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Incra Gauge?

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  • Incra Gauge?

    Does anyone here have and USE the Incra Gauge?

    I recently purchased one to use as a heighth/depth gauge for my routers/bits, specifically because it has a wider base than narrow pinpoint gauges, and therefore can measure across the whole top of a router dado blade. My pointy gauges often touch and rest in the middle of a two bladed router dado and not at the height of the cutting blade, or I find myself leaning the pinpoint gauge a tad on occasion. I can't use calipers for depth on router setups for that reason. I have another TS depth gauge that works well on the TS but not always on the router bit.

    However, the Incra Gauge has one feature that I really don't like - it does not slide smoothly up and down because it has locking ridges at every 1/64 inch and that is just enough in some cases to make cut/depth lines visibly off from perfection.

    I am making my own depth gauge (our of wood) similar to the Incra at the moment and will post a picture once it is finished.

    The Incra Gauge is very sturdy but in general most plastic measuring gauges are flimsy with "give" in them.
    Last edited by leehljp; 02-01-2020, 02:10 PM.
    Hank Lee

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

  • #2
    I don't use the Incra gauge you mentioned. I do have one of their HD1000 table saw miter gauges... it has the same 1/64ths ridges on the stop, arguing with me much of the time. I end up using the sliding arm to set the stop whenever possible to avoid the ridges.

    What about something like the "Setup Gauge from the Woodsmith folks" They show a metal rule magnetically attached to the wood body but that isn't essential if you just want a transferable depth gauge. In their opening picture, you can see the sliding part sticking up about an inch. Make that sliding part smaller - or just use the brass strip for the last inch or so - and that end will work as a depth gauge and the opposite end then works perfectly to set router bit or saw blade heights to match.

    Their third pic shows it being used to measure the depth of a mortise using the metal ruler... That lets you read the depth but it doesn't set the tool to match. Flip the tool over and use the top of the tool against the workpiece, sliding the metal rule into the mortise, lets you subsequently align the adjustable part of the tool to the ruler to set the tool without having to read numbers. I think it'd be easier, and more direct, to simply make the adjustable/sliding part of the tool be small enough that it can directly fit into typical mortises, grooves, etc. as I already said.

    I was thinking of making one for myself. I'd make the top have a wider flat spot - maybe half the size of the bottom foot - to aid in the depth gauge function. In the pic, the top looks to be about an inch by half an inch... I'd probably make it more like 2 inches by half an inch so it would reference the sides/edges of a groove or slot better.

    Last edited by mpc; 02-01-2020, 04:18 PM. Reason: Trying to get the [ url ] link to work! Helps if you include the closing "]"


    • #3

      I just remembered that I made one like that about 25 or 30 years ago and had it when I was in Japan. I think it was brought it back with all my measuring tools. I need to go look for it.

      Thanks for mentioning the Incra ridges, so it's not just me.
      Hank Lee

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


      • #4
        Wow! I am getting old. I’ve had a Leichtung depth gauge for nearly as long as I’ve had my BT3K. So long, I forgot who made/sold it. It has a magnetic base, but I don’t own a tool with a steel or iron table, so I’ve never made use of that feature. The “finger” is long enough to span both cutters on a router bit. It also gets used on the table saw. It also has a pin that lets you measure slot or hole depth. One Christmas, Marlen Kermit gave the Wood Magazine forum hosts kits to make those Woodsmith gauges. I received a center finder gauge for round or square items. Still have it, but the brass rub pieces fell off due to my bad epoxy work.
        Last edited by Jim Frye; 02-02-2020, 12:11 AM. Reason: Added blather
        Jim Frye
        The Nut in the Cellar.


        • #5
          I have one of those plastic Incra gauges but I have never found the exact need for using it.
          Loring in Katy, TX USA
          If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
          BT3 FAQ -


          • #6
            For years I've just used the vernier caliper that I bought in 1964 when I was a mechanical inspector at a local factory. It used to be my first-priority, but as the eyes aren't nearly as good as they used to be, I find it's only use is when I need to be absolutely precise, which lately is fairly rare. I also have a small jig that facilitates its use in a miter channel.

            Shortly after buying my Rockler router table top, I bought a box of brass set-up blocks for that use. I find those quite handy as they span the in-table guide bushing area.

            I also find myself using the cheap (but accurate) depth gauge that came in a Harbor Freight set of "Technical Measuring" 6-piece set. I've checked it with my verniers and it is accurate enough for my use.

            Think it Through Before You Do!


            • #7
              I have a set of setup bars for the router and TS for specified heights but they do not help me for precise depths in between the individual bars. : Mine are not Kreg, but Hong Kong look alike.

              The reason I wanted a precise measuring one (and one with a wide base and wide top) is that I often need 10th of a mm or .01 inch or better, specifically on the router. Ever made an edge cut on numerous edges, change bits and then have to go back to the original and reset? Frustrating for me.

              CWS, in the link to the HF link you posted, I have a rule like that and needed to inlay it into the depth gauge I am making. The thickness? About 1mm. That rule is 1/2 inch wide and I used a 1/2 inch bit to rout it out. I did three test cuts until I had the precise depth to inlay that rule into my setup jig that is similar to the Incra.

              I will get some picts later this week of the adjustable setup jig.
              Hank Lee

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


              • #8
                Originally posted by leehljp View Post
                Does anyone here have and USE the Incra Gauge?
                I have a couple of the original Incra jigs and use those frequently. It helps that the developer was in our woodworking club and explained how to use them effectively. Wonderful tool but not intuitive and takes some training to use to best advantage.

                Electrical Engineer by day, Woodworker by night