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How to Use a Straightedge

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This woodworking tutorial will teach you how to use a straightedge.

The purpose of this video is to equip and encourage the novice to the basics of masonry.

Music Dan-O at /

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In this video you will learn how to use a Straightedge.

A Straightedge is a long metallic or wooden instrument with a perfectly flat edge. It proves to be a handy tool whenever you need to check the straightness of lines or to maintain an undeviating linear path.

To align a newly laid course, position the Straightedge against the surface of the wall that isn’t guided by the string. Gently press it against the bricks that are out of line to realign them with the ones that have been adjusted with the Plumb Bob. Make sure the bricks don’t cross the profile string from the parallel surface.

To extend the reach of a Spirit Level between two distant points, simply place the Straightedge across the points, in this case, the profiles on either end of a wall. Now place the Spirit Level on top of the Straightedge and take the measurement.

When marking the desired thickness of mortar during surface finishing, place the Straightedge on top of the wall. Place it such that the part protruding from the edge of the brick surface marks the intended thickness of the mortar layer.

Once the Mortar has been applied on the surface, use a second Straightedge to level the Mortar. Hold the First Straightedge firmly in its position using one hand. With your other hand use the Second Straightedge to plane the surface vertically in line with the position of the First.

Do this on both ends of the wall and then use a horizontal sweeping motion to spread the level uniformly. Make sure you hold the Straightedge without any tilt such that the plain makes full contact with the surface.

You have now learned to use a Straightedge.


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