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Router Tips - Shop Made Depth Gauge Router Jig for Making Quick Cuts
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Router bit depth cutting gauge jig Woodworker's Journal editor-in-chief Rob Johnstone made this simple jig to help him quickly set his router's bit depth before cutting.

Woodworker's Journal’s editor in chief, Rob Johnstone, likes to keep moving in the shop. Rather than take the time to pull out a tape measure (an awkward and questionable way to set depth with a handheld router or a router table), he uses a shop-made jig instead. “It’s just a block of wood with a series of holes carefully drilled to predetermined depths,” he says. (His includes commonly used depths for dadoes or grooves: 1/8", 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2".) The holes are at least 1" in diameter, bored using a Forstner bit Router chucked in a drill press. On the edges of the block of wood, additional depth-setting rabbets are cut — again to accommodate commonly used measurements. These are used to set up cuts on a router table.

Setting depth of a router cut Even if you're doing cuts with multiple tools, this gauge could be used to set the depth you want.

Note that the rabbets have a predetermined depth and width. This allows you to set up for rabbeting using a straight bit. Hold the block against the fence to set the width of the rabbet cut. “You still should make a test cut in scrap before moving to your actual project,” Rob adds. “That’s a precaution you will never regret.”

posted on December 1, 2008 by Rob Johnstone
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