Clay, Application to Refinement


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Depth Gauge

The depth gauge is a tool that is used to reduce the clay surface by a set amount. This is primarily in areas such as glass planes, head lamps and tail lamps. It can also be used on the occasion when a major surface needs to be modified by a constant amount and then you would cut it back with a depth gauge as a starting point, then finalize the clay with rakes and steels.


The photograph on the right shows a couple of variants for depth gauges. They can be made from aluminum, wood or Plexiglas?, the choice is up to the individual. The only common factor is the steel blade and some sort of bolt or screw fixing for securing the blade.


With the various options that we have, let's make a couple of depth gauges. We'll make one from Plexiglas? and steel plate for a blade, the second one will be made from wood and steel plate as in the right hand tool of the photograph above.

As you can see from the illustration on the left, the main body is a rectangular piece of 1/4" Plexiglas? with the letter E cutout from the inside. This allows the blade to be maneuvered around, to adjust to the various angles.


Material: 3 1/4"x 2 1/4"x 1/4" Plexiglas?

The illustration left represents the blade mark-out, as you can see, there are two different width for the blade, 3/8"and 3/4". This allows for small and large areas that need to be reduced.


The detailed sketch shows the size of the T-slot. The blade material is 1/16" steel plate.


Material: 3 3/4"x 2"x 1/16" Steel plate


The photograph on the right shows the various components that make up the first depth gauge. They have been marked out as the illustrations above show.


The main body with the letter E was drilled out with a 1/4" drill bit and then filed to obtain smooth sides. The 1/16" steel plate was marked out, then the T slot was drilled with a 3/16" drill bit and then filed.


With the T-slot finished, the excess material around the two blades can be removed with a bandsaw or hacksaw and then filed. This then completes the main components for the depth gauge.





The body and blade are held together with a 3/4"x 10-32 machine screw, wing nut and washers.


It pays to include two rubber washers to sandwich beneath the main washers as this prevents the blade from slipping when tightening.

As you can see from the finished article above, the blade can be positioned to any angle and cut to a depth of 3/4" for both the 3/8" wide blade and the 3/4" wide blade.


To make this tool, download the technical illustration.


Depth Gauge PDF


With this particular version of depth gauge complete, let's continue with the second one. Depth gauge2.



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