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  #1  
Old 01-05-2016, 01:15 PM
kenk kenk is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 304
Default UEG Use with Plywood - Checking the Factory Edge

OK, I just got my Universal Edge Guide and I got to wondering if UEG users typically check the quality of the plywood factory edge before each use.

If you do check the edge ...
How do you do that? I've never been good at sighting down lumber.
What are you looking for? (straight for certain, but anything else?)

OR

Are you in the habit of making a first clean straight rip cut using a guide rail ... and then they start using the UEG?

Ken K.
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2016, 01:37 PM
Dik Harrison Dik Harrison is offline
 
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Location: Evans, GA
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The biggest issue with plywood edges is not that they are not straight, but that are not always square to the perpendicular edge. As long as there are not glue globs along the edge, the UEG cut should be straight. You can then use the square or EZ-One to get a square end cut. I usually break up the sheet into manageable pieces and then use the EZ-One to obtain the final size.
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2016, 02:20 PM
Mike Goetzke Mike Goetzke is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Ken - years ago I was told the long side of ply (the side you are most likey to ride the UEG on for a rip cut) is straight but there is more error in the crosscut on the sheet and it is not to be trusted.

Mike
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  #4  
Old 01-12-2019, 11:41 AM
JamesMac JamesMac is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 75
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Hi all,

I recently discovered that issues can be avoided when breaking down plywood panels by using the UEG to rip and then get square crosscuts using the EZ1 or SCMS.

One would think that a plywood panel that you purchase from store would come home square. SADLY, I am finding that I cannot take anything for granted.

One of the things that I took for granted was that the edge of the guide rails would be extremely accurate. I have since discovered that the edge of the rails are not extremely trustworthy and that the center rib of the guide rail should be used instead because that is where true accuracy lies with the guide rails, especially with the longer rails.

After my miniature rant, I am finally coming to my question.....

Since the plywood panels cannot be relied upon to be square from the factory, can we at least count on the long edges to be accurately parallel to each other?

thanks,
Jim

PS - looks like I really need to make a cut indicator like what I have seen others make on the forum. I don't understand why such a basic tool that has a real need is not sold by EZ. I would be the first customer. My goal is to ditch the ACE and go with my larger saw on my Moduni base (which I will have to modify an AC for that) , but for that a cut line indicator will be REQUIRED.
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  #5  
Old 01-12-2019, 01:26 PM
sean9c sean9c is offline
 
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Posts: 1,284
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Long edges are almost always parallel. Pretty easy to measure rather than assume.
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  #6  
Old 01-12-2019, 02:21 PM
kenk kenk is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 304
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I used a mason string and a 48 inch level to do my best to check both edges of three 50 inch tracks, one 64 inch track, and one 72 inch track - all with the anti-chip edges slide out, and I see no warping at all - at least none that I can detect visually. I keep in mind that I'm and ametuer woodworker cutting wood, so my expectation for accuracy is less than what might be expected by professional or when cutting metal.

I have one more 64 inch track, but it is still in the original shipping box - taped shut, so I didn't pull it out to check.

I've not experienced the problem with the anti-chip edge's prediction of the cut edge, but maybe my precision expectations are less than some users. I assume that so long as I use the same saw/blade that trimmed the edge it will continue to predict the cut edge well enough for me. If I change saws/blades I'll have to inspect the cut area before use.

The leading area of the 50 inch edges are a bit chewed up because most of the saw hangs in the air when starting to cut 48 inch material. This is why I moved to using 64 inch tracks instead - to provide a better "launch pad" for the saw. My ongoing recommendation has been to use a 64 inch track for cutting 48" material, and a 64+48 inch connected track for cutting 96" material.

When using the UEG I've long felt that you should check the factory edge that the guide will run along before cutting. I don't have a level longer than 48", so a mason string - or similar, or two connected tracks can certainly help with that.

I have no evidence of the "parallelness" of plywood edges, but it seems easy enough to measure before cutting. Based upon videos of plywood manufacturing I would suspect the long edges would be relatively straight and parallel, but I'd have less faith in the angles of the short edges since as I recall they are crosscut "on the run".

Ken K.
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  #7  
Old 01-12-2019, 03:31 PM
tomp913 tomp913 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 264
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenk View Post
OK, I just got my Universal Edge Guide and I got to wondering if UEG users typically check the quality of the plywood factory edge before each use.

If you do check the edge ...
How do you do that? I've never been good at sighting down lumber.
What are you looking for? (straight for certain, but anything else?)

OR

Are you in the habit of making a first clean straight rip cut using a guide rail ... and then they start using the UEG?

Ken K.
In approximately 40 years of cutting particleboard, plywood and MDF, I've never checked a sheet edge for being straight - and never felt that there's been a problem because I didn't. Depending on what I'm using it for, I usually make the first rip slightly oversize and then flip it and cut the factory edge off to get finished size. Only time I've done differently was when I was making laminate tops, I'd rip to size and the factory edge then went in the back.

I will inspect the edge before ripping - minor dings don't matter because of the length of the fence on the UEG - long enough to span minor dips - but do take a quick pass with a sanding block to make sure there are are no splinters or high spots. I have one of those blocks that use a complete sanding belt, but have also made a longer one out of a scrap of 2x4 and belt cutoffs from Klingspoor.
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  #8  
Old 01-12-2019, 04:48 PM
JamesMac JamesMac is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 75
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Thanks for the good info in these replies. Learning something new every time I read the forums!

It is strange in that all of my guard rails seem to have mostly straight edges and they have straight raised center ribs...its just that the overall width of the rail is slightly different at each end. Its like the center rib is not exactly parallel to the edges, but for the most part, are all straight. My 64" rail does have some slight rocking when a 48" straight edge is placed against the center raised rib.

It is possible that I am doing something wrong, but my expensive caliper gives different measurements at each end but the straight edge does not rock much except on the center rail of my 64" rail.

I am thinking that the next time that I drive through Florida, I may take my long rail with me and stop by EZ and let them take a look.

I will figure this out!

thanks,
Jim
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