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Listen to BOB VILA ON CONTOUR GAUGES or read the text below:
Contour gauges look a bit like a hair comb, but with teeth protruding from both sides of the handle. Rather than being fixed and stationary, those teeth slide smoothly through the handle, molding to the contour of whatever profile you set the gauge against.
Using the tool is dead-simple. First, lightly press the teeth against a flat surface to make sure the ends are in line. Then nudge the gauge up against whatever shape you wish to duplicate. Once you’ve got it, lay the contour gauge onto the material you’re working with. Trace the shape dictatated by the teeth of the gauge, then make your cut with a jigsaw, bandsaw, or coping saw.
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