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Senior Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been meaning to make a depth gauge for testing depth of turning within a bowl. In one of the demo's at my local Woodturning club meeting, the demonstrator had a large piece of 2x4 construction lumber with a piece of 3/4in (18mm) PVC pipe inserted. The wood went across the bowl, the pipe was pushed to the bottom, then the depth measured.
I liked the idea of a home made gauge, but wanted to have a direct measurement. I purchased a steel rule at a local flea market for a whopping $2. :icon_smile:

It was from a combination square. I have been pondering the best way to use this for my depth gauge. I was initially thinking about a thumb screw for a locking mechanism, then decided to just use a rare earth magnet in a piece of wood. This will hold the rule, allow me to move the rule up and down. I really do not need rigid locking, and I can easily remove the rule if I want to use it elsewhere.

So I searched through the scraps, found a long enough piece of wood. Happened to be red oak, decades old. Long before I had a table saw, so this was 1in x 3in stock.

I cut a dado for the rule, drilled a hole for the magnet and glued in place.

I think it is pretty simple. The benefit of the magnet is that you can use an existing steel rule when needed. You do not need to dedicate to depth gauge use. Just place on the gauge when needed.

I had to prop the rule against the wood for the picture, or else it was too dark.

Simple dado the depth of the rule. Could have been deeper. 1/2in dia rare earth magnet.

Wood Hardwood Floor Table Flooring

The gauge in a "look ma no hands" pose.

Wood Hardwood Plywood woodworking Top

I am liking my solution. Set the depth and read the measurement in a single step.

1,021 Posts
Good idea. :thumbsup:
I have one that uses a laser but yours is much simpler. May modify your idea a little for a new one.

Turning Wood Into Art
4,043 Posts
Dave Paine said:
I changed the idea I saw in the demo. Happy if my post inspires you with another modification. Please post picture if you make a different design. :yes:
Does metric count as different ;)
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