Simple Jigs and Techniques #4: Easy DIY Safety Straightedge

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This one came from a discussion in lanwater"s blog about hammer veneering. The topic of safe straightedges for knifework came up and a few ideas were batted around.
Well today I had a little knife and straightedge work to do and I know how (painfully) easy it is to slice a tiny piece of finger off while concentrating on the veneer. I hate getting blood on my veneer …. so I decided to take the time and make something that would keep my skin attached and my veneer clean. Turns out it only took about ten minutes and it works really well.
I had a bit of aluminium angle around and with a bit of oak scrap and a couple of screws it was done.

Thanks for looking in.


-- The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

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Nice! I took a bit of finger off, cropping a photograph for the high school yearbook, back when “Cut and Paste” was actually that.

I like the safety of the design.


-- Keith "Shin" Schindler

Great write-up Paul!

My wife is a quilter and has had a few serious incidents using an Olfa rotary cutter. Most recently she sliced off part of her left index finger tip that required a tourniquet and a trip to Urgent Care. She started using a small suction cup handle (think glass installer) attached to her different acrylic rules that keep her fingers clear of the blade.

There is a quilter’s straightedge with a spring loaded handle that has multiple “pistons” that plunge through holes in the straight edge and grip the material while cutting. A YouTube video is worth 10,000 words:
I think something similar could be fab’d that will work in woodworking/veneer/inlay applications and allow you to see the workpiece.

simple and effective Paul.

I am still working on mine.
Since I have a bad habit of changing the angle of the knife, I am thinking a small carriage / assembly to mount the knife that will ride on the track. This will be useful for longer cuts. The knife would be secure on the carriage. Just an idea that has been playing in my head.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

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