Introduction: How to Make a Simple Height Gauge

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

Picture of 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

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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

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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

Picture of Height of a Cutting Disc

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

Step 5: Depth of a Hole

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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

Picture of 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

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

Step 8: Drill & Countersink

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

Step 9: Screw the Structure

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We then put the structure together with screws.

Step 10: Sand

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Making sure the base is flat.

Step 11: Magnet Attach

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And finally we mount the magnet..


USMC-USAF-USN (author)2017-06-14

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.

deluges (author)2016-09-08

Smart !

Paoson Woodwork (author)deluges2016-09-08

thank you!

Renauld (author)2016-09-01

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

Paoson Woodwork (author)Renauld2016-09-03

thank you!

RonGarza (author)Renauld2016-09-02

@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.

Renauld (author)RonGarza2016-09-03

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

Paoson Woodwork (author)Renauld2016-09-02

thank you, send me pics!

laferte (author)2016-09-01

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

Paoson Woodwork (author)laferte2016-09-02

thank you!

CarinH (author)2016-09-01

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

Paoson Woodwork (author)CarinH2016-09-02

thank you, send me pics please!

JoeF131 (author)2016-09-01

This is a really good idea!! Nice work

Paoson Woodwork (author)JoeF1312016-09-02


Flecks (author)2016-09-01

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

Paoson Woodwork (author)Flecks2016-09-02

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

CraftAndu (author)2016-08-31

This is a fantastic idea!

wheelthru (author)CraftAndu2016-09-01

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!

thank you so much!

HairFace (author)2016-09-01

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.

Paoson Woodwork (author)HairFace2016-09-01

it is a good idea! send me pics if you do it...thanks for comment!

fasteddy (author)2016-09-01

Great idea! My only suggestion would be to add some sort of guide for the calipers to ensure that they remain perpendicular to the work surface (if they're off at an angle your accuracy will be reduced). I might have to make something similar this weekend!

Paoson Woodwork (author)fasteddy2016-09-01

you are right, it is a good idea! thank you

nickivan (author)2016-08-31

Thanks for the great idea. I see you also do a lot of nice stuff with plywood - I wish I had the patience.

Paoson Woodwork (author)nickivan2016-09-01

I am happy to read your words! thank you

About This Instructable




Bio: 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 ... More »
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