Making a Basic Depth Gauge

I’ve blown through enough bottoms of bowls to realize two main things:

  1. I need to be more patient
  2. I probably need a depth gauge

The patience I’m just going to have to work on, but I can remedy the depth gauge issue.

I’ve had some ideas for a while as to how to make one. Sure, I could just buy one, but where’s the fun in that?

I found a machinist pocket depth gauge at an estate sale and thought it would be a perfect piece for a starter gauge. Better still, I already have a bunch of teak from a landscaping trellis that I took apart. That just meant one thing: it was time to pull out the hand tools and make a new tool.

gauge and strip of teak ready to be cut

I cut the teak to 12 inches long. I could probably have gone shorter, but it works for now. From there it was a matter of centering the gauge on the strip of teak and chiseling out a little slide space. Once I was happy with the depth I glued on the clip for the gauge to slide on.

gauge clip centered and glued

At this point, the only thing left to do was give it a light sanding to remove any raised grain but still keep as much of the patina as possible and seal the wood up. I opted for two coats of Danish Oil to bring out the color and am really pleased with the results.

the finished depth gauge
close up of the slide and inset
depth gauge in action on a finished product

Now I just have to remember to be patient and actually use my new tool!

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