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A quick jig can make the difference in a woodshop. This height gauge helps measure and set cutting tool heights and thicknesses for rabbets, dadoes, chamfers, etc. Since it incorporates a digital caliper, the dial is easy to read, precise and accurate.

diy-height-gauge

This tool came in handy building the light box project – I hit the rabbet depth and thickness dead-on each time.

dsc_4484

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Step 1: Tools & Materials

DIY Height Gauge

Materials:

  • Small Clamp, either F- or C-style will work, but the clamp must clamp well. I find spring clamps don’t work.
  • 2 #8 1-1/4” Wood Screws
  • MDF, roughly 6”x10”, either 1/2” or 3/4” thick
  • Calipers with a depth bar

Tools:

  • Scroll saw or band saw
  • Miter Saw
  • Drill Press with 1-1/2” Forestner Bit
  • Drill with Countersink & #2 Phillips Bitdsc_4242

Step 2: Assembly:

Assembly:

  1. Lay out the gauge on a piece of MDF. I have linked to a SVG & DXF for those readers with access to a CNC or laser cutter. You can also use this PDF to print out a template.dsc_4244
  2. Use a drill press to drill out the top of the cut out.dsc_4247
  3. Use a miter saw to cut the gauge into two halves.dsc_4258
  4. Use the scroll saw to trim the waste and complete the cut out.dsc_4259
  5. Drill two pilot holes, countersink and attach the halves with wood screws.dsc_4263

Step 3: To Use:

Use:


To use, clamp the fractional dial caliper to the upright. dsc_4474Set the gauge on the tool table. Then, drop the depth gauge so it touches the table surface. dsc_4479Zero out the reading.dsc_4487 Reposition the height gauge over the tool itself. dsc_4484Raise the tool itself until the dial reads the negative of your needed height.dsc_4486

Thank you for visiting my Instructable. To support for this site, please visit www.Woodshopcowboy.com, like WoodshopCowboy on Facebook or follow me on Instructables. Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

<p>You can aslo use this for a table saw!</p>
<p>A couple of questions:</p><p>What's the purpose of the shallow hole at the top of the shape? Is it to provide a secure spot for the foot of the clamp?</p><p>Where do you use the magnets? I'm assuming on the base to secure to the table top?</p>
<p>The original plan was to attach the caliper with rare-earth magnets. I picked up a cheap magnet hook from the hardware store to incorporate but found out it didn't work once I completed the stand. I left them out of instructions, but you can still see evidence in the construction.</p>

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Bio: Patrick Waters is an award-winning educator who brings the Maker Movement to new audiences. He founded The STEAMworks, a makerspace for individuals with neurological differences ... More »
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