How to Make a Butt Gauge out of Household Objects How to Make a Butt Gauge out of Household Objects

What You'll Need
Block of hardwood (maple is better, but other types are acceptable also)
Saw
2 small wood screws
Screwdriver
Metal file
Drill with drill bits

A butt gauge is used when hanging a door to mark the locations where hinges will be installed. You can go out and buy a fancy one with all sorts of bells and whistles on it. However, if you want to create a very simple, and effective, butt gauge, you can do so with materials you probably already have laying around your home or work shop. This simple step-by-step how-to tutorial will show you everything you need to know.

Step 1 - Cut the Block of Wood to Size

The first step in creating your homemade butt gauge is to take the piece of hardwood and cut it to size. So, take your saw and cut the block of wood so that it is 4 inches long. Also, make sure that it is 1 1/2 inches deep and 1 1/8 inches wide. This will make it the perfect size for a butt gauge when installing doors.

Step 2 - Insert First Wood Screw into Block

Take a short wood screw and screw it into the face of the wood block. You should try to center the screw in the face of the block on the side that is 1 1/2 inches wide.

Step 3 - File Edge of Wood Screw

Take a metal file and carefully file the edges of the small wood screw that you screwed into the face of the wood. This will create a sharp cutting edge that will be used to create recessed hinge areas for your door installation.

Step 4 - Insert and Sharpen Second Screw

Screw in another short wood screw next to the first one. However, you should try to align the second was screws so that the cutting edge of the screw will be at the approximate depth that will be used when creating your is recessed hinged areas. When you screw in the second screw, you'll need to make sure that is perfectly perpendicular to the piece of wood or it may protrude outside. However, don't screw the second screw in too much. Sharpen the head of the screw with the file.

Step 5 - Drill Adjustment Hole

Turn the wood block on its side and drill a partial hole that is exactly the same size as the head of the wood screw you will be using as a cutting edge. Drill the hole about halfway down the length of the block and make sure that it is directly underneath the second screw. Then, tilt the second screw slightly and begin screwing it into the partial hole you created with drill. This is how you will adjust the depth of your recessed hinge cut.

Step 6 - Use the New Butt Hinge

To use the new butt gauge, adjust the depth with the second screw and use a hammer to gently chip away the wooden surface where the hinge will be installed while holding the butt gauge block flush up against it.

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