Updated! - Simple Gages Make Work Easier - Updated!

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Introduction: Updated! - Simple Gages Make Work Easier - Updated!

About: Just an old guy who likes to dabble in an eclectic mix of technologies and arts.

I'm building a boat! I'm sort of old! The instructions say to lay the 1/4" plywood for the deck onto the boat, mark it and cut it about 1/8" outside the line.

My jigsaw skills being what they are(n't), this means that my deck came out anywhere from right on the line to 1/4" outside it! So now I need to screw down the deck and then use a finish router bit to eliminate the overhang. The problem is that I need to put the screws in the center of the chine strips which are now hidden beneath the deck.

The solution is to make a simple gage. Here's How...

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Step 1: Tools and Materials and Making a Gage (or Two)

You need:

  • few pieces of wood of appropriate sizes
  • glue
  • clamps
  • ruler
  • pencil

The sides of the boat are 1/4" plywood with 3/4" by 3/4" strips (chines) glued and nailed to them. So I need something that will follow the side of the boat and extend over the deck so I can make a mark 5/8" in from the side. That will put my mark in the center of the chine strip.

First glue a piece so it makes an "L" (1st pic). Then about 1/2" above that, glue a piece that extends beyond the bottom piece by about 3/4"(2nd pic). Once the glue is dry, mark the upper piece 5/8" beyond the lower piece (3rd pic).

Also, I need to space the screws about 6" apart, so I made another gage (4th pic)

Step 2: How Does It Work?

Place the upper leg over the deck and butt the lower piece to the side. Make a mark. Once that is established, use the 6" gage to find the next position.

Step 3: Perfect Placement!

These two holes are perfectly placed...Now for a hundred more!

The idea behind this I'ble is to show how easy it is to do repetitive or hidden work with a few simple fixtures. Next time you have to do a lot of the same things or find a hidden feature, don't laboriously measure or guess. Make a simple gage (or jig or fixture, whatever you want to call it). It will do a lot of work for you and make your work easier.

Step 4: UPDATE - Even Easier!

I soon realized that juggling two gages and a pencil was time-consuming and, frankly, not too bright.

In fact it was downright clumsy.

After taking a short break I went back, cut 3/4" off the 6" gage (3/4" is the thickness of the arm) and then glued it onto the backside of the arm. The picture shows the result. Now I just set the end of the long gage at the previous hole, butt the short arm to the side of the boat and I'm ready to mark my hole position.

5 minutes later and marking was complete!

One note of caution: This arrangement only allows me to go counter-clockwise around the edge. If going the opposite way is necessary, you could (a) build another gage, (b) make the long arm movable to the other side. There may be other solutions.

Keep thinking!

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    4 Comments

    I'll have to remember this trick for the future. Good luck with the boat.

    1 reply

    Very nice. This makes the process more precise, and repeatable.

    1 reply

    Thank you, sir. My exact reason for publishing (other than to gain recognition!).