Snap depth gauge for adjusting plate perimeter lag screws

According to the instructions for WNG’s plate perimeter bolts, it’s best if you use a magnetic base dial indicator to register exactly when you’ve raised a given bolt up enough to contact the plate.  I happened to have on hand an inexpensive (~$20) digital snap gauge that I thought could handle the job, but clamping it directly to the rim was fiddly at best.  Fortunately it has a conveniently placed hole in the back that makes it pretty easy to screw anything you like to it.  Grabbed a scrap block of pine and voila:


Note that I knocked down the edges to avoid marring the rim, even though it’s already protected by thin cardboard.  And here it is clamped in place:


(Actually it would have been a little better to clamp the gauge on the other side so I could get it as close to the bolt hole as possible.  But I believe even this distance to be perfectly adequate given that none of the machine bolts were installed — if the plate is getting raised up it’s going to register just about anywhere nearby.)

I love it when a cheap, thrown-together tool modification works perfectly 🙂  I wouldn’t necessarily suggest going out and buying one of these particular gauges by the way.  The annoying thing I’ve found about these cheap digital measurement tools is that they seem to eat batteries even when they’re off.  So I have to pull the battery out or flip it around… kind of a pain in the neck.  If I had it to do over again I’d probably at least try to get a dial gauge of some sort.

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