The tool I need

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 10-18-2011 08:39 PM 1515 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4541 posts in 3308 days

10-18-2011 08:39 PM

I don’t even know what this tool is called. I use it on occasion to capture a profile that I want to replicate.

However, IMO, there is a need for a variation on this tool. I’d like a tool like this with a set screw that lets me tighten the slides in place and, effectively, lock in place the current profile.

My desired version of the tool would not need to cover 6” like this one. 3” would be fine.

Does anyone know if a tool like I describe exists and where I could get one?

If there is a tool manufacture reading this – take note of the need.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

10 replies so far

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4225 days

#1 posted 10-18-2011 08:58 PM

They are called Profile Gauges; creatively enough. But I have not seen one that locks in place, shame though because it would be a nice feature

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Mickey Cassiba's profile

Mickey Cassiba

312 posts in 3265 days

#2 posted 10-18-2011 08:59 PM

When I was a young man, I worked for an outfit that restored older houses in San Francisco. Most of them had one-off mouldings. We used those contour gages to record the profiles, and sent them to a knife maker to have moulder knives made.As I recal the gages had a locking system. Don’t remember the brand, It was a long time ago.

-- One of these hammers oughta fix that...

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4225 days

#3 posted 10-18-2011 09:02 PM

Actually This German company makes one that locks… Sorry the website is all in German. I can read it but I’m not a very good translator.

The site that lead me to it:

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3302 days

#4 posted 10-18-2011 09:19 PM

That’s a profile gauge. I’ve been able to “lock in” a profile by tightening down on the screws that hold it together. Not always perfect, but it usually works.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18422 posts in 3909 days

#5 posted 10-18-2011 09:25 PM

Rich, a bead of green Locktite will hold the gauge securely. You will be able to move it later. It may stay stiff enough yoiu don’t have to add any more for a while ;-)) DO NOT use red or blue!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4361 days

#6 posted 10-18-2011 09:43 PM

Get them from Lee Valley:
PVC Profile Gauge
Stainless-Steel Tracing Profile Gauge

-- 温故知新

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11134 posts in 3662 days

#7 posted 10-18-2011 10:25 PM

I have both the PVC and the stainless one hobomonk references. I’ve not experienced any problems with either holding the profiles.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3292 days

#8 posted 10-18-2011 10:46 PM


I don’t know of anyone that makes such a tool that will make one that locks in place. I have one exactly like yours. However, an idea comes to mind. You could probably take something like that green foam that florists use in flower arrangements and press it into whatever it is that you want to duplicate, leaving behind a relief of the shape. It would be relatively stable as well and the foam stuff is pretty cheap at most craft stores. Comes in brick sized blocks. I bought some for something else a while back and it was just a couple of bucks for 4 or 6 bricks of it and it is pretty easy to shape it. If it is something you will use again, save it. If not, throw it away when you are done.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View peteg's profile


4435 posts in 3056 days

#9 posted 10-18-2011 11:22 PM

Another suggestion Rich, I sometime use a profile gauge for my turning to copy a particular profile, use the one in your picture as an example, simply lay on a piece of stiff card, trace the profile & cut out with a scaple knife or similar, then you have a premanent copy, this way you can do several different profiles before you start a job

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View muleskinner's profile


923 posts in 2670 days

#10 posted 10-20-2011 01:15 PM

I’m thinking that an inelegant temporary solution would be to be to to use some kind of soft jawed spring clamp on the opposite side once you’ve got your profile. I could see myself cobbling together a couple of pieces of that wood backed foam weather stripping on a small spring clamp.

-- Visualize whirled peas

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