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Theres a Better Way

Make a Simple Shim-Measuring Gauge

comments (2) September 3rd, 2014 in Blogs
Kevini Kevin Ireton, editor-at-large

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


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

Comments (2)

grebenykdms grebenykdms writes:
Posted: 9:45 pm on September 15th

richo123 richo123 writes: very good idea,for the past 30 years i use a box of packers and mess around till i get it right , monday at work i will make one up,awsome idea and thanks for sharing
Posted: 7:59 pm on September 15th

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