.
Choosing The Best Straight Edge For Home Projects
If this is your first time choosing and buying a straight edge tool for construction projects, you don’t have to be overwhelmed! It may seem a bit intimidating, especially if you’ve never done construction or building projects before. Fortunately, this article will provide you with a basic guideline on how to choose the best straight edge tool that meets your needs.
Your straight edge must convey accurate measurements to ensure that the work done on a particular project is made with the correct order and specs. You must be precise with your tools and construction parts, especially if you’re building a luxury home. Luxury home projects are not easy to come by. These projects are usually awarded to reputable construction firms who’s built a good name for themselves in the industry.
In line with Europe’s standardization, engineers’ straight edges are typically categorized into four different accuracy grades. These are grade 00, grade 0, grade 1, and grade 2, with grade 00 representing the highest level of accuracy.
On the other hand, in the United States, there are three different grades for straight edges: AA, A, and B.
- AA: Laboratory Grade
- A: Inspection Grade
- B: Workshop Grade
Although Grade 0 in Europe and Grade A in the US have the same tolerance limits and degree of accuracy, the other grades aren’t the same and can’t be compared.
Always consider accuracy when choosing an engineer’s straight edge. Otherwise, you might find yourself working with an incompatible tool. For example, you couldn’t use an aluminum straight edge if you need a 3-meter straight edge with grade 00 precision. This may require a heavier straight edge than desired. In this case, you may want to use a galvanized iron or steel-made straight edge.
2. Mind The Shape
Straight edges are also used to ensure the straightness and flatness of a workpiece. Its job is to ensure that joints and interlocking edges are within the construction and installation specifications. Sometimes, a triangular straightedge or a beveled straightedge is used for these measurements.
The straight edge’s utility ensures that the home project’s triangular prisms or bevel angles are completed. These tools are practical, even if the areas to be measured have concave or hollow structures. With all its kinds and make, these straight edges ensure the accuracy of the measurements in all workpieces.
Kinds Of Straight Edges
- The Triangular Straight Edge
- The Beveled Straight Edge
- The Rectangular Straight Edge
- Tool-Maker’s Straight Edge
- Wide-Edge Straight Edge
- Knife Edge Straight Edge
3. Consider The Length
Finding the right straight edge for the project you’re working on could be challenging. So, make sure that you have the correct measurements of the pieces in your project. Your materials and tools have to match each other for your work to be less complicated and time-bound.
Have a reasonable estimate of the measurements, especially the length of your work order. The project’s length will determine whether you need to use the short or long straight edge. You’ll need to use one that can measure the whole expanse of the project you’re working on in one stretch. This helps ensure the accuracy of its measurements.
Straight edge tools come in varying lengths. Some are short, while others are very long. Short straight edges are used to calibrate smaller measuring tools. The longer ones are made of heavy materials for stability. Those made from aluminum are known to be easier to use, lift, and maneuver. The very long types of straight edges have to be carried off by crane to be able to measure work projects like machine beds supporting their moving elements.
So, before you undertake the home project, ensure that you get the right straightedge with the correct length according to your need.
4. Consider The Surface
The right straight edge that you need would depend on the specifics of your project design. A straight edge with two parallel working sides checks whether the plotted surface is smoothly leveled. Some kinds of engineers’ straight edges, like the winding stick straight edge, are used to ensure the smoothness of woodworks.
Checking the surface smoothness of every work item is mandatory, especially for projects that are intended to have an artistic finish. You need to check and re-check every surface, especially if it’s a great home project where mistakes could be more costly.
Before deciding what kind of straight edge is needed for your home project, there’s a wide range of considerations. Just take note of all the aspects that are enumerated in this article and the specific components of your project. You might also want to start thinking about future projects wherein your straight edge tool can also be of use.