• Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Ultimate Deck Build 2015
    Ultimate Deck Build 2015
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • 9 Concrete Countertop Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertop Ideas
  • Install a Vinyl Privacy Fence
    Install a Vinyl Privacy Fence
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Radiant Heat Comparison
    Radiant Heat Comparison
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
Theres a Better Way

Make a Simple Shim-Measuring Gauge

comments (0) September 3rd, 2014 in Blogs
Kevini Kevin Ireton, editor-at-large

For use with multi-clip THERE's A BETTER WAY BLOG posts only

Produced by: John Ross and Kevin Ireton

If you need a custom shim that you have to cut to a very specific dimension, you could try to use a tape measure to measure the gap, but there's a better way.

Justin Fink of Glastonbury, Conn., discovered this method for making a simple measuring jig. What it is is a wedge of wood with about a 5-degree bevel, and on it are thicknesses marked out in 1/16-in. increments--1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, and so forth. He's added some shading to every other space to make it easier to read. And here's how it works.

Simply slide it into the space that you are going to measure--in this case I'm measuring between a door jamb and the framed rough opening, and the shim clearly needs to be 5/16-in. thick.

It's a pretty clever tip, Justin. Thanks for sending that in.


Kevin Ireton is editor-at-large and a good friend and former colleague of Chuck Miller's. Keep your eye out for more Better Way videos from Kevin and several of our other regular contributors in the near future.


More carpentry tips:

Build a Simple Jig to Drill Cabinet-Handle Holes Perfectly

How to Make a Simple Shop-Built Edge Clamp

Prevent Pneumatic-Nailer Blowouts When Installing Trim

How To Make a Woodworking Spring Clamp out of PVC Drainpipe


Attention all tipsters!

We're looking for any smart idea that would make a great There's a Better Way Video or that could be featured in the Tips & Techniques department in Fine Homebuilding magazine.

We pay for any tips that get published

You can post tips in our submit a tip blog, or just email them to Fine Homebuilding care of Chuck Miller. Thanks!

Plus, browse 30 years of great ideas in our Reader Tips department.

posted in: Blogs, framing, finish carpentry, windows, doors