8-ft. Straightedge for $4
Whenever I have to cut down a sheet of
plywood I reach for one of my trusty metal
stud straightedges.Metal studs are available
in different thicknesses for different applications.
A 20-gauge non-load-bearing drywall
stud (about 35¢/ft.) won’t deflect significantly
when it’s clamped to an 8-ft.-long sheet
I bought 3-5/8 in. x 9-ft.metal studs at my local drywall
supplier (look in the Yellow Pages under drywall).
Home centers usually stock lighter 25-gauge studs, but
they can special-order the heavier gauge for you (25-gauge
studs deflect about 1/8 in. over 8 ft).
I trimmed one stud down to 8-ft. 6 in. for ripping and cut
the other stud to use for crosscutting.
This story originally appeared in American Woodworker January 2004, issue #105.