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8 Foot Straight Edge

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You can use a 4' straight edge to keep some hardboard straight for a fence on a homemade track saw guide. Marc went over it in the bookcase guild class. 

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Aluminum extruded I-Beams are commonly used as light weight straight edges. Extruded aluminum has some of the best dimensional tolerances of any metal profile. We're not talking .001" accuracy, but you don't need that kind of accuracy anyway, and if you do, you would need to be looking at Starrett straight edges. Honestly, I would just find an extruded aluminum profile that works for your application. Angle would work, but might be a little too flimsy. Aluminum I-Beam is expensive, if you can find some cheap that's the best option. Otherwise any square or box profile works pretty well as a straight edge. Not sure where you're located, if you near Illinois I have a couple suppliers I could refer you to. Otherwise just check eBay. As previously mentioned, 80/20 parts are readily available and pretty inexpensive and they're pretty straight. You don't need an 8' straight edge to check the straightness of an 8' length. If you have a 6' straight edge, that will work very well at double checking the straightness of a length of material. 

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I purchased some 8' 1x4 smart trim and use two clamps.  It's an mdf product and I pull them out when I need to rip a piece of ply with a circular saw.  Its straight, cheap, and if it gets beat up I just replace it and then cut the beat up piece into smaller sections and use it for other projects such as sacrificial fences for other tools. 

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the problem with using a straight edge is that the alignment of your blade in relation to the base of your saw is very likely not a true parallel situation unless you have a really nice circular saw. So you will likely drift toward or away from the straight edge, potentially binding and reducing the accuracy of your cut.

Get the track saw.  With it, you will be far more accurate than you can be on a Dewalt table saw or a circular saw for every single cut out there.

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30 minutes ago, turnstyler said:

the problem with using a straight edge is that the alignment of your blade in relation to the base of your saw is very likely not a true parallel situation unless you have a really nice circular saw. So you will likely drift toward or away from the straight edge, potentially binding and reducing the accuracy of your cut.

Get the track saw.  With it, you will be far more accurate than you can be on a Dewalt table saw or a circular saw for every single cut out there.

This I very true and reason track saws are the best choice.

I used Porter cable saw boss for breaking down plywood the blade was very close to parallel to the base.But over time and rough handling it was difficult to adjust.Finally had to retire it.

Aj

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