How to Make a Simple Height Gauge





Introduction: How to Make a Simple Height Gauge

About: My name is Suso Caamanho. I like doing all sorts of stuff related to musical instruments, woodworking, computer science, electronics... On my website you will find more information, projects, plans, photos...

Hello everyone. While I was working on a project I realized I could really use a height gauge for my router bits and discs, so I've decided to make one based on commercially available ones using my digital caliper. You can download the Plans for free here.

Video for mobile devices.

Step 1: Easy to Assemble

I wanted to make one that would have to be easy to assemble and disassemble for convenience, so I decided to make use of a powerful screw pot magnet I had in my shop.

Step 2: Assemble

As you can see, it's very simple and easy to assemble, you only need to attach this end to the bottom of the magnet.

Step 3: How to Use

Let's see it in action. Place the gauge on the table and set it to zero. Now we position it on top of the router bit. We can see the height at which the router bit is at the moment, and I'm going to raise it to 10 milimetres.

Step 4: Height of a Cutting Disc

We can do the same to measure the height of a cutting disc.

Step 5: Depth of a Hole

In order to obtain a deeper measurement, I change the position of the magnet and zero out the caliper. Now we can determine the exact depth of a hole.

Step 6: Measure the Distance Between the Fence and the Cutting Disc

We can also use it to measure the distance between the fence and the cutting disc. We set the gauge to zero, rotate the tool and attach it to the disc in order to find out the exact width of the piece we want to cut. Having done that, I can zero it out again to work out the relative position of the fence. We can clamp the tool onto the disc to hold it in place.

Step 7: Cutting Pieces

The gauge is quite easy to make. First we cut the four pieces that make it up.

Step 8: Drill & Countersink

We drill and countersink all the necessary holes on the 3D Router.

Step 9: Screw the Structure

We then put the structure together with screws.

Step 10: Sand

Making sure the base is flat.

Step 11: Magnet Attach

And finally we mount the magnet..



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    25 Discussions

    Regarding the question by user Flecks: digital calipers usually use an optical scale, with increments marked on a thin strip of glass. It is much more stable, and can't be erased like a magnetic strip could.

    Good idea: I shall by a digital calipher next time one of the discount shop in my town fas it !

    4 replies

    @Renauld My 2 electronic digital calipers consume battery power when turned off! I rarely use them now because I had to keep inserting and removing the expensive button battery. I now use a physical -- not digital -- caliper.

    Same for my actual calipher. I though it was defect that is why I was planning a new one. Thanks for the heads up.

    Now that is a very good idea! I'll build one during the weekend to help with the cabinets I'm currently building. Thanks!

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    Great 'ible! I'll be making one of these to use in my pottery studio as well as my tool shop!

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    Great idea, but is the magnet not going to ruin the digital caliper? I thought they worked by reading magnetic strips?

    1 reply

    I've tried and did not seem to affect. The magnet is quite far from the electrical part of the caliper! thank you!

    Excellent! Your elegant magnetic holder is a great way to hold the caliper for many uses. But the even bigger take-away for me is the reminder that the instrument sitting in my drawer is there to make many measurements much more accurate, waiting only for a bit of clever application. Thanks!

    Great idea! I like the plywood construction seen around the various tools in your shop.

    Did you consider adding any feature to ensure the caliper is mounted squarely?

    Perpendicularity could potentially affect the accuracy/repeatability of the measurement.

    If I were to make one I'd try adding two pins in between the magnet mounting holes and offset them from the magnet holes centerline by half the caliper width. Then simply slide the caliper against them to square it up.