Woodworking Tips
Woodworking Tips Index
A Simple Jig For Consistent Reveals Using the gauge

I was recently installing new casing around some doors in my home and spent a lot of time lining it up. I always try to hold the casing back from the edge of the jambs, just like a finish carpenter would do. It's best to leave a narrow portion of the jambs exposed -- anywhere from 1/8" to 5/16" wide. This "reveal" creates shadowlines that help hide problems resulting from wood movement.

But keeping the reveals consistent is difficult. So when I learned of a simple jig to help with this problem (see the photo), I didn't waste any time making it. I started by cutting a 3" square piece from a 3/4"-thick scrap. Then I cut a rabbet in each of the four edges to correspond with typical reveal widths, see the drawing below. For quick reference, I wrote the widths of each rabbet on the gauge.

Drawing of the gaugeUsing the jig is even simpler than making it. Just line up the casing at the top and bottom with the jig and make your marks for cutting the miter. Once the casing is cut to length, use the jig again to quickly line it up before nailing the casing in place.

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