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My Home Made Incra like Gauge

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  • My Home Made Incra like Gauge

    I started a thread a couple of months ago on the Incra Gauge here:

    Since then, I decided to make my own as I wanted it in Yellow so that I could FIND it when I need it. Plus, I need it in two or three different places. That make Visibility a necessity. I started a thread 3 or 4 years ago on tool color and how certain (most) colors on tools cause them to hide in plain sight! (

    Anyway, I did not want to paint my Incra Gauge since it has very fine notches for alignment. AND those notches are the very reason I decided to make my own. The notches on the Incra Gauge are 1/32 I think. Even at 1/64, that kind of limitation makes a big difference in setting up router bits for all kinds of router height measurements.

    SO, I decided to make my own. I made one exactly like the Incra in its basic design minus the notches. It slides perfectly! HOWEVER, I learned real quick a second feature of the notches in the Incra gauge. It keeps it aligned all the time!

    On my first gauge, you can see for yourself in the 1st and 3rd photos- how it can mis-align instantly once the two sides are pulled beyond the guides at the feet. It didn't matter on the Incra because of the alignment notches built-in. My first gauge will work as long as I use it in the manner that it slides within the guides. (I also made one other mistake on the first one. The foot was not perfectly level. I squared it on my TS and pushed it through. SQUARE . . . But I cut 1mm off of the rule in the process! See photo 4

    Gauge # 2: I made an alignment side for the full length and it works well. One other feature on version 2 - was a metal plate on both ends. I realized that over time, the bottom plate will hit sharp edges of a router bit (or drill bit) and make tiny indentions in wood. In a couple of years time, 1/64 to 1/32 indentions can throw precise measurements off. Photo 2 and Photo 4 show off the Second Gauge. It works WELL! Love it!

    I have several photos, so look them over.

    One other notice. ON my router table, I made mistakes in routing the top for the router bases. 1. The slick top made for clamp movement on my guides! 2. I use basically Porter Cable routers. In all my years, I never paid attention to the round black plates on the bottom of PC routers. They are NOT fitted to the precise center of the metal housing. 3/32 difference on one side vs the other side. I never noticed that before but I learned it after the fact in routing the top of this one. (After that, I routed the black phenolic base to be flush with the metal base housing.) FORGOT to mention, that router top is from an old restaurant table with thick melamine (I guess) and solid 3/4 plywood. That table was made back in the mid 50's, so it was solid!

    One other note - the right router plate has numerous holes. I bought that back in the mid 90's and it has been used with several routers over the years.

    My version of the Incra Gauge: (Click on the picts for larger inspection)

    Click image for larger version  Name:	1. 4 Router height gauges.jpg Views:	0 Size:	121.4 KB ID:	838902Click image for larger version  Name:	2. Final version.jpg Views:	0 Size:	234.2 KB ID:	838896Click image for larger version  Name:	3. All 3 gauges compared .jpg Views:	0 Size:	151.3 KB ID:	838897Click image for larger version  Name:	4. Router height.jpg Views:	0 Size:	123.7 KB ID:	838898Click image for larger version  Name:	5. Front of gauge.jpg Views:	0 Size:	135.0 KB ID:	838899Click image for larger version  Name:	6 Back.jpg Views:	0 Size:	120.0 KB ID:	838900
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    Last edited by leehljp; 03-07-2020, 08:26 PM.
    Hank Lee

    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!