We woodworkers are crazy about accuracy, but we tend to rely on test cuts when fitting joinery, eyeballing blade heights and using trial-and-error to get cuts just right. Richard Babbitt has moved away from test cuts, instead using a $40 height gauge, a tool most often used in metalwork. Use it for woodworking, and the depth of your tablesaw blade will always be on the money, your jointer will be tuned to perfection, and you'll set up the fussiest router bit quickly and precisely.

To make using a height gauge even easier, we've compiled a handy Fraction Conversion Chart.

Watch a video on using the height gauge

From Fine Woodworking #218